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Questions tagged [ussr]

For questions about retro devices from the Soviet Union (USSR)

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4 votes
0 answers
145 views

How much does Micro-80 BASIC resemble Microsoft BASIC?

The first DIY Soviet home computer Micro-80 and its successor Radio-86RK had an implementation of BASIC available (albeit not in ROM, but as an loadable binary). A page from which the link is taken ...
Leo B.'s user avatar
  • 19.3k
20 votes
3 answers
2k views

What are these keys on the БК-0010-series keyboards, and what do they do?

(Picture taken from Wkipedia) The БК-0011M keyboard has these keys across the top row: ПОВТ (perhaps short for Повтор, which means Repetition; perhaps used for key repeat) КТ Three arrows which look ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
563 views

What is the likely function of these circuit boards?

(I've edited this question to include a second board - the seller told me he had two of the same, but having received the photo of the second board it's clear to me that they're different). I am in ...
harlandski's user avatar
  • 2,953
1 vote
1 answer
185 views

Why does my Mikrolab randomly freeze and unfreeze, and what can I do about it?

I've started using my Soviet Mikrolab KR580IK80 (a clone of the Hewlett Packard 5036A) again, and I've noticed some behaviour which it used to exhibit but now it seems more frequent. Basically after ...
harlandski's user avatar
  • 2,953
27 votes
6 answers
9k views

Why did Western designs suddenly overtake native Russian ones in the USSR?

In the USSR there flourished some very interesting machines, including the БЭСМ and МЭСМ lines, the Сетунь, the ЭВМ Стрела and others. Maybe the most famous ones are БЭСМ-4, which is said to have ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
32 votes
1 answer
3k views

How did the various Soviet ZX Spectrum clones support Cyrillic text?

There may be no one single answer to this question, since the various clones might have done this all in different ways. And of course, some clones do not have the Cyrillic text support at all. I'm ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
27 votes
3 answers
7k views

In what ways was the Soviet Strela computer "designed to function during a nuclear winter"? Or at least parts of it?

From Strela computer: Strela computer (Russian: ЭВМ Стрела, arrow) was the first mainframe computer manufactured serially in the Soviet Union, beginning in 1953. This first-generation computer had ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 2,348
3 votes
1 answer
547 views

Did DEMOS have a C compiler?

DEMOS was a Soviet operating system derived from BSD Unix. The answer to this question shows that the familiar, English-derived BSD commands were essentially the same in DEMOS. Did DEMOS have a C ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 16k
6 votes
2 answers
370 views

DEMOS commands: Cyrillic or Roman letters? Uppercase or lowercase?

DEMOS was a Soviet operating system derived from BSD Unix. Commands in BSD are derived from English words. Did DEMOS use these same commands, develop their own commands but retain the Roman alphabet,...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 16k
7 votes
1 answer
545 views

Did any computer actually use the KR580VM1?

The KR580VM1 (or КР580ВМ1) is a CPU from Soviet Ukraine that is not directly equivalent to any Western ones. It's basically an Intel 8080 with another register pair, H1L1, and another address space ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
176 views

Why am I not seeing the results of several operations on this "Microtrainer"?

So I've finally got this Soviet 'Microtrainer' МТ1804 up and running, but I'm experiencing problems with the execution of the example programs. Basically the memory seems to be working fine - I can ...
harlandski's user avatar
  • 2,953
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

What causes the monitor to reduce to four lines on BK 0010 Focal?

When working with the Focal cartridge inserted on my BK 0010, the area displayed on the monitor suddenly reduces to just four lines , instead of the usual 20 Each time this has happened when I've ...
harlandski's user avatar
  • 2,953
1 vote
1 answer
502 views

Estimating contents of old printed circuit boards

I am sorry, if this is not a good place to ask, but is there any general rule of thumb about how much precious metals could you expect to get out from 197x(?) printed circuit boards, especially Soviet ...
Gnudiff's user avatar
  • 121
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is there any difference between Т34ВМ1 and КМ1858ВМ1/3?

In the Soviet Union, Z80 compatibles were manufactured under at least the following designations: Т34ВМ1 КМ1858ВМ1 КР1858ВМ3 At least some of these were manufactured from the U880 masks that were ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
600 views

Was Vilnius BASIC cross-platform?

It is well established that Vilnius BASIC runs on PDP-11 compatible machines. For example, the BK-0010 and UKNC had Vilnius BASIC in ROM. Apparently, it was closely modelled after MSX BASIC, which ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why was the Hobbit microcomputer withdrawn from the UK market?

The Hobbit is a Soviet computer which was built to be compatible with the ZX Spectrum, but with some extensions. For example it has more memory and can run CP/M. The Hobbit had favourable reviews in ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

How compatible is the Leningrad clone with the "original" ZX Spectrum?

In Leningrad they developed a clone of the ZX Spectrum, replacing the ULA by some TTL logic. Some of my speculations: In the USSR, the analog TV sets used SECAM, not PAL, so I imagine that the ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
36 votes
5 answers
4k views

Which ports are which on this Soviet ZX Spectrum clone?

Today I got my (first) Soviet ZX Spectrum clone. The person who sold it to me had inherited it and had no idea how it worked. It seems to be a home-made clone, rather than a factory-built one. See ...
harlandski's user avatar
  • 2,953
23 votes
5 answers
3k views

Were there any LSI-11 like home computers outside of Russia?

In my childhood I had one of these: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronika_BK Note, that the CPU of this is based on LSI-11. This is rather surprising because PDP-11 took a room (I was lucky ...
Andrew Savinykh's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
473 views

How were the electronics in the Elektronika IM (Электроника ИМ) designed?

Elektronika in the Soviet Union created a series of handheld games in the 80s (Электроника ИМ) similar to the Nintendo's Game & Watch. How were the electronics in these games designed, especially ...
Michael Shopsin's user avatar
16 votes
3 answers
824 views

Looking for an "Inspector" or "Detective" game (BASIC?)

I'm working on an emulator for the Soviet mainframe BESM-6. Among a few games written for it there was a game called "Inspector" (or "Detective"). Its code didn't survive; the only mention of it I can ...
Leo B.'s user avatar
  • 19.3k
57 votes
8 answers
10k views

How were Western computer chips reverse-engineered in USSR?

The British ZX Spectrum computer had many clones in the Eastern Bloc. It seems many of them were built using Russian-made chips from the Angstrem factory in Zelenograd in/near Moscow. The Russian ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
34 votes
1 answer
3k views

What soviet computer used trinary bits?

Discussing 'non-standard byte sizes' with co-workers today, one mentioned hearing of soviet experiments with computers that used three-state bytes - and not just what is common today, 0, 1 and High ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 7,105