Russia’s Pride and Sadness: Computing in the USSR

 

“Socialism Is Our Launching Pad”, c. 1963.

Computing in Russia was compiled from essays and rare interviews with former Soviet computer engineers, designers, software writers and academics. It was published in Germany in 2001, when the USSR had been gone for nearly ten years and America was riding high. As a result, there’s a consistent theme of historical disappointment, muted bitterness, and wistful regret woven through the book. Few of the authors and some of the scientists and engineers interviewed were dedicated Communists, but few were what we’d call political dissidents either. They express common defenses of at least some of Soviet life. They stoutly remind us that health care, education, and even holidays were state-supplied. “We pretended to work, and they pretended to pay us”. Although they lived very modestly by our standards, they had prestige within Soviet society. Like the Mafia’s made men, they had respect in that vanished world. They hated to see it go.

This Russian open window into the honest history of the Soviet past was unthinkable before 1991, and in the years since 2001 it has closed again. There were no follow-up editions of this History of Computing Devices and Information Technology Revealed, and there appear to be no other copies for sale of the first English language edition. That makes this post, at least in part, a book review of a book you can’t get, but that would hardly have been a novel situation in the Cold War-era, information-deprived Moscow that’s the center of this story.

The Soviet Union started computer research for roughly the same military reasons that the UK did (COLOSSUS) and the US did (ENIAC). They used the same level of technology; vacuum tubes and electromechanical relays. These were long-proven components from telephone and radio, and posed few challenges to Soviet industry. Programming this generation of computer was a clumsy, literally patchwork affair. Dials had to be turned and phone-style connections repatched by hand.

Computers that could store their own programs and run them automatically came along quickly. America’s experimental EDVAC led to the civilian UNIVAC, the first commercially successful computer.

The same things happened in the USSR much more slowly, partly due to the lingering, still-crippling aftereffects of WWII, and partly because of a sluggish, passive economy that allowed little room for innovation. But there was one crucial additional factor; in the late Stalin years, the Party came to regard computers and their makers with deep suspicion. It’s hard to explain why, because the official explanations make no sense. Supposedly, cybernetics (the word was already in use, here as well as in Russia) contradicted Marxist theory about the material basis of the human brain. But most observers point to a different factor: Stalin’s paranoid antisemitism, and the prominence of Jews in mathematics and the sciences. In any case, after Stalin died in 1953, the Party’s attitude about computers made a 180-degree turn. They saw what an effective instrument of control they might offer, and how essential computers were to missile design and atomic energy. The Soviets began to make up for lost time.

These were, for many Russians, the halcyon years of the Soviet Union, the Sputnik-and-Gagarin years, when for all of the country’s remaining poverty and backwardness, it could claim, credibly, that much of the world looked up to their technical achievements. Soviet computing made the transition from vacuum tubes to transistors, and was even competitive with western networking technology, since the vast distances of the USSR required wide area networks. As the 50th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution approached, France adopted the Soviet color TV system and foreign airlines considered buying Tu-144 supersonic airliners. Here is a very early example of computer animation, rendered on the BESM-4, part of the workhorse series of Russian-built computers.

Soviet doctrine wasn’t always observed to the letter, but in general, what one republic or oblast got, everyone else demanded, so for most of the Sixties, computing was encouraged to spread out more widely among industries across the country. Making forward progress was second priority. This period of consolidation coincided with a delayed transition to integrated circuits, which required greater industrial precision and chemical purity than manufacturing individual transistors.

The Soviets and other eastern bloc nations with locally built computer systems of their own (Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and east Germany), facing possible universal adoption of American standards and operating systems in everything from ASCII codes to modem handshake protocols, tried to starkly reframe the situation as American dominance versus the world. They found a receptive audience in the state-protected computer industries of France, Italy, Germany, and to a much lesser degree Britain, which already had lucrative partnerships with the Americans.

