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.
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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'.
|Various||SIMH||Non-Windows platform users will have to compile the emulators|
|Various||Hercules||Emulator for various IBM Mainframe computers|
Emulator information last updated 30th March 2020