PDP-11 Zork Manual: Save $2,348.31

Posted: November 30th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Interactive Fiction, Text Adventure History | 9 Comments »

The winner of the the Zork PDP-11 Manual auction I mentioned a couple entries ago has been kind (and astoundingly generous) and has donated a PDF of a scanned version of the manual they bought. They paid $2,348.31, and you pay zero.

Zork PDP-11 Manual PDF (1.3mb)

To recap, this is a manual for the PDP-11 version of Zork. It came on a diskette (a rather large diskette) and was actually sold. This version predates the TRS-80 version sold by Personal Software, and the general tale is that less than 100 copies were sold.

This version is autographed by Marc Blank, Dave Lebling, and Joel Berez.

The manual, even without the magnetic media, holds a whole host of interesting points within it. It had to explain, to a commercial audience, both the process of installing the software and the pointers for interacting with a text adventure, which at the time was a pretty new idea. Reading it, you’ll either get perspective or nostalgia about that time.

Infocom at this point was a PO Box and some big plans, but had no office space, hence the address.

The donor wishes to remain anonymous. Thank you, donor.


9 Comments on “PDP-11 Zork Manual: Save $2,348.31”

  1. 1 Johan Herrenberg said at 1:35 am on December 1st, 2008:

    Yes, many thanks!

  2. 2 Alexandre, o tabajara said at 9:55 am on December 3rd, 2008:

    Thanks from Brazil, anonymous donor!

  3. 3 Jon M said at 11:12 am on December 3rd, 2008:

    It is great to see someone have such a die-hard desire to preserve such precious text-based artifacts. Bravo.

  4. 4 Quadlex said at 6:54 pm on January 13th, 2009:

    I’ve only just stumbled on GetLamp. But to the donor, thank you. May your twisty little passages never be completely alike.

  5. 5 Patrick said at 10:42 am on January 14th, 2009:

    Thought you might find this interesting: http://www.legendsofzork.com/

  6. 6 Ed3 said at 6:55 pm on April 24th, 2009:

    Thanks! What a great find.

  7. 7 Jason said at 6:12 pm on September 29th, 2009:

    Did you manage to track down the ‘paranoid’ DEC engineer that brought Zork to the world at large (and to people not running ITS)???

  8. 8 Jason Scott said at 5:48 pm on October 4th, 2009:

    Yes! He’s revealed in the movie (and honestly, pretty easy to discern with a bit of research). He got much more open about his work later.

  9. 9 Anonymous Commenter said at 10:07 am on March 31st, 2011:

    THANK YOU, anonymous donor!

    What a trip to another age of computing. “Pushing the state of the art” indeed.


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