3300 computer image

Wang 3300 Emulator

The last 3300 probably disappeared before 1990. They were a service headache and Wang offered customers a free swap to a 2200 MVP system so they could retire the few remaining 3300s in the field. Due to the efforts of Steve Witham, who scanned his 3300 architecture manual and recovered the contents of the cassette boot tape, I was able to write a software emulation of the 3300.

(Image of Wang 3300 emulator running a program)

Emu3300 runs natively under the Windows operating system as a 32 bit app. It has been tested to run both under Windows XP and Windows 7. At some point, after it has been polished up, I may create a port for OSX. This shouldn't be too hard, as the GUI was created using the wxWidgets library.

The emulator interface consists of a window for controlling the CPU front panel, plus one more window for controlling each simulated ASR-33 terminal.

I made a conscious choice to write the emulator to emulate the 3300 with enough fidelity that it would be possible to experience the difficulties of bringing up BASIC, including the multi-stage loader from paper tape. However, I know that nobody really cares to do that more than once, so I also added the ability to load .HEX file into memory via the menu system, making it a lot easier to just get the thing running. Even so, one must read the release notes to do even that.

Please note a few things. The emulator is faithful to the timing of the original machine, meaning that I/O happens at 10 characters per second. Get used to to typing slowly. The underscore character is used as a backspace. Use the backslash to cancel input on the current line. ESC interrupts a running program, but once in a while it causes the BASIC interpreter to perform an illegal operation, so don't be surprised if it happens. The paper tape I/O can be squirrelly and needs some work.

The emulator is still a work in progress. I never used a 3300, and all the pictures I have are black and white, so the GUI reconstruction of the front panel is partly a fragment of my imagination. I take pride that the indicator lamps flicker according to their actual duty cycle, using a first order filter to model the thermal inertia of the filament.

Here is the latest and greatest version of the emulator, 0.6. It improves over the previous release, 0.5, in that it uses an SVG vector description for the front panel, which is more faithful to the real look of the machine, and scales better with the size of the window.

While the zip file contains the source code for the emulator, to build it requires installing and building a few libraries. The file named "building.txt", inside the zip file, gives some information on how to build the libraries and the emulator. Most sane people will simply opt to use the binary which is also in the zip file.

Download emu3300 version 0.3 for Win32 (2007/12/29) (700 KB; application and source)

Download emu3300 version 0.5 for Win32 (2012/02/04) (1.3 MB; application and source) (release notes)

Download emu3300 version 0.6 for Win32 (2012/07/30) (1.8 MB; application and source) (release notes)

Don't worry, there is no install program, no registry changes, or other hassles. Just unzip into the directory of your choice, launch the program, and follow the release notes on how to get BASIC running.