Playing a Computer Game from 1975 on a One-Bit Computer

When hobbyists built the first personal computers in the mid-1970s, the first question they’d be asked after “Whatever for?” was often “What can it do?” With memory often less than 1024 bytes and input/output limited to switches and blinking lights, the answer to the second query was usually, “Not much”, but the more creative personal computer pioneers, undaunted, said, “Play a game!”.

In May, 1975, Dean McDaniel wrote the “Kill the Bit” [PDF] game for the MITS Altair 8800 Intel 8080 based personal computer. The entire game program was twenty-four bytes in length, and fit comfortably into the 256 bytes of RAM on the smallest configuration of the Altair, and wasn’t too painful to toggle in from the front panel switches. The game displayed a bit circulating in the front panel data register, which the player tried to turn off by clicking the panel switch below it before it moved on. Hitting the wrong switch turned on another bit, which then also had to be chased to turn off.

Sure, you can do this on an eight bit computer, however rudimentary, but can you get it to work on a one bit industrial controller like the Motorola MC14500? Let’s see….