LISP Machine Virtual Machine?

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LISP Machine Virtual Machine?

Postby haziz » Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:57 am

While exploring Common LISP, and Scheme, I became curious about the original MIT Lisp machines and their Symbolics, Lisp Machines Inc. and TI progeny. I would like to run a virtual machine of their original OS/environment or any of it's progeny. I suspect I will continue to use SBCL and Emacs/SLIME as my main tools but would like to explore their grandfather, so to speak. I know some folks have attempted to run these LISP OSes as a VM within a Linux VM, but the setup seems very convoluted, and often relies on a very old and very specific Linux distro.

Has anybody managed to package any of the LISP machines (I am OK with any of them), in a relatively painless VMWare or VirtualBox VM? In other words, is there an "off the shelf" Lisp Machine VM somewhere out there?
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Re: LISP Machine Virtual Machine?

Postby sylwester » Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:51 pm

Symbolics had alot of influence on Common Lisp. eg. how error handling works. Probably the last versions were compatible with Common Lisp so the language flavor probably wasn't the big thing with symbolics, but the way they made computers specifically to run lisp was quite interesting. The CPU of these machines was a pure stack machine so it didn't really use lisp as it's machine code, but the CPU had features that gave the compiled lisp code advantages over lisp code that was compiled for a more general purpose machine.

Have you tried:
http://www.unlambda.com/cadr/index.html ??
I'm the author of two useless languages that uses BF as target machine.
Currently I'm planning a Scheme compiler :p
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Re: LISP Machine Virtual Machine?

Postby nuntius » Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:33 pm

I haven't tried it, but there appears to be a new platform for running Open Genera.

http://www.loomcom.com/genera/genera-install.html

Given the instructions, its probably best to try this inside a VM, even if Linux is your native OS.
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