This purported Europe-against-American manufacturers front in the systems and standards wars was never very fierce, because hard-nosed European customers wouldn’t play along with their supposed “national champions”. Soviet claims, and later Russian ones, that they were the gallant creators and leaders of a continent-wide, counter-American movement of their fellow European computer producers, are sadly delusional. Europe didn’t see them that way, not even the eternally many, many skeptics of US power and influence.

It was then that the leaders of Soviet computing saw an opportunity to leapfrog the west, to not only catch up but definitively beat the Americans and everyone else. They proposed a complex new hardware and software architecture called ES, which they claimed was far better than the emerging champion from the USA, IBM’s System 360.

And here, in that now-distant time of 1968-’71, is when the veterans of the USSR’s computer elite felt what they’d always recall as the stab-in-the-back of bureaucratic betrayal, ending the illusion that they were leading the world. For the Party and state ministries made the decision to reject the homegrown ES system in favor of IBM’s conquering 360. For loyal Party members in academia and the electronics industry, the decision was inexplicable. To them there could be only one explanation: unpatriotic, America-worshipping officials were secretly undermining the local boys in order to suck up to the west—an idea that was often expressed in startlingly direct and vulgar terms.

This was the historic breach, the unforgivable sin that haunted aging Russian computer designers and to some degree haunts them still, twenty years after this book was published. They’ve never let go of the grudge. But the real explanation for the bureaucrats’ veto was simpler and blunter: For the first time, software was now more expensive and important than hardware. If the socialist world went with System 360, they’d be standardizing on a vast base of existing software they could steal. So that’s what they did.

An amazing thing is, there are Russians who blame us for it, as if we had anything to do with that decision. IBM, let alone America, didn’t beg them to adopt the software, let alone steal it from us. This one is on them, pure and simple.

In the Eighties, few people foresaw how soon and how suddenly Communist government would collapse, but on the other hand nearly everyone had tacitly come to define their futures in essentially capitalist terms. Computers were going to be part of that future, as they were under Communism. With smaller and smaller computer systems spreading out into a new worldwide market for them, socialist bloc countries sought out specific market niches where their most economically useful engineers and coders could play a profitable role. Many learned that role so well, they eventually emigrated to America, where most found a financially warm welcome.

Millions of young people across eastern and central Europe readied themselves for that future. I was surprised by how many of them I’d see in the subways of Budapest, Prague, and Moscow, daily commuters bundled up against the cold, jostled by the bumpy ride, intently making penciled notations in self-help books that taught computer programming. These were people who didn’t own a home computer but expected to, soon, and whenever they got finally one, they wanted to be ready to make it do useful work. It was hard not to be impressed.

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  1. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Gary McVey: For the first time, software was now more expensive and important than hardware. If the socialist world went with System 360, they’d be standardizing on a vast base of existing software they could steal. So that’s what they did.

    It wasn’t entirely necessary to steal a lot of that software.  Early on, IBM was giving it away as a gift with purchase.  One of the companies I worked for was founded by two of the original engineers who worked on IBM’s insurance administration software, called CFO.  This company, a good twenty years later was still selling their flagship product, Cybertek CFO.  IBM handed them rights to keep building it and selling it themselves, because at the time they were still hardware focused.  Cybertek kept selling that version until a project I worked on where we put a PC-based frontend on the mainframe system, and ended up dominating the market (like 95% share) for the next several years until their competitors could catch up to what we did.

    Even once they got into PCs, IBM kept with the hardware focus, not realizing how quickly the boxes were becoming commodity items.  Which led them into the ill-fated PS/2 and OS/2 attempts to lock out their competition, which resulted in their competitors ganging up on them to take over the business (The Gang of Nine).

    • #1
  2. Internet's Hank Contributor
    Internet's Hank
    @HankRhody

    I should really know more about this topic than I do. Instead I’ll just repeat one of my favorite jokes:

    Soviet Union is proud to announce creation of world’s largest microchip!

    • #2
  3. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Gary McVey: Here is a very early example of computer animation,

    It was everything I expected, exactly.

    And it’s been a race to post cat videos ever since. 

    • #3
  4. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Wonderful post, Gary. It’s full of both revelations about the events, and insights into them.

    Thank you.

