Computing and cybernetics in CEE

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Summary (currently only in Slovak)[edit]

  • Prve počítače vo vychodnom bloku vyvinuli Sovieti--najprv v Kyjeve (MESM; Kiev), potom v Moskve (BESM; Strela; TsEM-1; M-20; Setun), Minsku (M-3) a Penze (Ural), prvy v roku 1950; nasledovali Cesi (SAPO v 1956), Rumuni (CIFA-1 v 1957), Madari (MESz-1 v 1958; M-3 v 1959) a Poliaci (Odra v 1959); v 1963 vyvinuli prvy pocitac v Juhoslavii (CER-10); o par rokov neskor uz Sovieti svojim satelitom zacali distribuovat vlastne pocitace--Ural, cca od zaciatku 60s, islo vzdy len o par kusov najma na vyskumne a obranne ucely; od 1967 sa vyrazne zvysil nakup pocitacov do ZSSR od Americanov; od 1972 Sovieti zacali masovo vyrabat klony vtedajsieho americkeho IBM, nazvane ES EVM, stali sa standardom pre cely blok, vyrabali sa az do 90tych rokov, niektore modely serie vyvinuli aj Bulhari, Madari, Poliaci, Cechoslovaci, Rumuni a Nemci; slo o taky standard, ze napriklad ked v Polsku vyvinul jeden vedec rychlejsi a lacnejsi pocitac v 1973, tak nakoniec nesiel do masovej vyroby, lebo nebol kompatibilny s ES EVM; v 1986-87 vznikli v tejto serii aj verzie osobnych pocitacov. k tejto teme vysli zatial len tri knihy, ktore mapuju vyvoj pocitacov, resp kybernetiky v Sovietskom zvaze.
  • Styri linie vyvoja a aplikacie kybernetiky v 1950s-1960s v USSR (zdroj Slava Gerovitch: History of Soviet Cybernetics):
    • Cisto vojenske vyuzitie prvych pocitacov (50s). Zakladnym cielom prvych pocitacov v USSR bolo to iste co na zapade - kalkulacie pre vojsko. Konstrukter a sponzor prveho digitalneho pocitaca, Lebedev a Lavrentev, v liste Stalinovi obhajovali digitalne pocitace ako dolezite pre narodnu obranu, a riesenie problemov v nuklearnej fyzike, jet propulsion, radiolocation, and the aviation industry. Akonahle bol BESM dokonceny, bol naplno vyuzity pre vypocty pre vojsko, rovnako ako drviva vacsina vypoctovej sily dalsich pocitacov v 1950s, kym vseobecne vedecke problemy dostavali len marginalny priestor. Prioritnymi oblastami pre narodnu obranu po 2.sv.vojne boli projekty troch novych "Specialnych komitetov": atomovy projekt (Sobolev, Kurchatov), vyvoj balistickych rakiek (Korolev), a radar (Berg, Kitov). Vlada nasledne zadala vyvoj dvom projektom - BESM (Lebedev & Lavrentev, Akademia vied) a Strela (Bazilevsky & Lesechko, Min. of Machines), z ktorych prvy mal ist do seriovej vyroby. Ministerstvo kvoli rivalite s Ak.vied presadilo cenzuru informacii o kybernetike, verejnost sa o existencii sovietskych pocitacov dozvedela az v 1955. Vyvoj bol pozadu za USA: v 1952 operovali tri sovietske a desat americkych (dalsich 11 vo vyvoji) - Lebedev a Keldysh volali po principe "overtake and surpass". Kym v USA sa pocitacov po armade chytil aj biznis, v zssr boli (do 55) statnym (vojenskym) tajomstvom (suvisi aj s prebratim moci pro-reformnym Chruscevom v 1953).
    • Ideologicky boj v kybernetike (late 40s-58). Na poli vedy prebiehal ostry boj medzi "filozofmi", ideologmi rezimu (s dosahom do verejnych medii), ktori diskreditovali kybernetiku ako "pseudovedu" napr. kvoli zapadnym analogiam medzi clovekom a strojom, a vedcami, ktori odmietali rolu filozofie (a dialektickeho materializmu ako oficialnej sovietskej filozofie vedy) vo vyvoji a aplikacii kybernetiky. Liapunov, Sobolev a Kitov v 1955 publikovali zasadnu obhajobu kybernetiky vo filozofickom akademickom zurnali. Nasledoval entuziasticky report sovietskych inzinierov z medzinarodnej kybernetickej konferencie v Belgicku, a konferencia o priemyselnej automatizacii na Akademii vied (najma Liapunov, Lebedev, Bruk), ktora bola obratom pre sovietsku kybernetiku. V 1958 kybernetika nakoniec dostala samostatnu kapitolu vo Velkej sovietskej encyklopedii, a nasledovalo publikovanie mnozstva knih domacich autorov a prekladov (Liapunov, Poletaev, Kitov, Wiener).
    • Neuspesne snahy o vytvorenie celonarodnej pocitacovej siete pre riadenie ekonomiky (60s). S navrhmi prichadzalo viacero vedcov. Kitov poslal v 1959 centralnemu komitetu navrh na automatizovany centralny system pre narodnu ekonomiku. V 1960 prisli so spolocnym navrhom Liapunov, Kitov a Berg. V 1959-61 za narodnu siet lobovala na Ministerstve obrany advocacy group (Kitov, Buslenko, Liusternik, Poletaev). V 1964 Glushkov a Kitov, a po informaciach o americkom ARPANETe znova v 1969 (OGAS). Ziadny z navrhov nebol uspesny, niektori z tychto vedcov boli preradeni alebo vyluceni z armady. Vlada a armada sa bali straty kontroly a pozicii.
    • Prve pocitacove siete: posilnenie byrokratizacie a sledovanie (late 60s). Armada sa nakoniec chytila Glushkovovho navrhu, a realizovala jeho znacne stensenu verziu - v 1966 si zacali ministerstva vytvarat vlastne, navzajom nekomunikujuce a nekompatibilne, pocitacove siete (suvisi aj s spomalenim reform a tendenciou zachovat status quo po prebrati moci Breznevom v 1964). V 1968 vznikla pocitacova databaza tajnej sluzby (postavena na francuzskych pocitacoch) pre zhromazdovanie vedeckych a technickych informacii aj zo Zapadu, vratane zaznamov o 500,000 zahranicnych vedcoch, vojenskych vyskumnikoch a podnikateloch

Episodes[edit]

  • (Ukraine; USSR) In 1950, when the model of MESM computer (the first digital programmable computer in Continental Europe developed by the research group in Theophania near Kiev led by Sergei Lebedev) had been tested, the only other similar working machines were Frederick Williams and Tom Kilburn's Baby and Maurice Wilkes' EDSAC in England (however, each British computer employed a sequential operational arithmetic unit, while MESM worked on parallel arithmetic units). When the word got out that there was an operating computer in the Ukraine, a steady parade of scientists from Kiev and Moscow headed to Pheophania with scientific and defense-related problems that could not be solved without the aid of a computer -- problems from the fields of thermonuclear weapons processes (such as Yakov B. Zeldovich's work), space flights and rocket technology, long-distance electric transmission lines, mechanics, statistical quality control, and others.
  • (USSR) At the time of completion, in 1952, BESM developed in Moscow was the fastest computer in Europe.
  • (USSR; the West) In the mid-1950s, the European nuclear physics research centre CERN established stable partnership with its Russian analogue JINR. In the 1960s, the reduction of political tension between the West and East stimulated the official extension of the scientific exchange. The first Soviet joint venture, established with the West-German company Siemens in the late 1960s in Moscow, participated in computer projects. In 1969-70s, attempts were made to co-operate with SIEMENS and the British company ICLin order to create the "Euro-computer". Their experts visited Moscow and studied the possibilities of the USSR's computer production. The Italian company Olivetti also was present in the USSR.
  • (USSR) M-20 developed in Moscow in 1958 was capable of 20 thousand operations per second, fastest in the world at that time
  • (USSR; COMECON) In early 60s, the COMECON made a decision at this time, which was accepted by all Socialist countries, that the computers will be developed only in the Soviet Union, and that other countries will buy, rather than develop, computers -- eg. Ural-series.
  • (USSR; USA) In 1965 only $5,000 worth of electronic computers and parts were shipped from the United States to the Soviet Union, and only $2,000 worth in 1966. This changed in 1967. Computer exports increased to $1,079,000 and a higher rate of export of U.S. electronic computers to the USSR has been maintained to the present time under constant lobbying pressure from U.S. businessmen and their trade associations. [2]
  • (USSR; USA) In 1968, with help from the KGB, there began a project to clone the IBM System/360. This powerful machine was widely used in the West and even helped put man on the moon. Officially, the initial design of the cloned machines came from the Moscow Scientific Research Centre for Electronic Computer Machinery. However, the plans and even pieces of hardware reportedly came from the West. The IBM System/360 was not available in the USSR due to restrictions imposed by the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM) agreement. This prevented the export of high-tech equipment to Eastern Europe from the West. In response, in 1972 Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev told a meeting of officials: "We communists have to string along with the capitalists for a while. We need their credits, their agriculture and their technology." When Soviet government decided to copy the IBM 360 system instead of relying on their own enormous community of scientific and engineering talent, Lebedev, Glushkov, and several of the Soviet Union’s established computer scientists fought this directive vigilantly while trying to retain faith in their political leaders. Eg. Rameev proposed for a family of URAL computers that would have paralleled the IBM 360 series; instead only 3 versions of the URAL were commissioned and Rameev quit his job as chief designer in disgust.
  • (USSR, UK) In July 1970 in England, a forum entitled "The Fundamental School of Computer Technology Pioneers who have Created its Past and will Form the Future" was held. Eight countries were invited to participate, including the Soviet Union, particularly represented by Ukraine.
  • (USSR; USA) In 1974-1976 IBM had contacted the Soviet authorities and expressed interest in ES EVM development (series of clones of IBM's System/360, System/370 and System/390 mainframes); however, after the Soviet Army invaded Afghanistan, in 1979, all contacts between IBM and ES developers were interrupted, due to the US embargo on technological cooperation with the USSR.
  • (Poland) K-202 was first Polish 16-bit minicomputer invented by Jacek Karpiński between 1971-1973. It was faster and cheaper than the Odra computer, but the production was shunned because of political reasons - it was not compatible with the ES EVM standard.
  • (USSR; USA; Farewell Dossier hoax) US intelligence eventually realised the extent to which Western computer technology had started to appear in the Soviet Union. At a meeting between US president Ronald Reagan and France's president Francois Mitterrand in 1981, it emerged that the French had recruited a KGB agent in Moscow. Colonel Vladimir Vetrov, also known as 'Farewell', was responsible for evaluating Western technology. He had access to the KGB's Technology Directorate, which acquired Western technology for the regime to study and copy, and exposed the Directorate's technology wish list.
    During 1984 and 1985, the US arrested and expelled large numbers of suspected KGB agents, effectively stemming the flow of technology. Given that domestic computers were seriously underpowered, and stolen Western technology had been doctored, the USSR faced uncertainty. It could no longer tell what the US had done or where, or what was going on in US computer labs.
    For many years, Russian technology seemed doomed. However, the collapse of the Soviet Union brought a new spirit of freedom to the former Eastern bloc. The embargo on Western technology enforced by COCOM ran out in March 1994.
    IBM now helps to maintain the ES EVM System/360 clones still in operation. Microsoft enjoys a strong, growing presence in the former Soviet Union, Linux is making steady advances and the open-source movement is also gaining ground. UNESCO reported that the first Open Source Forum took place in Moscow, bringing together members of the open-source community from the US, Europe and Russia. Sponsored by IBM, HP and Novell. [3] [4]

