I just discovered ibm1130.org. It seems they have a SIMH-based IBM 1131 emulator available. OK, I should try to get that up on my Nexus One phone, to go with my first timesharing system (the PDP-10-based ITS operating system, from the MIT AI lab).
This is the message I sent them when I signed their guestbook:
The 1130 was my first real computer. I was a high school junior, and it was the closest computer to me -- 30 miles, at a local college (Morningside College, Sioux City, IA). I got a chance to take a Fortran class. I went on to teach myself assembler, and I remember well discovering how the 1132 printer interface worked, and the narrow timing margins for filling in the bitmask for each character. I never made a serious attempt at writing a driver for it, but I did enough playing around to know what I'd have to do.
Eventually, they got a 1403 and retired the 1132; that surely ended any thoughts of writing my own device driver! (I have written device drivers since, and I suppose the experience made me unintimidated of diving into the low levels, but I generally prefer to operate at a much higher level -- such as expert systems, etc.)
Before going off to MIT, I learned that they actually had an 1130, so I brought my decks of cards with me. I never used them, though, because 1) I'd have had to do some finagling to get access, and 2) I discovered timesharing. I only used punch cards for one class (on a 370, some assembler and some PL/1 as I recall).
There were other smart kids taking that Fortran class, but I think I'm the only one who stuck around for the next 18 months, showing up about twice a week, exploring anything I could get my hands on. Some of them actually had been able to take calculus; I remember being amazed that one kid was writing a program to compute pi, using a Taylor-series expansion. I couldn't figure out how I could find such things out. When I got to MIT, I found myself surrounded by people who'd had more opportunity in high school in traditional areas like math. But getting access to that 1130 was a huge advantage for going into computers.
Originally, I was going to do electronics. In fact, the whole reason I applied to MIT was because they had their EE and computer programs in the same department, rather than having computers are part of the math department. (I ended up ONLY applying to MIT -- University of Michigan never replied with an application form, and University of Iowa's application deadline was long after I was accepted at MIT).
I also got my first exposure to electronic simulation -- they had a copy of ECAP (ECAP II?) which I played around with a bit. I had some trouble using it; I think it was problems with numerical stability.
I never got to use the disks, and I was at the mercy of whatever disk people had in there. I could usually do Fortran. I did get to do pretty much everything else, including single-stepping through my programs at the console. If I recall correctly, toggling C000, D000 into the first locations did a load/store that wiped memory, filling it with the D000 value...
I'll have to see if I can get the 1130 simulator up and running on my Nexus One phone. I currently have the PDP-10 OS I used at MIT -- ITS -- running there.