    • #4
  5. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Great post!  Francis Spufford’s book Red Plenty discusses the Soviet Union’s attempt to create economic prosperity thru computer use (mathematical optimization) for economic planning, and gives a good sense of why this didn’t and couldn’t work.

    Rocket developer Boris Chertok, in Rockets and People, makes the same comment about cybernetics…but also notes that Soviet approach to space missions was much more centered around automatic rather than human control compared with the American approach–Chertok had many discussions on this topic with cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, who predictably favored the human-control approach. For Gagarin’s first flight, a switch to manual control required him to enter a key into a cypher lock–there had been concern that absence of gravity might affect a cosmonaut’s mind and cause him to do irrational things. “We believed that if he was able to get the envelope out of the instruction folder, open it, read the code, and punch the code in, then he was in his right mind and could be trusted to perform manual control.” (Two members of the development team later confessed that they had secretly and against orders informed Gagarin of the code, which was “125.”

     

    • #5
  6. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    Gary McVey: Millions of young people across eastern and central Europe readied themselves for that future. I was surprised by how many of them I’d see in the subways of Budapest, Prague and Moscow, daily commuters bundled up against the cold, jostled by the bumpy ride, intently making penciled notations in self-help books that taught computer programming. These were people who didn’t own a home computer but expected to, soon, and whenever they got finally one, they wanted to be ready to make it do useful work. It was hard not to be impressed.

    They sound like capitalists!

    Great post, Gary.  Thanks again for an enlightening look at history.

    • #6
  7. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Another thought provoking post by Gary.  

    • #7
  8. Internet's Hank Contributor
    Internet's Hank
    @HankRhody

    David Foster (View Comment):
    Rocket developer Boris Chertok, in Rockets and People, makes the same comment about cybernetics…but also notes that Soviet approach to space missions was much more centered around automatic rather than human control compared with the American approach

    I’ve got another joke for that. The Cosmonaut is sent into the sky with a pair of dogs. Mission control crackles over the radio:

    “Laika!”
    *Woof!*
    “Push the red button.”
    *Woof.*
    “Sharikov!”
    *Woof!*
    “Push the blue button.”
    *Woof.*
    “Stepan Ivanovich!”
    *Woof!*
    “Feed the dogs. And don’t touch anything! And for heaven’s sake stop woofing.”

    • #8
  9. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Our own rather benign “propaganda” about computer networking; AT&T advertising in Boy’s Life, 1961

    • #9
  10. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Another thought provoking post by Gary.

    Thanks for reading, Dave. 

    • #10
  11. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    For an even earlier computer-and-communications story:  The Baroque Computers of the Apocalypse.

     

    • #11
  12. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Another great post Gary.

    Just an aside from my working career.  In the early 80’s, the company I was working for (in Atlanta) brought in a group of Refusniks (a rare moment of clarity from our HR Department).

    I interviewed four of them and hired all four.  All of them had their Master’s Degree in Mathematics from St Petersburg University; it was a no-brainer.

    They were easily the most productive employees I had on my team.  No talking about the football pool; no speculating on the fortunes of the Georgia or Georgia Tech sports teams, no bitching about unpaid overtime.  Strictly heads-down programming.

    Initially, all of them were somewhat withdrawn; as if there might be a KGB informer in the next cubicle.  I noticed that one of the gentlemen took his briefcase everywhere he went; even out to lunch which was off-the-scale odd.

    In those first few months, they wanted to talk about only their tasks at hand.  However, gradually, they opened up on what their lives were like in the former USSR.  Simply put, it was just a few steps up from a penal colony.

    Given the climate of the USSR at the time, it’s a wonder that they were able to have such a strong space program; it’s tough to code with a gun at your head.

     

     

    • #12
  13. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Another great post Gary.

    Just an aside from my working career. In the early 80’s, the company I was working for (in Atlanta) brought in a group of Refusniks (a rare moment of clarity from our HR Department).

    I interviewed four of them and hired all four. All of them had their Master’s Degree in Mathematics from St Petersburg University; it was a no-brainer.