Overview by country[edit]

former Soviet Union[edit]

Preceding events and catalysers[edit]

  • As early as 1832 – at a time when mechanics still was part of applied mathematics - Semen Korsakov from the statistical department of the Russian ministry of police announced, apparently independent from Babbage in England, his machine "for the comparison of ideas", a punched card-based apparatus for the automated comparison of data. [5] [6] [7]
  • The principal social transformations and turmoil of the 1910-1920s (wars and revolution).
  • Intense developments in mathematics, electrical engineering and electronics in 1920s and 1930s.
  • State program for the intensification of power production (GOELRO, Gosudarstvennaya Electrificatsiya Rossii, State Electrification of Russia).
  • The Moscow Power Engineering Institute (MEN) and the All-Union Electrotechnical Institute (VEN), two largest Soviet electrical institutions established in 1922-25 on government directive by Karl Krug, one of the leading scientists in the GOELRO plan. S. Lebedev made his first computer inventions in VEN, while T.Alexandridi, M. Kartsev, N. Matyukhin, N. Brusentsov, A. Zalkind, E. Filinov and many other computer inventors graduated from MEN.
  • Necessity for the supply system for electricity, playing a decisive role in the state economy (Lenin's motto "electrical current plus the power of the Soviets lead to communism")
  • Electro-optical reading machine (1938), the world's first "scanner", invented by the young Moscow engineer V.E. Agapov. Built with photo-diodes, and could "read" and convert a standard type-written text into series of electrical signals. It had the size and shape of the common piano. This machine was presented at the office equipment exhibition "Automation of the Labour Organisation" in 1938 (described in the catalogue) and exhibition of calculating machines, "Socialist Accounting", 1949.
Indirect influences
  • Pafnuty Chebyshev's mechanical calculating machines from 1870s [8]
  • Alexander Bogdanov's organisation science of tektology, introduced in a lengthy philosophical treatise, Tektology: Universal Organization Science (1922) which anticipated many basic ideas of system theory and systems analysis later explored by cybernetics. Lenin (and later Stalin) considered Bogdanov's natural philosophy an ideological threat to the dialectic materialism and put tectology to sleep. The rediscovery of Bogdanov's tektology occurred only in the 1970s.
  • Russian taylorism advocated by Aleksei Gastev and nauchnaia organizatsia truda (the movement for the scientific organisation of labor). It found support in both Lenin and Trotsky. In the early 1930s, the aesthetic ideal of techniques was politicized, with the mastering of techniques being functionally referred to as the "pushing through" of socialism. The anthropocentrism in the Soviet technical discourse thus approached Alan Turing’s conception of man as a paper machine, when Stalin, for example, addressed Soviet literary authors in the following way: "You, the writers, are engineers as well, guiding the construction of the human soul." On an aesthetic level, the electrification of poetry had been hailed by Gastev in analogy to psychomechanics. "The author´s role in this technology was to design, even engineer, the arts of the written words." (Leonid Vitaljevich Kantorovich developed the concept of linear programming from a context of production automation in factories and in 1939 published his book on mathematical methods of planning and organizing industrial production; it was there that he for the first time developed his conception, theory and algorithmics - with "linear optimization" in socialist production processes being a hot topic in the 1960s). [9], [10]
Failed developments
  • Abrupt migration of the Odhner calculating machine production from Russia to Sweden caused by the October revolution. [11] [12]
  • Lebedev in Moscow was already approaching the construction of a computer on the basis of binary arithmetics when he was interrupted by the Russian involvement in World War II in 1941 (similarly, war also interrupted projects of Atanasoff in USA and Zuse in Germany).

Scientists[edit]

  • Sergei Lebedev. During II World War Lebedev worked in the field of control automation of complex systems; his group designed a weapon-aiming stabilization system for tanks and an automatic guidance system for airborne missiles; to perform these tasks Lebedev developed in 1945 an analog computer system to solve ordinary differential equations. After the end of the war he returned to the work of improving the stability of electrical systems; in 1948, Lebedev had found out from foreign magazines that scientists in Western countries were working on the design of electronic computers; and though the details of these works were secret, the idea fascinated him; in the autumn of the same year he decided to focus the work of his laboratory on computer design. 1946-1951 he headed the Kiev Electrotechnical Institute of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences; Lebedev was the head of the research group in Pheophania near Kiev, which created MESM, the first digital programmable computer in Continental Europe (1950). In 1952 he became a professor at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. From 1953 until death he was the director of Institute of Precision Mechanics and Computer Engineering which was later named after him; there the BESM series of computers were created. He developed 16 models of digital computers. In the first computers, he used for this purpose parallel arithmetic units, then concurrent work of mainframes and later on - pipeline algorithms and structures, multiprocessing, etc. (IEEE Computer Pioneer Award 1996 for the first computer in the Soviet Union) [13] [[14]]
  • Viktor Glushkov. Led development of Kiev, and MIR computers. Founded and directed Institute of Cybernetics (Kiev). Created ES-1766 microcomputer. Wrote books "The Theory of Digital Automation", "Introduction to Cybernetics" and others. Vice-president of the Academy of Science Ukraine. For almost 20 years enthusiastically worked with the project of automatic management system (OMS), paying enormous amount of energy for struggle with bureaucratic obstacles, administrative conservatism
  • A.P. Ershov
  • Alexey Lyapunov, "father of Soviet cybernetics". (IEEE Computer Pioneer Award 1996 for Soviet cybernetics and programming) [15]
  • George Lopato (IEEE Computer Pioneer Award 2000 for pioneering development in Belarus of the Minsk series computers' hardware, of the multicomputer complexes and of the RV family of mobile computers for heavy field conditions) [16]
  • Gennady Stolyarov (IEEE Computer Pioneer Award 2000 for pioneering development in Minsk series computers' software, of the information systems' software and applications and for data processing and data base management systems concepts dissemination and promotion)
  • Arnols Reitsakas (IEEE Computer Pioneer Award 1996 for contributions to Estonia's computer age)
  • I.S. Brook
  • Bashir Rameev, Bazilevsky's deputy of Strela. Rameev had no possibility to get a higher education because his father was punished by Stalin's regime (later on he was rehabilitated). Nevertheless, due to his abilities, Rameev became chief designer of the "Ural" family of computers. [17] [18]
  • H.Y. Matyuhin, Brook's student.
  • Mikhail Kartsev, chief designer of M-4M series. Brook's student. [19] [20] [21] [22]
  • N.P. Brusentsov
  • Israel Akushsky [23]
  • Philip Staros, chief designer of UM1-NX and UM2 computers. [24]
  • Mikhail Sulim [25]
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Soviet_computer_scientists

Other figures[edit]

  • Sergei Sobolev (1908-89) [1 XI li]. Mathematician. 1939 elected a full member of the USSR Academy of Science when he was only 31, the youngest there. 1935-57 Moscow State University professor. 1943-57 deputy director of Institute for Atomic Energy (incl. A-bomb project). In the early 1950s his work turned towards computational mathematics, in 1952 he became head of the first department of computational mathematics in the Soviet Union, when he organized it at the Moscow State University. In the early 1950s, Lyapunov and his collaborator Yuri Yanov created so-called programming schemata (mathematical modelling of algorithms) as well as the mathematical "operator method of programming". In 1953, Sobolev and Lyapunov established the very popular Big Programming Seminar at the university, which in fact was the first cybernetic seminar. 1960 founder and first director of the Institute of Mathematics at Akademgorodok near Novosibirsk. Played an important role in the establishment and development of Novosibirsk State University. [26]
  • Igor Kurchatov (1903-60) [2 XIX cp]. Physicist. Since 1925 worked under Ioffe at the Physico-Technical Institute on various problems connected with radioactivity. In 1932 he received funding for his own nuclear science research team, which built USSR's first cyclotron in 1939. With Flyorov discovered the basic ideas of the uranium chain reaction and the nuclear reactor concept in the 1930s. 1941 appointed director of the nascent Soviet nuclear programme. Subsequently worked on the Soviet hydrogen bomb program (1953). He led development of the first Atomic Reactor in Europe (1946), the first Nuclear power plant in the world (1954). Later worked for the peaceful use of nuclear technology, and advocated against nuclear bomb tests. Only after the dissolution of USSR it was revealed by close family members and colleagues that Kurchatov was gay. [27]
  • Sergei Korolev [28]
  • Lev Korolyov (1926) [2 XI vi]. Computer scientist. 1953-75 worked at the Institute of Precise Mechanics and Computer Engineering of Lebedev, and became his deputy. Worked on the development of software for BESM. 1956 created one of the first programs for the BESM for machine translation of written text from English into Russian. Headed the team which wrote control software for ballistic missile defense, using the computers M-40 and M-50. His team produced the first operating system for BESM-6, a batch processing system later named "Dispatcher-68". Held a chair at the Moscow State University Department of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics since its founding in 1970. [29] [30]
  • Aksel Berg (1893-79). Scientist. 1947–57 directed the Radioelectronics Institute. 1953-57 was a Deputy Minister of Defence. His main interests were radio communications, microelectronics and cybernetics (i.e. computer science and engineering). During Stalin's purges, Berg was imprisoned for three years, but was freed in 1940, when Stalin became interested in developing radar. Berg was immediately appointed as a minister of electronic technology of the USSR. [31]
  • Anatoliy Kitov (1920-2005) [7 XIII le]. 1948?-54 closely followed Lyapunov's home seminar. In 1952, while working in the library of Special Design Bureau – 245 (developer of Strela), he discovered Wiener's Cybernetics (that time banned from the public). In 1954 created and was appointed as a chief of the “Computer Centre No 1” (CC-1) of the Ministry of Defense, worked there with Buslenko, Poletaev, Lyapunov, etc. In 1955 co-authored with Lyapunov and Sobolev the fundamental article describing necessity of cybernetic progress, published in "Problems of Philosophy" journal. In 1956 published “Digital computing machines”, first Soviet book on cybernetics. In 1956 co-wrote the book “Elements of Programming” with Krinitskiy and Komolov (contained discourse on implementation of computers in economy). His text-book “Electronic digital computers and programming” (with Krinitskiy, 1959) was the most popular one among engineering universities (English version published by Pergamon Press in 1962). Since 1959 was proposing the creation of automatic management system (OMS) to be used simultaneously for army and civil economy, based on network of computer centres established and maintained by the Ministry of Defence -> expelled from the Party, and removed from the administrative position. In 1959 with Melnikov and Selesnev received patent for new operation principle of computer central arithmetic device, “Method of computer command rate quadruple combination”. Chief designer of M-100. 1965-1972 director at the main computation centre of the Ministry for Radio-Engineering Industry; Chief Constructor of its automatic management system. In 1970s he left army service and turned to implementation of information systems and computer engineering in medicine; performed design of automatic management system “Health care”. In 1977 publishing house “Medicine” produced his another book, “Introduction to medical cybernetics”, and in 1983 one more on the subject, called “Medical cybernetics”. He installed in a Moscow hospital one of the first PDP-11/70 – a highly efficient mini-computer of the mid-1970s. [32]
  • Yuri Bazilevsky. Chief designer of Strela computer at Special Design Bureau 245 Moscow.
  • Lesechko
  • Mstislav Keldysh (1911-78) [13 lamat aq]. [33]
  • Poletaev. 1948?-54 closely followed Lyapunov's home seminar.

