retrocomputing /ret'-roh-k*m-pyoo'ting/ n.
emulations of way-behind-the-state-of-the-art hardware or software,
or implementations of never-was-state-of-the-art; esp. if such
implementations are elaborate practical jokes and/or parodies,
written mostly for hack value, of more `serious' designs.
Perhaps the most widely distributed retrocomputing utility was the
bcd(6) program on V7 and other early Unix
versions, which would accept up to 80 characters of text argument
and display the corresponding pattern in punched card code.
Other well-known retrocomputing hacks have included the programming
language INTERCAL, a JCL-emulating shell for Unix, the
card-punch-emulating editor named 029, and various elaborate PDP-11
hardware emulators and RT-11 OS emulators written just to keep an
old, sourceless Zork binary running.
A tasty selection of retrocomputing programs are made available at the Retrocomputing Museum, http://www.tuxedo.org/retro.