    They were easily the most productive employees I had on my team. No talking about the football pool; no speculating on the fortunes of the Georgia or Georgia Tech sports teams, no bitching about unpaid overtime. Strictly heads-down programming.

    Initially, all of them were somewhat withdrawn; as if there might be a KGB informer in the next cubicle. I noticed that one of the gentlemen took his briefcase everywhere he went; even out to lunch which was off-the-scale odd.

    In those first few months, they wanted to talk about only their tasks at hand. However, gradually, they opened up on what their lives were like in the former USSR. Simply put, it was just a few steps up from a penal colony.

    Given the climate of the USSR at the time, it’s a wonder that they were able to have such a strong space program; it’s tough to code with a gun at your head.

     

    Not to mention reading the news!

     

    • #13
  14. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    What a marvelous post! Thank you!

    My memory is a bit fuzzy, but I remember in the 1980s being told that the Soviets used to slavishly copy computers from the West. It got so bad that Digital Equipment Corporation used to inscribe on their computer chips: “Property of Digital Equipment Corporation, United States of America” – but in Cyrillic. Which the Russians copied, as well!

    • #14
  15. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    iWe (View Comment):

    What a marvelous post! Thank you!

    My memory is a bit fuzzy, but I remember in the 1980s being told that the Soviets used to slavishly copy computers from the West. It got so bad that Digital Equipment Corporation used to inscribe on their computer chips: “Property of Digital Equipment Corporation, United States of America” – but in Cyrillic. Which the Russians copied, as well!

    Mid-80s to the 90s there was a sticker on almost every piece of software and gear saying they were export restricted, aimed at the Soviets.

    • #15
  16. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Contrary to widespread impressions, there actually were Soviet-built microcomputers, as well as ones built in eastern bloc countries like Hungary and Yugoslavia, but most of the ones I saw in use in Moscow were imported; there was much more smuggling, illegal importation, and small machines bought at the airports of Frankfurt, Istanbul, and Tokyo and brought in as luggage. Everyone knew about it. The bigwigs looked the other way. 

    In the 80s, there were strict federal controls on which computer products could leave the US, but “toy” computers were exempt. I was one of many travelers who brought one in, quite legally, an Atari 800, and gave it to my counterpart at the Moscow film festival. 

    The Atari operated on 110 volts, 60 Hz, the US standards. (This was long before Apple pioneered all voltage, all Hz, plug it in anywhere power supplies. I’d suggested they could buy a standards converter, basically a transformer, from Robotron, because as an east German company the Muscovites wouldn’t need hard-to-obtain hard currency. 

    A year later, the next time I was in town, that computer was still the only one the festival owned, and it saved my neck–well, my wallet, anyway–when it certified that in the invitation, they’d agreed to pay two week’s worth of hotel. 

     

    • #16
  17. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I remember reading about an early tape recorder, might have been audio or it might have been one of the early open-reel video machines; I think it was by Ampex, that was copied by Sony from a prototype machine that had some extra holes on the front panel etc for controls or whatever that were not included with production units.  When Sony copied it, the copies they sold had all those superfluous holes and such.

    • #17
  18. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Contrary to widespread impressions, there actually were Soviet-built microcomputers, as well as ones built in eastern bloc countries like Hungary and Yugoslavia, but most of the ones I saw in use in Moscow were imported; there was much more smuggling, illegal importation, and small machines bought at the airports of Frankfurt, Istanbul, and Tokyo and brought in as luggage. Everyone knew about it. The bigwigs looked the other way.

    In the 80s, there were strict federal controls on which computer products could leave the US, but “toy” computers were exempt. I was one of many travelers who brought one in, quite legally, an Atari 800, and gave it to my counterpart at the Moscow film festival.

    The Atari operated on 110 volts, 60 Hz, the US standards. (This was long before Apple pioneered all voltage, all Hz, plug it in anywhere power supplies. I’d suggested they could buy a standards converter, basically a transformer, from Robotron, because as an east German company the Muscovites wouldn’t need hard-to-obtain hard currency.

