Retro Computer Friday - Socialist Edition!

Scott Calonico

robotronRetro Computer Friday, Robotron KC 85/4. This machine is of East German (remember them?!!) manufacture, the fourth in a series of microcomputers produced for industry, education and the military. It came with a U880 CPU, a clone of the Z80, at 1.77 MHz and 126k RAM.

In our first ever Retro Computer Friday eyewitness account, we spoke to Andreas, who grew up in East Germany and actually used one of these as a child.

The price was about 6 months’ salary and it was hardly used or available privately. It connected to a TV and a regular cassette deck. Collections of programs and games were available for purchase on cassette, and were traded in a local hobbyist scene.

I remember playing games and learning to program BASIC on this machine as a kid. An educational radio show existed that would broadcast programs to be recorded.

We clairfied this last point with Andreas because it seemed to crazy to believe! Yes - East German radio would broadcast a program - that is, play it over the airwaves - so that you could record it analog to a tape deck. Then you would put this tape player into a computer and load it up into your computer.

Now THAT's Retro!

Thanks, Andreas!

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