Computers[edit]

MESM
  • MESM (МЭСМ, Малая Электронно-Счетная Машина, Small Electronic Calculating Machine). The first Soviet stored-program digital computer, the MESM, was completed in December (Christmas Eve) of 1951 by a small group of 12 designers and 15 technicians led by Sergei Lebedev, director of the Institute of Electrical Engineering in Kiev. They all took an active part in designing, assembling, adjusting and operating the MESM.
    Lebedev assembled the team secretly in 1948 at a disused monastery at Feofania, near Kiev (The city had been under brutal Nazi occupation during the war, which had killed three-quarters of its population and destroyed half its buildings. After the team had made the place habitable, Secret Laboratory Number One was ready to start work). Lebedev has been described as a genius and "the Soviet Alan Turing". Archives at the National Academy of Sciences of the Ukraine show that Lebedev made steady progress despite not having access to Western knowledge. He began thinking about how to build a computer in 1948 and by the end of 1949 had the basic principles worked out. Once the lab was ready, progress was swift.
    Rostislav Chernjak, one of the few living members of the original team, remembers the lab. "On the second floor was the laboratory and a larger room where we assembled the computer. It needed seven kilowatts of power so it was very hot and we needed cooling. We demolished a wall to make the room bigger, but that wasn't enough. So we took the roof off."
    The MESM was the first operating stored-program computer in continental Europe (in 1950, when the model of MESM had been tested, the only other similar working machines were Frederick Williams and Tom Kilburn's Baby and Maurice Wilkes' EDSAC in England [however, each British computer employed a sequential operational arithmetic unit, while MESM worked on parallel arithmetic units]). The president of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, a biologist who was not involved in defense research, did not see much use for computers and gave little help to Lebedev’s group.
    MESM had about 6,000 vacuum tubes and consumed 25 kW of power; it could perform approximately 3,000 operations per minute. Lebedev's team realised that reading the results on its output display lamps was difficult and could produce errors, so they decided to invent their own printer. A resourceful engineer called Boris Malanovsky was responsible for cannibalising a number of printing cash registers to provide the necessary hardware.
    MESM ran its first test program in November 1950. The first program was a ballistics problem. To test the machine, MESM and two mathematicians, working in isolation, had to solve the problem:
    Y"+Y=0; Y(0)=0; Y(π)=0
    Lebedev quickly realised that MESM's results were different to those of its human counterparts. After a day spent checking the machine, Lebedev stayed up all night trying to find the source of the problem. By the following morning, he had found it. The machine was right, and the mathematicians had both made the same subtle mistake.
    When the word got out that there was an operating computer in the Ukraine, a steady parade of scientists from Kiev and Moscow headed to Pheophania with scientific and defense-related problems that could not be solved without the aid of a computer -- problems from the fields of thermonuclear weapons processes (such as Yakov B. Zeldovich's work), space flights and rocket technology, long-distance electric transmission lines, mechanics, statistical quality control, and others. [34] [35]
  • M-1. In early 1952 the Automatic Computing Machine M-1, built by an even smaller group of nine designers and technicians, was put into operation in the Laboratory of Electrical Systems of the Energy Institute in Moscow. As one participant recalled, this project was carried out “semi-legally,” almost as a private “hobby” of the laboratory’s head, Isaak Bruk. The first problem solved on the M-2, Bruk’s second electronic computer, was the calculation of thermodynamic and gasodynamic parameters for missile design. Under direction of Bruk and active participation of Kartsev and Matjuhin the M2 (1953) and M3 (1956) were created. The latter became the initial model for a popular family of computers, MINSK (G. Lopato, V. Prjyalkovsky).
    The first prototype of the M-2 computer was manufactured and put into operation a little bit later than BESM, with comparable performance. It was maintained at the Institute of Energy for more than 15 years. Matjuhin, who was the chief designer of the M-2, later on became the chief designer of the family of computers and complexes for anti-aircraft systems. Under his leadership, 10 types of computers for such systems were developed. The first used semiconductors, the later ones, integral circuitry. Both functioned reliably for antiaircraft systems. In 1986, the system detected the Rust aeroplane, though the decision to enable the system was denied and the plane landed at Red Square.
  • BESM (БЭСМ, Большая Электронно-Счётная Машина, Large Electronic Computing Machine). Mainframe computers built in 1950-1960s. Successor to MESM. Originally planned as a prototype in Kiev, constructed in Laboratory No. 1 at the Institute for Precision Mechanics Moscow, completed in 1952, led by Lebedev (and Lavrentev). Development authorised by the government in January 1950 (along with Strela). Only one machine built.
    The machine used approximately 5,000 vacuum tubes; at the time of completion, it was the fastest computer in Europe; the floating point numbers were represented as 39-bit words: 32 bits for the numeric part, 1 bit for sign, and 1 + 5 bits for the exponent; was capable of representing numbers in the range 10−9 – 1010; had 1024 words of read/write memory using ferrite cores, and 1024 words of read-only memory based on semiconducting diodes; also had external storage: 4 magnetic tape units of 30,000 words each, and fast magnetic drum storage with a capacity of 5120 words and an access rate of 800 words/second; was capable of performing 8–10 KFlops; the energy consumption was approximately 30 kW, not accounting for the cooling systems.
    In March of 1950 the Academy appointed Mikhail Lavrentyev director of the Institute of Computer Technology; soon the institute received funding for 100 new positions. Lavrentev immediately invited Lebedev to set up a laboratory at the institute with a staff of more than 70 people to design a new digital computer. In October of 1951 the institute moved to a large new building, a rare luxury in postwar Moscow. At its inception in 1948, the entire Institute of Computer Technology consisted of only 60 people; by April of 1952, when Iaroshevskii’s anti-cybernetics article appeared in Literaturnaia gazeta, Lebedev’s laboratory alone had a staff of almost 150. Most crucially, Lavrentev’s long-time political patron, Nikita Khrushchev, just appointed the head of the Moscow city Party organization, promised the institute his personal support.
    In April 1953 the State commission accepted as operational the new high-speed BESM-1 computer, but it did not go into series production, because of opposition on the part of the Ministry of Machine and Instrument Building, which pushed its own weaker and less reliable machine.
    As soon as BESM was completed, it was employed to perform urgent calculations for the defense researchers. In 1955 BESM was installed at the specially organized Computation Center of the Academy of Sciences, where it largely served military clients. The cosmonaut Georgii Grechko has recalled his experience of working on the BESM at the Academy Computation Center in the mid 1950s as follows: “Kurchatov’s [nuclear weapons researchers lead] people used it in the daytime and during the night Korolev’s [ballistic missiles and spacecraft designers supervisor] people. And for all the rest of Soviet science: maybe five minutes for the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy, maybe half an hour for the chemical industry.”
    BESM-2 also used vacuum tubes; general-purpose machine; in 1958, BESM-2 went into series production; 10,000 operations per second; used also in the space-flight (the "Soyuz - Apollo" project) to calculate satellite orbits and the trajectory of the first rocket to reach the surface of the Moon (?? or BESM-6 was used for this?). BESM-3M and BESM-4 were built using transistors; their architecture was similar to that of the M-20 and M-220 series; the word size was 45 bits; 30 BESM-4 machines were built. [36] [37] [38] [39]
Strela
  • Strela (ЭВМ "Стрела"). First mainframe computer manufactured serially in the Soviet Union. Development authorised by the government in January 1950 (along with BESM). Had 6200 vacuum tubes and 60,000 semiconductor diodes; 2000 operations per second; floating-point arithmetics was based on 43-bit words with a signed 35-bit mantissa and a signed 6-bit exponent; operative Williams tube memory (RAM) was 2048 words; also had read-only semiconductor diode memory for programs; data input was from punch cards or magnetic tape; data output was to magnetic tape, punch cards or wide printer; the last version of Strela used a 4096-word magnetic drum, rotating at 6000 rpm. The chief designer was Yuri Bazilevsky (dev was co-led by Mikhail Lesechko), among his deputies was Boris Rameev, chief constructor of the Ural computer series; designed at Special Design Bureau 245 of the Ministry of Machine Building and Instrument Construction (СКБ245; since 1986 Argon R&D Institute (НИИ "Аргон")) Moscow. Manufactured by the Moscow Plant of Computing-Analytical Machines (Московский завод счетно-аналитических машин) during 1953-1957 in 7 copies.
    As soon as the Strela was completed, it was employed to perform urgent calculations for the defense researchers. In 1953 the first Strela was transferred to the Applied Mathematics Division to help solve problems of nuclear physics and missile ballistics.
    In 1953 Aksel Berg was appointed the Deputy Minister of Defense in charge of radar. He asked his subordinate Anatolii Kitov to prepare a report on Western computing. Kitov’s upbeat report had profound consequences. The Ministry of Defense quickly organized three large military computation facilities: Computation Center 1, the Navy Computation Center, and the Air Force Computation Center. All three were equipped with the first serially produced STRELA computers. Design Bureau 1 of the Third Chief Directorate, which designed the antimissile defense complex around Moscow, also received one of the first STRELA computers, thanks to the active role of the bureau’s chief engineer, who headed the state commission that tested the STRELA. Among the first problems solved on that computer was the calculation of the dependency of the target-destruction probability on the detonation efficiency of fragmentation warheads.
    Also used in Computing Center of the Academy of Sciences Moscow (1955-58), Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics, Moscow State University, and in computing centres of some ministries (related to defense and economical planning); from Computing Centre given to the Mosfilm Studio Complex in Moscow to use on movie sets. [40] [41] [42] [43]
  • TsEM-1 in November 1953 (half a year after completion of Lebedev's BESM), the first sequential computer, [in Russian: Tsifrovaya Elektronnaya Mashina-1], went on-line at the Institute of Atomic Energy in Moscow and operated until 1960. [44]
  • M-20 developed by Institute of Precise Mechanics and Computer Technology and SKB-245. Led by Lebedev, Mikhail Romanovich Shura-Bura, and Golovistikov. Designed for the nuclear weapons laboratories in Arzamas-16 and Cheliabinsk-60. 20 stands for 20 thousand operations per second (fastest in the world at that time). Went into series production in 1958. On M-220, EPSILON (a macro language with high level features including strings and lists, developed by A.P. Ershov at Novosibirsk in 1967) was used to implement ALGOL 68. [45] [46] [47]
  • M-40. For field tests of its anti-missile defense system, Design Bureau 1 of the Third Chief Directorate commissioned a specialized computer from the Academy Institute of Precise Mechanics and Computer Technology. This computer, the M-40, was completed in 1958. Together with another model, the M-50, it was used to control the first Soviet anti-missile defense system. [48] [49]