    A year later, the next time I was in town, that computer was still the only one the festival owned, and it saved my neck–well, my wallet, anyway–when it certified that in the invitation, they’d agreed to pay two week’s worth of hotel.

     

    There was a 6502 processor in that beast!

    • #18
  19. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Percival (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Contrary to widespread impressions, there actually were Soviet-built microcomputers, as well as ones built in eastern bloc countries like Hungary and Yugoslavia, but most of the ones I saw in use in Moscow were imported; there was much more smuggling, illegal importation, and small machines bought at the airports of Frankfurt, Istanbul, and Tokyo and brought in as luggage. Everyone knew about it. The bigwigs looked the other way.

    In the 80s, there were strict federal controls on which computer products could leave the US, but “toy” computers were exempt. I was one of many travelers who brought one in, quite legally, an Atari 800, and gave it to my counterpart at the Moscow film festival.

    The Atari operated on 110 volts, 60 Hz, the US standards. (This was long before Apple pioneered all voltage, all Hz, plug it in anywhere power supplies. I’d suggested they could buy a standards converter, basically a transformer, from Robotron, because as an east German company the Muscovites wouldn’t need hard-to-obtain hard currency.

    A year later, the next time I was in town, that computer was still the only one the festival owned, and it saved my neck–well, my wallet, anyway–when it certified that in the invitation, they’d agreed to pay two week’s worth of hotel.

     

    There was a 6502 processor in that beast!

    The 6502 was the main processor, but the Ataris also had specialized video and sound chips.  Offloading some of the processing burden allowed better game-play and such than would be possible with just  a single CPU doing everything, a technology that still exists where a high-end video card might cost more than the rest of the computer combined.

    • #19
  20. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Contrary to widespread impressions, there actually were Soviet-built microcomputers, as well as ones built in eastern bloc countries like Hungary and Yugoslavia, but most of the ones I saw in use in Moscow were imported; there was much more smuggling, illegal importation, and small machines bought at the airports of Frankfurt, Istanbul, and Tokyo and brought in as luggage. Everyone knew about it. The bigwigs looked the other way.

    In the 80s, there were strict federal controls on which computer products could leave the US, but “toy” computers were exempt. I was one of many travelers who brought one in, quite legally, an Atari 800, and gave it to my counterpart at the Moscow film festival.

    The Atari operated on 110 volts, 60 Hz, the US standards. (This was long before Apple pioneered all voltage, all Hz, plug it in anywhere power supplies. I’d suggested they could buy a standards converter, basically a transformer, from Robotron, because as an east German company the Muscovites wouldn’t need hard-to-obtain hard currency.

    A year later, the next time I was in town, that computer was still the only one the festival owned, and it saved my neck–well, my wallet, anyway–when it certified that in the invitation, they’d agreed to pay two week’s worth of hotel.

     

    There was a 6502 processor in that beast!

    The 6502 was the main processor, but the Ataris also had specialized video and sound chips. Offloading some of the processing burden allowed better game-play and such than would be possible with just a single CPU doing everything, a technology that still exists where a high-end video card might cost more than the rest of the computer combined.

    Feh. A 6502 and a couple of bit twiddlers.

    • #20
  21. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Percival (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Contrary to widespread impressions, there actually were Soviet-built microcomputers, as well as ones built in eastern bloc countries like Hungary and Yugoslavia, but most of the ones I saw in use in Moscow were imported; there was much more smuggling, illegal importation, and small machines bought at the airports of Frankfurt, Istanbul, and Tokyo and brought in as luggage. Everyone knew about it. The bigwigs looked the other way.

    In the 80s, there were strict federal controls on which computer products could leave the US, but “toy” computers were exempt. I was one of many travelers who brought one in, quite legally, an Atari 800, and gave it to my counterpart at the Moscow film festival.

    The Atari operated on 110 volts, 60 Hz, the US standards. (This was long before Apple pioneered all voltage, all Hz, plug it in anywhere power supplies. I’d suggested they could buy a standards converter, basically a transformer, from Robotron, because as an east German company the Muscovites wouldn’t need hard-to-obtain hard currency.

