[Oberon] Oberon in the wild

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Fri Jul 24 16:09:51 CEST 2020

On Thu, 23 Jul 2020 at 05:40, Skulski, Wojciech
<skulski at pas.rochester.edu> wrote:
> Liam:
> > I am quite old (52 now) so it is very slow work.
> Do not say that, please.

:-D Some days I feel it, some I do not. But learning one's first
Slavic language in one's fifties is tough.

> > Nie znam Polskiego. :-(
> Good for you.


> For the record, the official qualifier was Socialist. Communism was like an eternal life, to be acquired in the future.

Ahh... noted!

> Since I am a former communist/socialist turned capitalist, I can comment on this. Copying yes. I am not sure about improving.

I do not have many details to hand. Of interest to me since I moved
here have been the many, _many_ clones of the ZX Spectrum. The
Didaktik Kompakt is an interesting one -- a 48K Spectrum clone with an
on-board floppy disk controller and built-in 3½" drive. I got to play
with one at Bytefest last year: http://www.bytefest.cz/

In Russia there were also the Skorpion, Pentagon and Peters Plus
Spectrum clones, with up to 1MB of RAM, hard disk controllers, faster
processors and more.

This amazing home-made Romanian project is another:

I think I have read of faster PDP-11 machines than anything DEC ever
made, though, as an example, but I do not remember details.

> I remember working back in Poland with Cyber 73, PDP-11/05, and PDP-11/45 of Western origin. I also remember a socialist copy of PDP-11/70. The Hungarian CPU was good, but Bulgarian disks or Russian terminals were pretty miserable. The whole system worked unless it was getting too hot in the Summer. It was workable, but it was not an improvement.


> I also had an opportunity in late 1970's to work in Novosibirsk with a Russian version of IBM machines (called Riad) and the experience was not bad at all. Not sure if these were improved because my contact was through the punched cards and a line printer. I developed some Fortran code for my forthcoming Master's thesis. It was a very productive month-long visit.

When I was in Brno I had a friend from Novosibirsk. I think she told
me that after she flew to Moscow -- about 3 hours -- it was _another_
four-hour flight to get to Novosibirsk. Astonishing.

> On the positive note, when I hit the Capitalism for the first time in 1985, I was very well prepared with all the current knowledge on computers, detectors, and such. The same happened again in early 1990's when I moved to the USA. There was no gap in training. None. Somehow all this communism/socialism was technologically current for those of us, who were willing to stay current. The rest stayed behind the Iron Curtain. I would risk a bold statement, that those unwilling to learn will always find an Iron Curtain to stay behind. it is more internal than external. Except for really bad places like North Korea.

That is good news, all the same.

> I would add Hypothesis [3]: people. The Oberon Core was/is animated by a bunch of bright people, starting with Fyodor Tkachev. The achievements are due to them.

Ahh, OK. I do not know this name. Should I?

> BlackBox is my favorite. It is a few megabytes with the full Pascal development system. The editor would be a small part of this.

Well, yes, quite.

Liam Proven – Profile: https://about.me/liamproven
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