  • Kiev (Киев) completed under supervision of Glushkov, who became head of Lebedev's former laboratory in Kiev in 1958. The Computing Center was eventually reorganized as the Cybernetics Institute.
  • Setun (Сетунь). Balanced ternary computer developed in 1958 at Moscow State University. Dev led by Nikolay Brusentsov and Sergei Sobolev. One of the first practical ternary computers, using three-valued ternary logic instead of two-valued binary logic prevalent in computers before and after Setun's conception. Built to fulfill the needs of the Moscow State University and was manufactured at the Kazan Mathematical plant. 50 computers were built and production was then halted in 1965. In the period between 1965 and 1970, a regular binary computer was then used at Moscow State University to replace it; however, although this replacement binary computer performed equally well, the device was still 2.5 times as expensive as the Setun. In 1970, a new ternary computer, the Setun-70, was designed. Named after the Setun River, which ends near Moscow University. [50] [51] [52] [53]
  • Ural (Урал). Mainframe series. Dev at the Electronic Computer Producing Manufacturer of Penza, led by Rameev. Produced between 1959 and 1964; in total 139 were made. Models Ural-1 to Ural-4 were based on vacuum tubes (valves), with the hardware being able to perform 12,000 floating-point calculations per second; a binary, single-headed device; one word consisted of 40 bits and was able to contain either one numeric value or two instructions; ferrite core was used as operative memory; a new series (Ural-11, Ural-14, produced between 1964 and 1971) was based on semiconductors. It was able to perform mathematical tasks at computer centres, industrial facilities and research facilities; the device occupied approximately 90-100 square metres of space; consumed triphasal flux (380V±10%/50Hz) and contains a triphasal magnetic voltage stabiliser with 30kVA capacity. Main units: keyboard unit, controlling-reading unit, input punched tape unit, output punched tape unit, printing unit, magnetic tape memory unit, ferrite memory unit, ALU (arithmetical logical unit), CPU (central processing unit), power supply unit and electron tubes (6N8 type). These computers were inexpensive and were widely used at the former Soviet Union's computer centers. Under Rameev's management, a whole family of special purpose computers were developed, as well as about 100 peripheral devices. The computer was widely used in the 1960s, mainly in the socialist countries—Hungary had three, for example—though some were also exported to Western Europe and Latin America. Rameev was also the first in the USSR to formulate and realize in the Ural-11,-14 and 16 computers, the principle of programming and hardware compatibility. He formulated this idea one and a half years before the production of the IBM 360 - software and hardware compatible computers. [54] [55]
  • Razdan (Раздан). Semiconductor computer. Dev in Yerevan in 1959.
  • Dnepr (Днепр). Semiconductor computer. Dev at the Kiev institute of cybernetics of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in 1959.
  • M-3, succeeded by Minsk-series (Минск). Family of mainframe computers was developed and produced in the Byelorussian SSR from 1959 to 1975; its further progress was stopped by a political decision of switching to IBM System/360 clone family known as ES EVM during the brief period of détente. First model of M-3 was completed in September 1959; dev led by George Lopato. The most advanced model was Minsk-32, developed in 1968; dev led by Mark Nemenman; it supported COBOL, FORTRAN and ALGAMS (a version of ALGOL); this and earlier versions also used a machine-oriented language called AKI (AvtoKod "Inzhener", i.e., "Engineer's Autocode"); it stood somewhere between the native assembly language SSK (Sistema Simvolicheskogo Kodirovaniya, or "System of symbolic coding") and higher-level languages, like FORTRAN. [56] [57] [58] [59] [60]
  • M-4M series, led by Kartsev. The powerful computers M-4, M-10 and M-13, created under Kartsev's supervision, were responsible for multi-computer complexes for outerspace control and for missile-attack warning systems. Although the M-10 was slightly slower than the American supercomputer Cray-1, it surpassed the Gray-1 in versatility, inherent in its architecture: the number of cycles for one operation for M-10 was from 0.9 up to 5.3 (for the whole spectrum of operations) while the Cray-1 was from 0.7 to 27.6. From the computers developed by Kartsev's Institute was created the largest in the USSR multicomputer complex. This complex consisted of 76 computers which were connected by ten thousands kilometers of information channels working at uniform algorithm. In multiprocessor system of the fourth generation M-13 an equivalent speed of special purpose system processors was more than 2 billion operations per second.
    Kartsev realized the conception of multiformat vector structure and absolutely parallel computing structure that enabled it to solve complicated problems requiring super- performance computers. M.Karsev wrote four monographs on the fundamentals of computer arithmetic and computer architecture. [61]
  • MIR (МИР, Машина для Инженерных Расчётов, Machine for Engineering Calculations). Developed from 1965 (MIR-1) to 1969 (MIR-2) in a group headed by Victor Glushkov. Designed as a relatively small-scale computer for use in engineering and scientific applications. Contained a hardware implementation of a high-level programming language capable of symbolic manipulations with fractions, polynomials, derivatives and integrals. Another innovative feature for that time was the user interface combining a keyboard with a monitor and light pen used for correcting texts and drawing on screen. Forerunners of personal computers. [62]
  • ES-1766 (macropipeline) supercomputer; dev by Glushkov; had no analogue in the world at the time.
BESM-6
  • BESM-6. The second-generation supercomputer, semiconductor-based. The most well-known and influential model of the series designed at the Institute of Precision Mechanics and Computer Engineering. Design completed in 1966; production started in 1968 and continued for the following 19 years til 1987 (absolute world record); 355 machines were built. Dev led by Lebedev, assisted by two of his former students – Vladimir Melnikov and Lev Korolev. Transistor-based (however, the version Elbrus-1K2 produced in 1980 as a component of the Elbrus supercomputer was built with integrated circuits, thus 2-3 times higher performance); the machine's 48-bit processor ran at 10 MHz clock speed and featured two instruction pipelines, separate for the control and arithmetic units, and a data cache of 16 48-bit words; the system achieved performance of 1 MFlops; the fastest at the time supercomputer, CDC 6600 achieved 3 MFlops utilizing one central and ten peripheral processing units; system memory was word-addressable using 15-bit addresses; maximum addressable memory space was thus 32K words (192K bytes); virtual memory system allowed to expand this up to 128K words (768K bytes). Widely used in USSR in 1970s for various computation and control tasks; version named 5E26 was used in the control system of the air defense missile complex S-300; during the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz Test Project the processing of Soyuz orbit parameters was accomplished by a BESM-6 based system in 1 minute; the same computation for the Apollo was carried out by the American side in 30 minutes. BESM-6 gathered a dedicated developer community; over the years several operating systems and compilers for programming languages such as Fortran, Algol and Pascal were developed. [63] [64] [65]
  • UM1-NX and UM2 (УМ). Dev in KB-2, dir by Philip Staros and his closest assistant, Iosef Berg. [66]
  • ES EVM (ЕС ЭВМ, Единая система электронных вычислительных машин, Unified System of Electronic Computers). Series of clones of IBM's System/360, System/370 and System/390 mainframes, released in the Comecon countries under the initiative of the Soviet Union since the 1960s; production continued until 1998; total number of ES EVM mainframes produced was more than 15,000; in the period from 1986 to 1997, there were also produced a series of PC-compatible desktop computers, called ПЭВМ ЕС ЭВМ (Personal Computers of ES EVM series). In 1966, the Soviet economists suggested creating a unified series of mutually compatible computers; due to the success of the IBM System/360 in the USA, the economic planners decided to use the IBM design, although some prominent Soviet computer scientists had criticized the idea and suggested instead choosing one of the Soviet indigenous designs, such as BESM or Minsk; the first works on the cloning began in 1968; production started in 1972; in addition, after 1968, other Comecon countries joined the project. Unlike the hardware, which was quite original, mostly created by reverse-engineering, much of the software was based on slightly modified and localized IBM code; in 1974-1976 IBM had contacted the Soviet authorities and expressed interest in ES EVM development; however, after the Soviet Army invaded Afghanistan, in 1979, all contacts between IBM and ES developers were interrupted, due to the US embargo on technological cooperation with the USSR. The most common operating system was ОС ЕС (OS ES), basically a Russian language version of OS/360; the later versions of ОС ЕС were very original and different from of the IBM OSes, but they also included a lot of original IBM code. Developed in Moscow, at the Scientific-Research Center for Electronic Computer Machinery, in Yerevan, and later in Minsk, Belarus, at the Scientific-Research Institute of Electronic Computer Machines, and manufactured in Minsk, at Minsk Production Group for Computing Machinery; some models had been also produced in other countries of the Eastern bloc: Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania and the GDR; some peripheral devices were also produced in Cuba. [67]
  • SM EVM (СМ ЭВМ). General name for several types of Soviet minicomputers in 1970s and 1980s; production started in 1975. Following on from the ES EVM's success, production started on a clone of the Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-11/40 mini-computer. Most types of SM EVM have been clones of DEC PDP-11 and VAX. The PDP-11 range found widespread use in universities and industry. Called the SM-4 EVM, the Russian version came with an optional 128KB or 256KB of RAM, a paper tape unit for input, two removable 2.5MB disk packs and two 5MB fixed disks. It also featured multiple video terminals and twin magnetic tape units. The SM-4 so faithfully reproduced the original hardware that it even ran UNIX. The common operating system was MOS, a clone of UNIX. [68]
ES PEVM
  • ES PEVM came in the mid-1980s as the first IBM PC copy. It ran DOS and early versions of Windows. Supposedly developed in Russia, manufacture took place at the Minsk Production Group for Computing Machinery.
  • Kronos. "A group of young computer scientists in Novosibirsk wanted their own computers and set about designing and making one. The first processor board (Kronos-1) was cobbled together from Russian-sourced ICs smuggled from various labs. Kronos-1 had 16-bit organisation though the microprogramming was written for 32-bit operation and memory extension to 128K. The processor board was designed to be plugged in to a multi-processor host - typically a PDP-11 Q-bus clone. By 1985 the plug-in processor was complete as well as a home- grown operating system called Excelsior and a 'Modula 0' cross-assembler. Later developments resulted in a stand-alone Kronos workstation used for off-line software development for the MARS supercomputer project as well as other applications. [..] 150 Kronos workstations were built. However, in a local sense, the project succeeded. Each of the team has a Kronos workstation in his home." [69]
  • AGAT personal computer (the 'Russian Apple II')
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_computer_hardware_in_Soviet_Bloc_countries#Soviet_computers
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Soviet_computer_systems
  • http://www.homecomputer.de/pages/easteurope_ussr.html