    A year later, the next time I was in town, that computer was still the only one the festival owned, and it saved my neck–well, my wallet, anyway–when it certified that in the invitation, they’d agreed to pay two week’s worth of hotel.

     

    There was a 6502 processor in that beast!

    The 6502 was the main processor, but the Ataris also had specialized video and sound chips. Offloading some of the processing burden allowed better game-play and such than would be possible with just a single CPU doing everything, a technology that still exists where a high-end video card might cost more than the rest of the computer combined.

    Feh. A 6502 and a couple of bit twiddlers.

    Bit twiddlers designed for certain tasks can do those tasks a lot more efficiently.

    • #21
  22. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Bit twiddlers designed for certain tasks can do those tasks a lot more efficiently.

    • #22
  23. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Percival (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Bit twiddlers designed for certain tasks can do those tasks a lot more efficiently.

    You know what you get from a 6502 without the more-advanced video and sound chips?

    A 2600/VCS.

     

    • #23
  24. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Fellas! Fellas! You’re both brilliant! I tip my hat to the superior inside knowledge of a man in armor and a supine cat. 

    • #24
  25. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    You who know better than me can check me on this, but in the late 80s, IIRC, “IBM” (DOS) clones topped out at a whopping, mind-expanding 640K addressable RAM. Whatever it was, it was the Holy Grail if your particular Soviet enterprise could lay their hands on one, usually because Anatoly-the-bookkeeper’s cousin brought in a Hong Kong-built clone from the thieves’ market in Samarkand. 

    • #25
  26. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    We need a song, something like “DOS In The USSR.”

    • #26
  27. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    You who know better than me can check me on this, but in the late 80s, IIRC, “IBM” (DOS) clones topped out at a whopping, mind-expanding 640K addressable RAM. Whatever it was, it was the Holy Grail if your particular Soviet enterprise could lay their hands on one, usually because Anatoly-the-bookkeeper’s cousin brought in a Hong Kong-built clone from the thieves’ market in Samarkand.

    It wasn’t really a 640K limit. They arbitrarily decided that BIOS and BDOS woild be in ROM starting at 0xF0000. They further decided to put the video RAM near the top. If you start that at 0xA0000, it leaves room for future expansion for the video, and the 640K from oxooooo up to ox9FFFF for program RAM.

    • #27
  28. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Percival (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    You who know better than me can check me on this, but in the late 80s, IIRC, “IBM” (DOS) clones topped out at a whopping, mind-expanding 640K addressable RAM. Whatever it was, it was the Holy Grail if your particular Soviet enterprise could lay their hands on one, usually because Anatoly-the-bookkeeper’s cousin brought in a Hong Kong-built clone from the thieves’ market in Samarkand.

    It wasn’t really a 640K limit. They arbitrarily decided that BIOS and BDOS woild be in ROM starting at 0xF0000. They further decided to put the video RAM near the top. If you start that at 0xA0000, it leaves room for future expansion for the video, and the 640K from oxooooo up to ox9FFFF for program RAM.

    But the 20 address lines of the early CPUs could only address 1 megabyte total.  And the video address space has to go SOMEPLACE.  Moving it farther down wouldn’t change the addressable limitations of 20 bits.  Even if you somehow shifted video completely out of system memory – and if you used I/O channels instead, your video slows WAY down – with 20 address lines you still couldn’t address more than 1 meg.  Bank-switching isn’t nearly as efficient, and you’d have to adapt software to use it.

    • #28
  29. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    kedavis (View Comment):

    We need a song, something like “DOS In The USSR.”

    Oh, show me ’round a clone of CP/M down south
    Take me to your server farm
    System calls are always ringing out
    Keeping CPU’s so warm 

    • #29
  30. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    We need a song, something like “DOS In The USSR.”

    Oh, show me ’round a clone of CP/M down south
    Take me to your server farm
    System calls are always ringing out
    Keeping CPU’s so warm

    Thanks, but I was hoping for “Weird Al” Yankovic.  :-)

    • #30
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