Mainframes & Minicomputers

Launch 2024
Launch 9999

“Prior to the sixties, if you wanted a computer, you’d need a flipping great big room for it, as computers were huge. You’d also need around million dollars. Users would connect to these mainframe computers using a terminal (usually a keyboard with a monitor), which would send instructions to the mainframe.

Minicomputers came along in the mid-sixties, and though not mini by today’s standards, they were compared to the mainframe. The cost was a lot less prohibitive and would take up the size of, lets say, a wardrobe.

Although not designed as games machines due to the cost and size, it didn’t stop users from creating games on them. **Spacewar!** – the game which was cloned in the first arcade game, **Computer Space** – began life on the PDP-1 minicomputer; and the very first adventure game – **Adventure** (aka **Colossal Cave Adventure**) started out on the PDP-10 Mainframe.
## Emul
If you are interested in emulating very early computers such as mainframes, minicomputers and early microcomputers, we recommend you try [SIMH](, which describes itself as ‘the computer history simulator’.

System | Emulator | Notes
:- | – | –
Various | [SIMH]( | Non-Windows platform users will have to compile the emulators
Web Browser | [Spacewar! on a PDP-1]( | Javascript emulator of a DEC PDP-1 running *Spacewar!*
Various | [Hercules]( | Emulator for various IBM Mainframe computers

*Emulator information last updated 30th March 2020*
## Reso
* [A List of Minicomputers](”

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