Software[edit]

  • DSSP (Dialog System for Structured Programming) is a programming language designed for Setun; it was created by students in the laboratory of Brousentsov N. P. at the Computer Science department of the Moscow State University in 1980; the 32-bit version was created in 1989. DSSP is similar to the Forth programming language; both are examples of stack-based languages; it may be seen as an early fork from Forth, yet with roots extending to the ternary logic computers like Setun. Relying on the principle of "one word of text - one word of machine code", DSSP stays very close to the actual machine in structure; it uses Reverse Polish Notation, which is a stack-oriented form of calculating. The first document in English regarding this obscure language distinguishes DSSP from Forth in the following manner: "DSSP was not invented. It was found. That is why DSSP has not versions, but only extensions. Forth is created by practice. DSSP is created by theory." [70]
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Soviet_computer_systems#Operating_systems

Centres[edit]

  • Computing Center at the Academy of Sciences Kiev, led by Lebedev 1948-52, since 1958 by Glushkov, eventually reorganized as the Cybernetics Institute.
  • Laboratory No. 1 at the Institute of Precise Mechanics and Computer Technology of the Academy of Sciences, Moscow. Institute dir by Lavrentiev since 1951. Lab est. March 1951 and led by Lebedev since 1952. In 1961 the de facto defense affiliation of the institute was made official: it was transferred from the Academy of Sciences to the State Committee on Radioelectronics, one of the pivotal agencies of the military industrial complex. Only one element of the institute’s civilian past, a plaque on the front door asserting the institute’s affiliation with the Academy, was preserved. It is still there.
  • Laboratory of Electrical Systems of the Energy Institute, Moscow. led by Bruk.
  • Special Design Bureau 245 of the Ministry of Machine Building and Instrument Construction, Moscow
  • Applied Mathematics Division, dir Mstislav Keldysh
  • Computing Center of the Academy of Sciences Moscow, Dir. academician Dorodnitsyn. In the 1950s it was organised as the only ostensibly civilian computer facility. Created by the decree of the USSR Council of Ministers in February of 1955. It was equipped with two large high-speed computers: a STRELA and a BESM. Even those two machines, however, were heavily utilized to perform military calculations. [71]
  • Moscow Scientific Research Institute of Computer Complexes [in Russian: Nauchno-Isledovatel'skii Institut Vuichislitel'nikh Kompleksov, or NIIVK], founded by Kartsev
  • Special Design Office [hereinafter SKB, the Russian abbr.], established in 1958 at the Ordzhonikidze plant in Minsk to support production and upgrade of produced computers.
  • (Siberian) academic centre in Novosibirsk, established 1960 & headed by Sobolev. Lyapunov joined him. Soon, this centre became one of the leading institutions for cybernetics and programming. Also, Lev Kantorovich, the creator of economic cybernetics, Andrey Ershov, the famous Soviet programmer and mathematician, and many other cyberneticists came from this centre or worked here for years.

Resources[edit]

Literature[edit]

Bibliographies

former GDR (Eastern Germany)[edit]

Computers[edit]

  • D1, since 1950 by TH Dresden and Funkwerk Dresden. 760 electron tubes; 1000 selenium rectifiers; 100 relay; clock speed of 120 kHz; 100 operations per second; bus 72 bits. 2 copies produced: one in the Dresden University of Technology in a radio factory Dresden, which today both no longer exist. Some parts of the computers are still in the museum. [78]
  • OPREMA (Optische Rechenmaschine), built by Carl Zeiss. Relay based computers produced since 1955 by the company Carl Zeiss Jena and built there for optical calculations (optical systems). The developments started about 1954. The base area of the computer amounted to 55 square meters. 17000 relay; 9000 selenium rectifiers; 500 km cabling; 1 million solder joints; operating voltage 6V or 12V; 100 operations per second. 2 copies have been built, unfortunately both now exist no more. Successor to the OPREMA was the ZRA1 [79]
  • ZRA1, built by Carl Zeiss. From 1956 to 1964 31 copies produced. Electron tubes; 24 Kbytes; maximum storage size 28 Kbytes; 150-180 operations per second; drum memory (4000 words to 48 bits, 24 Kbytes, 12000 rpm); external data storage: tape recorders hole and used special card reader, where the holes line instead columns have been made; furthermore, there were data output to a printer, a kind of cash-card printed. Programming was extremely complicated, but concluded there was even a ALGOL compiler; compiler of the ALGOL ZRA1 was an almost complete ALGOL 60, only the poor treated in the standard I/O was represented by one of the Spartan custom hardware solution. ZRA has been in the industry (7 units), research institutes (15 units) and universities (10 units); mainly in the field of science, economic tasks. Today extinct. [80]
  • D2, developed for 3 years, 1959 by Technical University of Dresden and Dresden Funkwerk. 1000 operations per second; drum memory (3-speed); fast data buffer; 1400 electron tubes; 28 Kbytes (4096 words); bus 56 bits. Now extinct. [81]
  • PRL, mainframe, developed in 1959 by VEB electronic calculators Karl-Marx-Stadt (Chemnitz), sold in 1960. 2 copies. [82]
  • SER2, accounting machine, created in 1961 by VEB electronic calculators in Chemnitz. [83]
  • D4a, dev since 1959 at the Technical University of Dresden. All-transistor; dimensions 60cm x 42cm x 45cm. First operational in 1963, in 1965 presented in Leipzig Fair. 200 transistors; 2000 basic operations per second; internal data storage came back a drum memory for use with a capacity of 4000 characters = 16.5 KByte (distributed to 128 tracks with 32 sectors and 33-bit word length); speed of 18000 rpm; data entry was made on the operation or punched tape, the output of a strip printer. Used probably only in the field of training and research purposes. Out of about 10 copies produced, one still exists in the museum in Dresden. [84]
  • R100, R300, dev in 1963 by VEB electronic calculators Karl-Marx-Stadt (Chemnitz).
  • Polycomputer 880 was an educational computer on basis of the microprocessor U880, far common in the former GDR. The computer was produced starting from 1983 by the VEB Polytechnik Karl Marx city. [85]
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_computer_hardware_in_Soviet_Bloc_countries#East_German_Computers
  • http://www.homecomputer.de/pages/easteurope_gdr.html
  • http://www.robotrontechnik.de/

Networks[edit]

  • Lotunet (LAN) in Technical University Berlin since 1985 [86]
  • Rolanet (LAN), since 1987, Humboldt University Berlin participated. [87]

Centres[edit]

  • Technical University of Dresden (and Funkwerk Dresden??), developed D1, D2, D4a. Renamed to TU in 1961. [88]
  • VEB Carl Zeiss in Jena, developed and used OPREMA, ZRA1. The main manufacturer of optical and precision equipment in the GDR. Founded in 1948, still exists. [89]
  • VEB electronic calculators in Karl-Marx-Stadt (Chemnitz), developed mainframe computers PRL, R100 and R300, and accounting machine SER2. Founded in 1957, closed in 1990s. [90]

Software / Copyright and illegally used Western software[edit]

It is no secret that many programs in DDR office computer environment copies, changes or developments west software. In most cases, these actions without the consent of the manufacturer.

  • Der finanzielle Gewinn im EDV-Bereich wurde in der DDR mit der Hardware gemacht. The financial profit in the IT sector was in the GDR with the hardware. Software hatte man als eher wertarmes Zubehör betrachtet. Software had more than wertarmes accessories.
  • Auch in der DDR entwickelte Software wurde in den meisten Fällen kostenlos weitergereicht. In the GDR software was developed in most cases free of charge passed.
  • In der DDR hatte man bei allen Produkten auf eine große Kompatibilität bzw Standardisierung geachtet. In the GDR had at all on a great compatibility standardization or respected. Nicht zuletzt, um eigene Produkte auch im Ausland absetzen zu können. Not least, to their own products to sell abroad. Inkompatible Alleingänge der DDR endeten in vielen Fällen in Sackgassen. Incompatible alone the GDR in many cases ended in impasse.
  • In der DDR herrschte eine materielle Mangelwirtschaft. In the GDR was a physical shortage economy. Software gehörte zu den Bedürfnissen, die man preiswert ohne größeren Einsatz von Material und Arbeitskraft befriedigen konnte. Belonged to the software needs to be priced without much use of materials and manpower could satisfy.
  • Unterstützung bei der Entwicklung von Software aus den anderen Ostblockstatten gab es kaum. Support for the development of software from other Ostblockstatten there were hardly any. Im Bereich EDV profitierten die anderen Ostblockländer eher von Exporten der DDR. In the field of IT to benefit the other Eastern bloc countries more from exports of the GDR.
  • Möglicherweise eine Verschämtheit, dass die eigene Software-Entwicklung hinter der der westlichen Länder zurückhinkte. Possibly a bashfulness that its own software development behind the Western countries zurückhinkte. Gleichzeitig die verzweifelten Versuche, aus politischen Gründen ein wirtschaftliches Überholen der westlichen Länder (später nur noch der Schein eines wirtschaftlichen Vorsprungs) zu erreichen. At the same time, the desperate attempts for political reasons an economic overhaul of Western countries (later only the licence of an economic advantage).
  • Direkte Kontakte zu westlichen Firmen waren schwierig, da durch das COCOM-Embargo Hochtechnologie nicht in die DDR geliefert werden durfte. Direct contacts with western companies were difficult because the COCOM embargo high technology does not fall under the DDR could be delivered.
  • Direkter Handel war nicht möglich, da das Geld in der DDR eine Binnenwährung war und für Auslandsgeschäfte nur wenig Devisen (Dollar) vorhanden waren. Direct trade was not possible because the money in the GDR was a single currency and foreign currency transactions little (dollar) online.
  • Die westlichen Länder wurden damals als "der Klassenfeind" angesehen. The Western countries were "the class enemy". Einem Feind etwas wegzunehmen, wurde nicht als Vergehen angesehen A foe of taking away, was not viewed as a crime
  • Man ging davon aus, dass die Abgrenzung der östlichen von den westlichen Ländern ewig bestehen würde und Ansprüche der Software-Hersteller durch die politischen Verhältnisse nie geltend gemacht werden können. It was assumed that the demarcation of the eastern of the western countries would exist forever and rights of software producers by the political situation never be claimed.

Resources[edit]

Literature[edit]

former Czechoslovakia[edit]

Summary[edit]

The first digital computer developed in Czechoslovakia was the SAPO, based on relay technology (this project started in 1951). The EPOS computer, designed in 1963, used vacuum-tube technology. Both computers were developed by the team of Antonín Svoboda at the Laboratory of Mathematical Machines and at the Research Institute for Mathematical Machines (the laboratory's most recent name) in Prague.

In the 1960s and early 1970s, this institute developed several analog computers, the second-generation digital computer ZPA 600, analog plotters and the first Czechoslovak digital plotter DIGIGRAPH (designed with the Konstrukta company in Trenčín and produced by ZPA factory in Nový Bor), which was the most massively produced digital plotter in COMECON. In the 1970s and 1980s the institute developed several functional equivalents of IBM 360/370 computers.

The first third-generation computer in Czechoslovakia (based on semiconductor-chip technology) was developed at the Institute of Technical Cybernetics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava in 1970 (there is no equivalent Western model). Later the same group developed several computers (also the first Czechoslovak multiprocessor) and several interactive graphic systems for semiconductor-chip layout design (the first appeared in 1974).

With many young and ambitious engineers, new institutions began to emerge, among them the Research Institute of Computers in Žilina in 1971. This institute was responsible for the development of mini- and microcomputers as well as computer-graphics devices. Scientific research was concentrated in the Academy of Sciences and universities in Prague, Brno, Bratislava, Plzeň and Košice.

The COMECON decided to tackle their problems of backwardness in computer technology and the U.S. embargo through cooperative projects and the production of a computer based on "functional equivalents" of successful American computers. In the mainframe computer category, the decision was made to develop an IBM equivalent; the USSR and the GDR made equivalents of the largest IBM 360/370 models, and Czechoslovakia and other countries made smaller ones.

