A Reply from John Blankenbaker

A project log for 2:5 Scale KENBAK-1 Personal Computer Reproduction

Make a working reproduction of the venerable KENBAK-1 with a fully integrated development environment including an Assembler and Debugger.

Michael GardiMichael Gardi 05/15/2021 at 15:230 Comments

Over on Instructables GilDev, who also did a wonderful KENBAK-1 Replica, suggested "Feel free to send photos of your creation to John Blankenbaker, he replied to my mails and was very kind!"  So I did and he was. The first thing he said in his reply "Your email was the most interesting thing I have received today. I was very impressed!". Sure made my day too!

As part of my Email I said the following, "I also wrote a Day of the Week program. It took me 251 bytes to write. If I understand what you said in the VCF East keynote you gave in 2016, Day of the Week was one of three programs that you had simultaneously loaded into memory for demonstration purposes. Amazing!". 

Here is his reply. 

You overestimated my capability in programming the day of the week problem. I did it only for the 20th century. One reason for limiting it was the problem becomes more complicated very quickly since the English jumped ahead 12 days in 1753 to come into agreement with the European calendars. One of the interesting side aspects of demonstrating this problem was that most people could only verify two dates/day of the week. The were Pearl Harbor and their marriage day. Another interesting point is that only about half of the high school math teachers could quote the rules for
skipping dates in the calendar. My most complex program was for three dimensional tic-tac-toe on a 4 x 4 x 4 board. When the program was done, it did not have enough memory left to recognize the end of the game.

I was so nice of John Blankenbaker to take the time to reply.