I was born in 1973 in Czechoslovakia. It was a small country in the middle of Europe, unfortunately on the dark side of the Iron Curtain. We had never been a part of Soviet Union (as many think), but we were so-called “Soviet Satellite”, side by side with Poland, Hungary, and East Germany.
My hobbies were electronics and – in the middle of 80s – computers. The history of computers behind the Iron Curtain is very interesting, with a lot of unusual moments. For example – communists at first called cybernetics as “bourgeois’ pseudoscience” (as well as sociology or semiotics), “used to enslave a mankind by machines”. But later on they understood the importance of computers, primarily for science and army. So in 50s the Eastern Bloc started to build its own computers, separately and “in its own way”.
Absolutely, positively, fascinating. History is written by the winners, so I’m very happy we’re still getting the other side of the story, too.
Although the where plenty of local Z80 clones in my country ( http://www.homecomputer.de/pages/easteurope_ro.html ), and I even used one in school ( see HC-85 there ), my parents got me a cheaper russian Byte ( http://zxspectrum48.i-demo.pl/clones_pliki/Byte_black.jpg ) in ’94, which I still have, yes the keyboard is gone rather bad, but IIRC I got it working ok some years ago by sending TZX ( digital copies of tapes ) via audio from my PC and it had a sweet Kempston joystick aviation-like (not the red button variety but one with real microswitches AFAIK).
But man I was envious of my uncle who had a Cobra (see first link and scroll down): CP/M and diskettes ( 8″, 5,25″, 3.5″ ).
Edited 2015-01-04 15:44 UTC