There were big discussions about small computers. Computers produced by two U.S. companies-Hewlett-Packard Company (HP, which created the Series 2000) and Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC, which created PDP 11 and VAX 11 computers)-were preselected for emulation. The USSR and Czechoslovakia both started developing models equivalent to these computers. The official decision (approved by the Ministry of Electrotechnical Industry) was to develop DEC equivalents, which Slovak engineers did. In the Czech Republic, the experts developed Hewlett-Packard equivalents. This caused controversy between Czech and Slovak engineers, managers and even politicians.

Functional equivalents were not "one-to-one" copies of the above-mentioned machines, but they were able to execute the same software as the original computers. New problems emerged with the introduction of microprocessors and large semiconductor memories. When one prototype was ready for production, Americans introduced newer models, more sophisticated and complicated. Microprocessor and semiconductor memories influenced the development of computer graphics, which was very influential in the design of new, more complicated semiconductor chips. This is a good example of a positive feedback process that accelerated innovations and resulted in increasing the techno- logical gap between the West and the COMECON.

This situation was the source of major discussions. Some scientists defended the policy of copying Western computers, because this would result in a consistent computer culture (terminology, literature, software, methodology). Others, especially some scientists in the USSR, defended the policy of going in a separate direction in the design of computers, or at least designing some modifications.

Scientific cooperation also existed. Scientists took part in international conferences, and in the 1980s cooperative projects coordinated by the Soviet Academy of Sciences emerged.

In the second half of the 1980s it became clear that neither copying nor redesigning computer systems could bridge the technological and scientific gap. "The train is gone; we are not able to catch it," managers in computer industry and research used to say. The mass production of cheap personal computers in the West and the Far East was something like a prophecy of the near future, several years before the fall of the Berlin wall. The proliferation of high technology elsewhere accelerated the erosion of the Soviet empire.[1]

Early inventors[edit]

  • Johann Wolfgang Kempelen {18th century) - mechanical sound synthesis [91], chess automaton (a man hidden in a box moved chess figures with the help of teleoperator links) [92]. Kempelen exhibition in Budapest, 2007
  • Jan Evangelista Purkyně (18th c.), constructed his own version of zoetrope which he called forolyt: he put nine photos of him shot from various sides to the disc and entertained his granchildren by showing them how he, an old and famous professor, is turning around at great speed.
  • Juda Loew ben Bezalel (Rabbi Loew), invented the Golem, experimented with the camera obscura.
  • Jozef Fridrich Grailich (Frigyes József Grailich, 1797-1891) [93]
  • Jozef Petzval - calculated and constructed the first photo camera lens
  • Jozef Murgaš - emigrated from Slovakia to Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, where he soon devised a system that greatly improved Morse code. His "Rotary-spark-system" allowed for faster communication, through the use of musical tones. The new invention was patented as the "Wireless Telegraphy Apparatus". He also patented 16 more inventions in this field, which would go on to lay the foundations for the invention of the radio. A lack of money as well as a number of financial setbacks, eventually led Murgas to give the younger, more prosperous Marconi, the rights to all of his patents.
  • Štefan Anián Jedlík (Ányos Jedlik, 1800-1895) and Gejza Bolemann (Géza Boleman, 1876-1961) - created Lissajouse patterns (super-position of harmonic functions) with the mechanical "predecessor" of the computer plotter (long before Ben Laponsky did his first oscilons with an electronic computer).
  • Alexander Rechnitzer [94]
  • Karel Čapek wrote a sci-fi drama R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) on robots in 1920s.

Scientists[edit]

Computers[edit]

  • SAPO (Samočinný počítač). First Czechoslovak computer. Operated in years 1957-1960 in Výzkumný ústav matematických strojů (Research Institute for Mathematical Machines). The computer was the first fault-tolerant computer - it had three parallel arithmetic units, which decided on the correct result by voting (if all three results were different, the operation was repeated). SAPO was designed in years 1950-1956 by a team led by Czechoslovak cybernetics pioneer Antonín Svoboda. Svoboda had experience from building electromechanical computers in USA, where he worked at MIT until 1946. It was electromechanical design with 7000 relays and 400 vacuum tubes, and a magnetic drum memory with capacity of 1024 32-bit words. Each instruction had 5 operands (addresses) - 2 for arithmetic operands, one for result and addresses of next instruction in case of positive and negative result. It operated on binary floating point numbers. In 1960, spark from one of the relays fired the greasing oil, and the whole computer burnt down. Byl to počítač využívající elektromagnetická relé, jehož operační rychlost asi pět operací za sekundu budí u současných uživatelů úsměv. Nicméně měl některá světová prvenství. V historii počítačů se SAPO uvádí jako první počítač, u kterého byly využity von Neumannovy principy konstruování spolehlivých systémů z nespolehlivých prvků. Počítač měl tři aritmetické jednotky a výsledek se určoval na základě majority (později byl tento princip využit také v řídicím počítači pro projekt Apollo). [101]
  • EPOS (Elektronický POčítací Stroj) 1 and 2. Dev led by Svoboda in VÚMS. Transistor computer. EPOS 2 went into mass production. Při dokončování počítače EPOS se ale vyměnilo vedení ČSAV, předsedou se stal J. Kožešník a Svoboda byl vystaven silným politickým tlakům a šikanovaní. Ústav matematických strojů byl vyčleněn z ČSAV. Svoboda byl zbaven jeho vedení a musel čelit neustálým politickým útokům na svou osobu a na své spolupracovníky.
  • http://www.homecomputer.de/pages/easteurope_cz.html

Centres[edit]

  • VÚMS (Výzkumný ústav matematických strojů, Research Institute for Mathematical Machines) at the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in Prague, formed by Svoboda, developed SAPO and EPOS. In the 1960s and early 1970s developed several analog computers, the second-generation digital computer ZPA 600, analog plotters and the first Czechoslovak digital plotter DIGIGRAPH (designed with the Konstrukta company in Trenčín and produced by ZPA factory in Nový Bor), which was the most massively produced digital plotter in COMECON. In the 1970s and 1980s developed several functional equivalents of IBM 360/370 computers. [102]
  • ÚVT (Ústav výpočetní techniky UJEP). Originally oddělení matematických strojů Katedry numerické matematiky Přírodovědecké fakulty UJEP in Brno founded and directed by Horejš since 1964, in 1979 transformed into computer centre ÚVT with Horejš as a director.
  • Institute of Technical Cybernetics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava. In 1970 developed the first third-generation computer in Czechoslovakia (based on semiconductor-chip technology) (there is no equivalent Western model). Later the same group developed several computers (also the first Czechoslovak multiprocessor) and several interactive graphic systems for semiconductor-chip layout design (the first appeared in 1974).
  • Research Institute of Computers in Žilina, est.1971. This institute was responsible for the development of mini- and microcomputers as well as computer-graphics devices.
  • Computing Center of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (Výpočtové stredisko SAV), Bratislava, *1976.

Museums, resources[edit]

  • Computer Minimuseum (Stála výstava dejín výpočtovej techniky na Slovensku, formerly Minimúzeum výpočtovej techniky) at Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava. Director: Štefan Kohút. [103]

Literature[edit]

Romania[edit]

Scientists[edit]

Computers[edit]

  • CIFA-1 (Calculatorul Institutului de Fizica Atomica, The Atomic Physics Institute Calculator), considered the first electronic computer in the socialist states. Logical project of the computer was presented in 1955 at the international symposium at Dresden and was operational in 1957 at the The Institute of Atomic Physics (IFA) in Bucharest, dev led by Victor Toma. Equipped with 1500 electronic tubes. In 1959 followed CIFA-2 that had 800 electronic tubes, then in 1961 CIFA-3 was built for the Computing Center of the University of Bucharest, and in 1962 CIFA-4 was created. [109]
  • MECIPT-1 (Masina Electronica de Calcul a Institutului Politehnic Timisoara, Electronic Calculations Machine of the Polytechnic Institute of Timisoara). Built between 1959-1961, dev led by Iosif Kaufmann and engineer William Lowenfeld, assisted by technicians from Electrotechnic Faculty in Timisoara, including Vasile Baltac, Viorel Vitan and Ion Mihaescu. MECIPT 2 built in 1963; was used in CAD applications in the computing centers of Timisoara and Bucharest. [110] [111] [112] [113]
  • DACICC. Built between 1959–1963 at the Institute of Numeric Calculus in Cluj, dev led by Tiberiu Popovici, Mircea Bobu and Emil Munteanu. Included electronic tubes, transistors and ferrite memory. It was a reproduction, partially transistorized, of MECIPT-1. DACICC 200 was made in 1968 and was completely transistorized; 200.000 arithmetical operations/second. [114]
  • Minicomputers “Made in Romania” exported to Czechoslovakia, East Germany, China, Middle East countries and elsewhere
  • http://www.homecomputer.de/pages/easteurope_ro.html

Centres[edit]

  • CCUB (Computing Centre of Univ of Bucharest), in 1963 obtained CIFA 3 electronic computer, and analog computer of MEDA type. In 1968 endowed IBM 360/30, learning of FORTRAN and COBOL is introduced. Dir by Moisil. Meeting place of lawyers and musicians (among them, Aurel Stroe), engineers and economists, linguists and philosophers, biologists and medical doctors, painters and writers.

Resources[edit]

Literature[edit]

Hungary[edit]

Early inventors[edit]

  • Ányos Jedlik, father of the electric motor and dynamo. In 1828 he demonstrated electromotor, a 'lightning-magnetic self-rotor' which contained the three main components of practical direct current motors: the stator, rotor and commutator; both the stationary and the revolving parts were electromagnetic. Formulated the principle of 'dynamo self-excitation' (1861), six years before Siemens and Wheatstone.
  • István Juhász, designed 'automatic air-defense fire controller' and the 'targeting unit' (1925-39).
  • Tihamér Nemes
  • more: physicians, mathematicians

Scientists[edit]

  • László Kalmár, designed several variants of computers interpreting high-level programming languages on architectural levels. Founder of mathematical logic and theoretical Computer Science in Hungary; at Szeged founded and chaired the Foundations of Mathematics and Computer Science; also the Cybernetic Laboratory and the Research Group for Mathematical Logic and Automata Theory. Promoted computers and computer science in Hungary; wrote on theoretical computer science, including programming languages, automatic error correction, non-numerical applications of computers, and the connection between computer science and mathematical logic. (IEEE Computer Pioneer Award 1996 for recognition as the developer of a 1956 logical machine and the design of the MIR computer in Hungary) [116] [117] [118]
  • László Kozma, constructed MESz-1 computer in 1958. In 1953 he was arrested as a technical director of Standard company producing telephone exchanges (English owned) and arrested for 2 years. (IEEE Computer Pioneer Award 1996 for development of the 1930 relay machines, and going on to build early computers in post-war Hungary)
  • Rezso Tarján
  • Győző Kovács, co-head of M-3 development. 1959-1967 head of the computer operation in the Computer Center of the Academy of Sciences. In 1960 they established a new faculty: “Economical Mathematics” within University of Economics. He delivered the first university lectures about “the computers”. He wrote the first two university computerbooks: “Electronics” and “Computers”. In 1969 he became one of the founders of the Coordination Institute for Computer Sciences, first as Head of the Computer Centre, later as Director of the Software Application Laboratory, then — till 1988 as Director of the Sci-L Ltd company (the first PC clone production company in Hungary).
  • Károly Simonyi
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Hungarian_computer_scientists

