"Galaksija" or Galaxy in Serbian, was a DIY computer from Yugoslavia, invented by Voja Antonić in 1983
It ran on a Zilog Z80 at 3Mhz and had 6K RAM and 8K ROM max. You built the whole thing, including the keyboard
Here's the complete listing from the Računari magazine (January, 1984) with the complete build instructions including the keyboard wiring (language is Serbian, I think)
And the ROM-a B instruction set http://www.voja.rs/galaksija/ROM%20B%20Listing%20Scans/ROM_B_listing.htm
Here's a video of a Galaksija replica presented at CCC including the technicals and some history
I'm trying to revisit these early postings about #RetroHardware as much as possible, but I'm afraid I probably won't be able to find all of them again
This is a nice writeup about the Galaksija
"Socialism’s DIY Computer" was actually kind of like the Arduino of its day, except using the Z80A CPU and no peripherals except what you provided
It was quite popular despite the lack of access at the time in multiple countries. Not just those behind the Iron Curtain
> The YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated due to multiple third-party notifications of copyright infringement.
@cypnk @grainloom Was it this video? https://media.ccc.de/v/29c3-5178-en-the_ultimate_galaksija_talk_h264
@cypnk "Antonić says his firmware now stands as proof that it is possible to use more than 100% of program memory" hehe!
@cypnk "the system could only display three splendidly playful one-word error messages: users received a “WHAT?” if their BASIC code had a syntax error, a “HOW?” if their requested input was unrecognizable, and a “SORRY” if the machine exceeded its memory capacity."
@cypnk That's probably the ugliest PCB layout I ever seen. And that includes the ones I made myself.
@pony To be fair, they were dodging the secret police as they secretly imported components from behind the Iron Curtain, so I'm willing to cut them a little slack
@cypnk Homebrew computers were not totally uncommon in the eastern bloc. I don't think they'd need to hide before the secret police? In Czechoslovakia, this would be even encouraged to a degree, but of course, getting any component was painful.
It was drawn by hand (had to be), so, ok, but... I still find it hideous :)
Keep in mind that a lot of the builders were not professionals and many had no electronics training. Sometimes, the PCB was just a piece of wood and the traces were actual wires. A lot of kids were building these as well. The circumstances were very different
Apparently, around 8000 ROMs were shipped to back then so I'm sure a fair number of them survive to today. Some of them ended up in elementary schools. It would be lovely to see those still in action
@cypnk once upon a time in Belgrade I had a chance to visit a lecture by Voja Antonić, the constructor of Galaksija.
(He was speaking about the spread of myths in the society, aka "fake news").
@saper As someone who was subjected to copious (state sponsored) versions of that, I'm sure that was a well informed lecture
I wish I was able to see that
@cypnk it was in Serbian so I could understand maybe 15%, and my German colleague another 15% so we somehow coped together!
@cypnk there is an English translation of the entire article with build instructions in PoC||GTFO 0x09
Yes, it's Serbian (I am from there). If you need any help with translation - shout. Another trivia - there was late night radio show where programs/games for Galaxy were emitted in the air for recording by listeners
@cypnk amazing! Thanks for sharing!
On the language issue: it's complicated. Yes, there is a thing called "Serbian language", but it's a dialect of Serbo-Croatian:
It's basically the same language as spoken in Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro.
Nationalism is rearing it's ugly head in the Balkans, and so now calling each of these "Croatian", "Serbian", "Bosnian" is starting to be tainted by it.
There are initiatives meant to counter that:
Fun fact, people who are not fans of nationalism tend to refer to this language in this language as "Naš" (or "Naški"). Which literally means "Ours" (as in, the common language in the region). I think it's a nice hack!
There are additional layers there, too. It's a magnificently complicated region. I can only implore you to visit and explore its distinctly bitter-sweet taste.
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