The Digital Antiquarian

The Digital Antiquarian A history of computer entertainment by Jimmy Maher

  • A Tale of the Mirror World, Part 5: The Inflection Point
    by Jimmy Maher on July 14, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Just a few weeks after the Mirrorsoft and Spectrum Holobyte versions of Tetris went on sale, Robert Stein received a telex to which was attached a Russian name he had never seen before in all his negotiating efforts. One Alexander Alexinko from a previously unheard-of state agency called Electronorgtechnica — more colloquially referred to as [… […]

  • A Tale of the Mirror World, Part 4: A Different Mirror
    by Jimmy Maher on July 7, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Encompassing three different continents, the story of Henk Rogers’s formative years reads like a preview of the world’s multicultural future. Born in Amsterdam in 1953, Rogers immigrated to New York City when he was 11 years old, courtesy of his mother’s second marriage to an American. He spoke no English at all at the time [… […]

  • A Tale of the Mirror World, Part 3: A Game of Falling Shapes
    by Jimmy Maher on June 30, 2017 at 3:35 pm

      Alexey Pajitnov was the proverbial Russian bear, albeit more of the teddy than the grizzly variety. Big-boned and bearded, loose-limbed and always a little rumpled, his sunny disposition would brook no opposition even from the perpetual gray of the Mirror World. Not that he had much cause to complain, all things considered. Compared to [… […]

  • A Tale of the Mirror World, Part 2: From Mainframes to Micros
    by Jimmy Maher on June 16, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    Seen from certain perspectives, Soviet computer hardware as an innovative force of its own peaked as early as 1968, the year the first BESM-6 computer was powered up. The ultimate evolution of the line of machines that had begun with Sergei Lebedev’s original MESM, the BESM-6 was the result of a self-conscious attempt on the [… […]

  • A Tale of the Mirror World, Part 1: Calculators and Cybernetics
    by Jimmy Maher on June 9, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Back in my younger days, when the thought of sleeping for nights on end in campground tents and hostel cots awakened a spirit of adventure instead of a premonition of an aching back, I used to save up my vacation time and undertake a big backpacker-style journey every summer. In 2002, this habit took me [… […]