Computers[edit]

  • MESz-1. Relay computer constructed by Kozma between 1955-1958 in the Budapest University of Technology. Used to teach relay switching-technology. Archived in Computer Museum in Budapest. This guy was put into concentration camp by nazis and when he came home he was inprisoned by the communists. Then he came out of prison and designed the 1st Hungarian computer from 650 relays. Input is like a toast-fryer: you put in the punchcards and close the lid. It's about A3 size. The output is the funniest: it's a Mercedes typewriter from 1927 controlled automechanically from below. So you put in the paper and it typed automatically, like in a horror flick!
  • M-3. Tube computer, constructed by a group of young matematicians and engineers led by Sandor Varga, Balint Domolki, Gyozo Kovacs in Computer Development Department (previously Cybernetic Research Group) at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences - using an original documentation receiving from Moscow. Dev since end of 1957, started operating in January 1959. 50 operations per second; 1 kilobyte magnetic memory. Used by a lot of matematicians, economists, philologists, physicians, engineers etc. [119]
  • (soviet) Ural-2 was in 3 copies, used in Architecture Centre at Technical University Budapest, at KFKI (Központi Fizikai Kutató Intézet -- Central Physics Research Centre) in Budapest, and in Szeged. Karol Simonyi, who works at M$ on Word and Excel, ran a tick-tack-toe player program on it when he was 14.
  • the machines built by Kovacs Mihaly and his students in 1960s. This guy was a piarist priest teaching in a secondary school of the church. He lead special phisics classes and they build all kinds of crazy games, testing machines for students and other computer applications from basic electronics.
  • Primo [120] [121]
  • HT 1080Z [122]
  • Enterprise [123] [124]
  • http://www.homecomputer.de/pages/easteurope_hu.html

Centres[edit]

  • Cybernetic Research Group (later Computer Development Department) at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Budapest, ended after developed M-3 in 1959. [125]
  • Computer Center of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Budapest, opened after construction of M-3. In 1963 bought Ural-2 from USSR, M-3 was moved to Cybernetic Laboratory in Szeged. [126]
  • Cybernetic Laboratory in Szeged, founded by Kalmár. Used M-3 brought from Budapest's Computer Centre in 1953, until January 1968, when it was dissasembled into parts.

Museums[edit]

  • Computer history museum in Budapest

Literature[edit]

  • "Hungarian History of ICT", [127]
  • Gyozo Kovacs, "The Early History of Cybernetics and Hungary", in: Peter Weibel (ed.): Beyond Art. A Third Culture. [128]
  • Hungarian Computer History by "Tomcat of Greenroom", [129]
  • László Sipka, "Innovators and Innovations", [130]
  • Zsuzsa Szentgyörgyi, "A Short History of Computing in Hungary," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 49-57, July-Sept. 1999 [131]
  • T. Szentiványi, "A számitástechnika kezdetei Magyarorszagon" (The origins of computing in Hungary), Természet Világa, 1994/6, 7, 8.
  • T. Vámos, "Kutatások a kibemetikaés az automatizálás közös területein" (Research in common fields of cybernetics and automation), Magyar Tudomány, 1966/9.
  • T. Vámos, "A számitástechnika az Akadémián" (Computing at the Academy of Sciences), Magyar Tudomány, 1971/7.
  • T. Vámos, "A számítógéphardware-probléma hazai néhezségei" (Difficulties of computer hardware in Hungary), Automatizálás, 1971/10.
  • T. Vámos, "Bevezetõül a 10éves az MTA Automatizálási KutatóIntézet számhoz" (Introduction to the 10th anniversary volume of the Research Institute for Automation), Mérésés Automatika, 1974/5.
  • E. Pungor, "Telecommunications in Central and Eastern Europe—an Impetus for Economic Growth and Regional Integration", Telecom Forum, ITU, Budapest, 12-17 Oct. 1992.
  • P. Tamás (ed.), BIT-korszak—Fejezetek a magyar számítástechnika történétebol (BIT-era—Chapters from a history of Hungarian computing), MTA Politikai Tudományok Intézeteés MTA Társadalmi Konfliktusok KutatóIntézete, 1992.
  • A. Varga and L. Kalmár, "Magyarországi számítástudomány atyja" (Kalmár László, father of computer science in Hungary), unpublished manuscript.
  • Zsuzsa Szentgyörgyi, "Kérdésekésálkérdések—Adalékok a magyar számítástechnikai kutatás történeté, hez" (Questions and Pseudo-questions—a contribution to the history of computing research in Hungary), Magyar Tudomány, 1989/9.
  • Zoltán Király, "Magyarországi számítástechnikai kezdet" [132] [133]
  • Maria Raffai, "Computing Behind the Iron Curtain and Beyond. Hungarian National Perspective", 2006. [134]
  • Gábor Képes, Géza Álló, The Past of the Future: From Neumann to Internet, Budapest: John von Neumann Computer Society, 2013. [135] Excerpt (PDF)

Poland[edit]

Early inventors[edit]

Scientists[edit]

  • Romuald Marczynski, led the development of 'EMAL' computer. Received IEEE Computer Pioneer Award 1996 for pioneering work in the construction of the first Polish digital computers and contributions to fundamental research in computer architecture. [144]
  • Leon Lukaszewicz, a chief designer of the first fully operational Polish computer 'XYZ' and the main inventor of the programming language and system 'SAKO'. [145]
  • Zdzislaw Pawlak, designed 'BINEG' computer. Author of the rough set theory (1981). [146]
  • Antoni Kilinski. Received IEEE Computer Pioneer Award 1996 for pioneering work in the construction of the first commercial computers in Poland, and for the development of university curriculum in computer science.
  • Jacek Karpiński, a pioneer in computer engineering and computer science. He is responsible for the construction of the first transistor-based differential analyzer and for the development of one of the first machine learning algorithms and techniques for character and image recognition. He is also the designer of one of the first minicomputers, the K-202. Because of the policy on computer development in the People's Republic of Poland around that time, it was never mass produced. He founded the Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence of the Polish Academy of Sciences in the early 1960s. [147]
  • Marian Mazur, an expert in cybernetics and the theory of messages. [148]
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Polish_computer_scientists

Computers[edit]

  • EMAL (Electronic Machine Automatically Computing). EMAL-1 was a one-address computer based on a vacuum-tube logic and mercury memory, with 512 40-bit words and fixed-point, sign-plus, absolute-value arithmetic. It was never fully operational and was dismantled before making any computations. General machine organization was based on the British EDSAC machine. Developed in 1953-55 by Marczynski et al. [149]
  • XYZ, one-address machine implemented in diode logic and dynamic vacuum-tube flip-flops, with 36-bit words and sign-plus absolute-value arithmetic. The architecture of the XYZ and the list of instructions were based on the IBM 701 computer, the implementation was Polish and relied on a serial organization rather than parallel. Developed in 1956-59 by Lukaszewicz et al. [150]
  • ZAM-2, and later ZAM-41, evolved from 'XYZ' computer. [151]
  • BINEG, designed by Pawlak. Built between 1957-1959 in electron tubes technology, which worked in a negative binary notation, with 512 36-bit words, and was used mostly for teaching purposes at the Warsaw University of Technology. [152]
  • Odracomputers were manufactured in Wrocław (named after the river that flows through the city) and exported to other communist countries. The production started in 1959–1960; the computers were built at the ELWRO manufacturing plant, which was closed in 1989. Their first product was Odra 1001 machine, released in 1961 and based on the prototype of first Polish transistor machine, S1, developed at the Institute of Mathematical Machines in Warsaw (a successor of the GAM group, and later ZAM – the establishment for mathematical apparatus). In 1967 the production of new Odra 1204 model has started and an agreement has been signed with the British computer manufacturer ICL, to start production of Polish machines compatible with the ICL 1904 model. The last series of Odra computers, the Odra 1300, consisted of three models: the Odra 1304, 1305, and the 1325. [153] [154]
  • UMC-1 was based on 'BINEG'. ELWRO produced 20 machines between 1962-64. [155]
  • K-202 was first Polish 16-bit minicomputer invented by Jacek Karpiński between 1971-1973. It was faster and cheaper than the Odra, but the production was shunned because of political reasons - it was not compatible with the ES EVM standard. [156]
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_computer_hardware_in_Soviet_Bloc_countries#Polish_computers
  • http://www.homecomputer.de/pages/easteurope_pl.html

Resources[edit]

Literature[edit]

  • Stanisław Bogusławski, Henryk Greniewski, Jerzy Szapiro, "Dialogi o cybernetyce", Myśl filozoficzna 4:14 (1954), pp 158-212. (Polish)
  • Leon Mońko, "Cybernetyka i jej filozoficzne aspekty", Roczniki Filozoficzne 6:3 (1958), pp 5-25. (Polish)
  • Henryk Greniewski, Elementy cybernetyki sposobem niematematycznym wyłożone, Warsaw: PWN, 1959. (Polish)
  • Henryk Greniewski, M. Kempisty, Cybernetyka z lotu ptaka, Warsaw: KiW, Warszawa 1959; 2nd ed., KiW, 1963. (Polish)
  • Halina Winnicka, Zapomniany wynalazca, Warsaw: Państwowe Zakłady Wydawnictw Szkolnych, 1962. (Polish)
  • Hugo Steinhaus, "Na marginesie cybernetyki", Znak 112 (1963), pp 1128-1042. (Polish)
  • "Całość i rozwój w świetle cybernetyki", Studia Filozoficzne 3-4 (1963), pp 3-31. (Polish). Dyskusja nad książką: Lange, Oskar. Całość i rozwój w świetle cybernetyki, uczestnicy: Greniewski, Henryk; Eilstein, Helena; Lange, Oskar; Krajewski, Władysław; Szaniawski, Klemens; Herczyński, Ryszard; Bednarczyk, Andrzej; Mejbaum, Wacław; Pawlak, Zdzisław.
  • Władysław Krajewski, "Maszyny i myślenie. Uwagi metodologiczne", Studia Filozoficzne 1 (1963), pp 43-49. (Polish)
  • Stanislaw Lem, Summa technologiae, Kraków: Wyd. Literackie, 1964. (Polish)
  • Henryk Greniewski, Cybernetyka niematematyczna, Warsaw: PWN, 1969. (Polish)
  • Henryk Greniewski, Cybernetyka niematematyczna. Wykresy, Warsaw: PWN, 1969. (Polish)
  • Henryk Greniewski, Sprawy wszystkie i jeszcze inne. O logice i cybernetyce, Warsaw: KiW, 1970. (Polish)
  • Leon Łukaszewicz, "O początkach informatyki w Polsce. Od grupy aparatów do Instytutu maszyn matematycznych", Nauka Polska 1 (1989), ISSN 0028-1271. (Polish)
  • Leon Łukaszewicz, "On the Beginning of Computer Development in Poland", Annals of the History of Computing 12 (1990), pp 103-107.
  • Jan Madey, Maciej M. Sysło, "Początki informatyki w Polsce" [The Beginnings of Computing in Poland], Informatyka 9-10 (2000) (Polish) [157]
  • Piotr Gawrysiak, Cyfrowa rewolucja. Rozwój cywilizacji informacyjnej, Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, 2008, 72 pp. ISBN 978-83-01-15607-7. [158]
  • V-12/Tropyx, "History of Commodore 64 in Poland.. Interview with Waldemar Czajkowski", 2010.
  • More.

former Yugoslavia[edit]

Scientists[edit]

  • Tihomir Aleksić, led development of CER-10.
  • Branimir Makanec, establishing a cybernetics group at the university in 1962, he designed a TIOSS (remote self-organizing system) robot prototype that displayed rudimentary AI behaviour like handing out the pamphlets to public. Founded the Multimedia Center of the Zagreb University Referral Center (MMC) in 1968. The MMC was an open type computer center intended to be used for non-numerical purposes.

