And why typing DEL is properly a forward delete operation: it eliminates the character under the cursor — converting it to a DEL, to be ignored when reading the tape — and (like any other punch) advances to the next. (I blame the VT220 for mucking this up and leading to endless confusion.)
I have dreams of creating a modern microcomputer. A computer for the hacker masses, inexpensive with modest specifications and simple design, with ample parallel and serial IO. Something that puts you close to the metal with few distractions and limited complexity, like an arduino but interactive and self-contained. Like what the Raspberry Pi was meant to be, but without binary blobs and complicated operating systems.
Is that an idea that appeals to anyone else? Whenever I think about it, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I know some of it is nostalgia, but I also think there is a lot to be said for the creativity and inspiration that arises from working in simple constrained systems.
That said, I agree that a simple and constrained environment can be great for learning and creativity. This is one of the reasons I'm currently writing a Logo interpreter reminiscent of ones I used as a kid in the 80's, using an Apple Logo II manual as a guide. Hopefully I can get my almost six year old daughter interested in playing with it!
Plus, just because it's written in Go I don't think an application should have extra "go's" in it's name!
I wonder if the kids a few years behind me say things like "they stopped using floppies right before I started" or "I never did see a dot-matrix printer actually print".
I also wish there was a simple micro out there. I still have an old senior design project sitting in a drawer at Tampa Hackerspace. It's a Jeopardy style quiz show buzzer system built from a Z80 (old even when we used it), I think a 8255 (because I had a pile of them), a little TTL glue, a EPROM with a few hundred lines of hand-assembled code, no RAM, and a 555 timer for a clock. The clock is so slow that we also used it for the audio for the buzzer. It's been a fun board to haul out and throw on a logic analyzer to show people. Can't probe the address bus on an ARM or Atmel. But kids today probably look at that like I used to look at tube testers.
 - http://science.slc.edu/~jmarshall/courses/2003/spring/cs10/l...
For what it's worth, the guy in the video seems to sell clone kits. The kit and assembled version are the same price as the original assembled machine, $621 (though the replicas have a lot of additional stuff thrown in). Not exactly a cheap, but if you really want one, you can get one.
Before you get me wrong: I was the only kid in my high school with a computer of his own. That's kind of unbelievable. The next year, there were maybe six of us with computers. We had all kinds of opportunities because of our early exposure to this stuff (I arguably got my first real job because of that kit I built).
[We also got into trouble with modems, and my grades cratered, and I independently discovered hacker hours. Ha.]
I do get nostalgaic, but every time I go back and want to program one of these things (e.g., a KIM-1 replica I built last year, and an IMSAI replica) I run into the fact that the software environment on these things really stunk. That KIM-1 sits there; I wrote an assembler for the thing in a couple of days, but dealing with the limited resources when I don't absolutely have to takes the wind out of my sails.
Someday I'll dig that old digital group system out of the closet and get it running again. But chances are that I'll write an emulator for it first :-)
[I did get to do a nice bit of embedded systems work a few years ago; a little power control system in 1920 bytes. That was a lark, and I got one of my cow-orkers roped into the project and we were basically insufferable, giggling kids for about two weeks, saving bytes and doing dirty hacks to make things fit in that space. Oh, those poor PMs...]
He donated it to the San Jose tech museum I think.
Edit: Actually, that was the Computer History Museum at Mountain View. I haven't done the Tech Museum in San Jose yet.
Those 4K boards in the original Altair were expensive: $264 kit in 1975 .
I do recall the smell of those TTYs: Machine oil, bronze bearings, paper and ink.
Nice to see those 16 Address Bus switches, with the lower 8 switches doubling as data switches for the "Deposit" and "Deposit Next" switch.
edited for reference
Am I right?
How would a byte be 307? Or 256, for that matter. I must be missing something basic. Hah.
 Oh, octal. Five groups of three plus the one on the end. That makes sense and also explains how he's so easily plugging in the numbers.