A group of Russian urban explorers recently discovered piles of Soviet computers and servers. Amongst the tech was the Saratov-2, a popular machine at the time but not something you’d find loads of information about on the Web:
Part of the cabinets were antique electronic computers. Others served to measure signals, and computers controlled this process. Dozens of terminals froze on the tables with extinct screens.
Suddenly it became clear that before them the legendary machine “Saratov-2”. The machine, which was massively placed on many enterprises of the Soviet Union in the 70s, but at the same time, not a single high-quality (I’m not talking about color) photos remained. Not on the Internet, not even in the museum of the enterprise developer.
Hackaday also covered the story and added more context to the story of Soviet computing:
While mass-market Western desktop machines followed the path of adopting newer architectures such as the Z80 or the 8086 the Soviets instead took their minicomputer technology to that level. It would be interesting to speculate how these machines might further have developed over the 1990s had history been different. Meanwhile we all have a tangible legacy of Soviet PDP/11 microcomputers in the form of Tetris, which was first written on an Elektronika 60.
Now I’m imagining a Soviet Raspberry Pi (don’t worry, I won’t do the reverse R thing).
(all image rights reserved to Ralph Mirebs)