Computers[edit]

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_computer_hardware_in_the_SFRY
  • http://www.homecomputer.de/pages/easteurope_yu.html
  • CER series (Цифарски Електронски Рачунар, Digital Electronic Computer). CER-10 was a vacuum tube and transistor based computer developed by Mihajlo Pupin Institute in 1963. This was the first computer ever developed in SFRY. Configuration: 1700 vacuum tubes, 1300 germanium transistors, magnetic core primary memory: 4096 of 30-bit words, secondary memory: punched tape, 1600 additions per second. Designed by Tihomir Aleksić and associates (Rajko Tomović, Ahmed Mandžić, Nedeljko Parezanović, Petar Vrbavac, Vukašin Masnikosa, Milojko Marić and Dušan Hristović) and developed over the period of three years; the team is said to have included 10 engineers, 10 technicians and many others; after initial prototype testing it was fully deployed in 1963. First CER-10 was situated in UDBA building which later belonged to Tanjug. [159]
  • HRS-100, hybrid computer jointly designed by engineers from USSR and Mihajlo Pupin Institute and deployed in Russian Academy of Sciences in 1971. [160]
  • H6000, mainframe computers, assembled since late 1970s in Ei-Niš Računarski Centar under Honeywell license, mainly for banking businesses. Computer initially had a great success that later led into local limited parts production. In addition, the company produced models such as H6 and H66 and was alive as late as early 2000s under name "Bull HN". Models H6 were installed in enterprises (e.g., telecom) for business applications and run GCOS operating system. Also, they were used in education. E.g., one of the built Honeywell H6 was installed in local electronics engineering and trade school "Nikola Tesla" in Niš and was used for training and educational purposes until late 80s and dawn of personal computers.

Software[edit]

Centres[edit]

  • Boris Kidrič Institute of Nuclear Sciences. The Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences is situated near Belgrade. It was founded in 1948 as Institute of Physics and renamed Boris Kidrič Institute of Nuclear Sciences in 1953. Since 1992 it is called Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences. Employees of the institute participated in tendencies 4. computers and visual research exhibition.
  • Mihailo Pupin Institute, based in Belgrade. Since 1960 developing CER series, since 1985 TIM series. [161]
  • Iskra Delta. Computer manufacturer based in Ljubljana; one of the biggest computer producers in SFR Yugoslavia. Started in 1974 as Elektrotehna, Ljubljana representative od Digital Equipment Corporation. [162]
  • Laboratory of Cybernetics at Ruđer Bošković Institute in Zagreb, Lab was headed 1969-1973 by Vladimir Bonačić. The centre had PDP computers, and developed hardware (eg. cca 30 x 30 cm chips). [163]
  • Ei-Niš Računarski Centar in Niš assembled H6000 in late 1970s, later on H6 and H66 computers.

Bulgaria[edit]

During the 1980s Bulgaria specialized in producing microcomputers in the former communist block countries and the Soviet Union specialized in producing big machines and supercomputers. The Eastern block countries had the so called Economic Inter-support Council and in the frame of that Council each country has been developing some economic area. At that time it was not so clear the microcomputers will be the future and some experts believe that the microcomputers are mainly for games and home usage. It happened that in 1981 the first microcomputer in Eastern Europe called Imko II then (in 1982) called Pravetz 82 (with 8 bit processor) has been released in Bulgaria. This was Apple II compatible microcomputer and it came to life just after Apple II.

This situation placed Bulgaria in the leadership role in microcomputers production not only in Eastern Europe but also in the Middle East and even in the Central Europe. Huge plants have been built exporting thousands of Pravetz 82 and later Pravetz 16 (with 8086/88 processor) to all Eastern block countries and to Arabic countries. The development of computer industry in that time strongly influenced the development of software and also the development of computer arts. In the beginning of 80's the first analogue synthesiser (produced in Paris and occupying almost one big hall) has been installed in the Bulgarian National Radio and thus giving a strong tool to the electronic music composers from the Balkan region. The own production of EGA and VGA displays in the middle and late 80s pushed the computer graphics and visualization to a new level. [164]

Scientists[edit]

  • Lubomir Georgiev Iliev (IEEE Computer Pioneer Award 1996, a founder and influential leader of computing in Bulgaria; leader of the team that developed the first Bulgarian computer; made fundamental and continuing contributions to abstract mathematics and software)
  • Angel Angelov (IEEE Computer Pioneer Award 1996 for computer science technologies in Bulgaria)

Computers[edit]

Centres[edit]

  • The Institute of Mathematics of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences was a pioneer in computer science development, and later played the main role in this process. [165]

Literature[edit]

(Austria)[edit]

Scientists[edit]

  • Heinz Zemanek, (IEEE Computer Pioneer Award 1985 for computer and computer languages – MAILUEFTERL) [166]


Comparison of early digital computers[edit]

Name Design and development Configuration (Mass) production Use
Period Lead Location Processor Processing speed
(Flops)
RAM, ROM HDD Period Location #
MESM 1948-51 Lebedev Kiev Institute of Electrotechnology, Academy of Sciences, Kiev 6,000 vacuum tubes 3,000 op/min Solved problems from the fields of thermonuclear weapons processes (such as Yakov B. Zeldovich's work), space flights and rocket technology, long-distance electric transmission lines, mechanics, statistical quality control, and others. As soon as the MESM became operational, it was immediately used to perform urgent military calculations for the Applied Mathematics Division of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in Moscow, an institution created specifically to provide mathematical support for the design of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
M-1 1952 Bruk Laboratory of Electrical Systems of the Energy Institute, Moscow First used by atomic researchers. The first problem solved on the M-2, Bruk’s second electronic computer, was the calculation of thermodynamic and gasodynamic parameters for missile design.
BESM 1950-52 Lebedev Laboratory No. 1, Institute of Precise Mechanics and Computer Technology of the Academy of Sciences, Moscow 5,000 vacuum tubes 8–10,000 op/sec
(Europe's fastest)
1024 words of read/write memory using ferrite cores, and 1024 words of read-only memory based on semiconducting diodes 4 magnetic tape units of 30,000 words each, and fast magnetic drum storage with a capacity of 5120 words and an access rate of 800 words/second 1 As soon as BESM was completed, it was employed to perform urgent calculations for the defense researchers. In 1955 BESM was installed at the specially organized Computation Center of the Academy of Sciences, where it largely served military clients. The cosmonaut Georgii Grechko has recalled his experience of working on the BESM at the Academy Computation Center in the mid 1950s as follows: “Kurchatov’s [nuclear weapons researchers lead] people used it in the daytime and during the night Korolev’s [ballistic missiles and spacecraft designers supervisor] people. And for all the rest of Soviet science: maybe five minutes for the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy, maybe half an hour for the chemical industry.”
Strela 1953 Bazilevsky Special Design Bureau 245 of the Ministry of Machine Building and Instrument Construction, Moscow 6,200 vacuum tubes, 60,000 semiconductor diodes 2,000 op/sec Williams tube memory, 2048 words; also read-only semiconductor diode memory for programs 1953-57 Moscow Plant of Computing-Analytical Machines 7 In 1953 the first STRELA was transferred to the Applied Mathematics Division to help solve problems of nuclear physics and missile ballistics. Also used in Computing Center of the Academy of Sciences Moscow (1955-58), Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics, Moscow State University, and in computing centres of some ministries (related to defense and economical planning); from Computing Centre given to the Mosfilm Studio Complex in Moscow to use on movie sets
TsEM-1 1953 1? in Institute of Atomic Energy, Moscow, til 1960
SAPO 1950-56 Svoboda Prague 7,000 relays, 400 vacuum tubes magnetic drum memory with capacity of 1024 32-bit words 1 in Research Institute for Mathematical Machines at the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in Prague, 1957-60
CIFA-1 1955-57 Toma The Institute of Atomic Physics, Bucharest 1,500 electric tubes
M-20 1958 Lebedev, Shura-Bura, Golovistikov Institute for Precision Mechanics + SKB-245, Moscow 20,000 op./sec
(world's fastest)
1958- Designed for the nuclear weapons laboratories in Arzamas-16 and Cheliabinsk-60.
M-40 1958 Lebedev Academy Institute of Precise Mechanics and Computer Technology, Moscow 1958- Commissioned by Design Bureau 1 of the Third Chief Directorate for field tests of its anti-missile defense system. Used to control the first Soviet anti-missile defense system.
M-50 Lebedev Academy Institute of Precise Mechanics and Computer Technology, Moscow Used to control the first Soviet anti-missile defense system.
Kiev 1958 Glushkov The Computing Center, Kiev
Setun 1958 Brusentsov, Sobolev Moscow State University, Moscow 1958-65 Kazan Mathematical plant 50 built to fulfill the needs of the Moscow State University
BESM-2 1958 Moscow vacuum tubes series production
MESz-1 1955-58 Kozma Budapest University of Technology, Budapest relays to teach relay switching-technology
Ural 1959 Rameyev Penza vacuum tubes 12,000 op/sec ferrite core 1959-64 139 exported within Soviet Bloc
M-3 + Minsk-series 1959 Lopato Minsk 1959-75
M-3 1957-59 Varga, Domolki, Kovacs Computer Development Department, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest vacuum tubes by a lot of matematicians, economists, philologists, physicians, engineers
Odra 1959 Wroclaw 1959/60- Elwro manufacturing plant
CIFA-2 1959 Toma Bucharest 800 electric tubes
MECIPT-1 1959-61 Kaufmann Polytechnic Institute of Timisoara
CER-10 1960-63 Aleksic Mihajlo Pupin Institute, Belgrade 1,700 vacuum tubes, 1,300 Germanium transistors 1,600 op/sec magnetic core (4096 of 30-bit words) punched tape in UDBA building which later belonged to Tanjug
CIFA-3 1961 Toma Bucharest in Computing Center of the University of Bucharest
DACICC 1959-63 Popovici, Bobu, Munteanu Institute of Numeric Calculus, Cluj electronic tubes, transistors ferrite memory
MECIPT-2 1963 Kaufmann Polytechnic Institute of Timisoara in CAD applications in the computing centers of Timisoara and Bucharest

References[edit]

  1. Martin Šperka, "The Origins of Computer Graphics in the Czech and Slovak Republics" Leonardo, Vol. 27, No. 1 (1994), pp. 45-50 [1]

Further reading and resources[edit]

See also[edit]