In the early eighties, various laws in Yugoslavia prevented importing computers into the country. At the same time, even the cheapest computers available in the west were nearing average monthly salaries. This meant that regardless of demand for home computers, only a relative minority of people owned one - mostly a ZX Spectrum or a Commodore 64.
According to his own words, some time in 1983, Voja Antonić, while vacationing in Hotel "Teuta" in Risan, was reading the application handbook for the RCA CDP1802 CPU and stumbled upon CPU-assisted video generation. Since the CDP1802 was very primitive, he decided that a Zilog Z80 processor could perform the task as well.
Before he returned home to Belgrade, he already had the conceptual diagrams of a computer that used software to generate a video picture. Although using software as opposed to hardware would significantly reduce his design's performance, it also simplified the hardware and reduced its cost.
His next step was to find a magazine to publish the diagrams in. The obvious choice was SAM Magazine published in Zagreb, but due to prior bad experiences he decided to publish elsewhere.
The popular science magazine Galaksija appeared incompatible but he heard that they were working on a special issue dedicated to computers. He proposed publishing entire do-it-yourself diagrams, instructions, etc. to the author of the issue, Dejan Ristanović. Everything made its way into the special issue called Računari u vašoj kući. It was released late December 1983, although it was dated January 1984.
They tried to guess the number of Galaksijas that would be built by readers. Their estimates ranged from a hundred to a thousand (a number that sounded so optimistic it provoked laughter). The actual number built by known "do-it-yourselfers" - was around 8000! This number may in reality be greater if people who did not purchase any kits (including PCB and ROMs) are accounted for.
Components were provided by various manufacturers and suppliers:
- MIPRO and Elektronika from Buje, together with Institut za elektroniku i vakuumsku tehniku (en. Institute for electronics and vacuum technology) delivered PCBs, keyboards and masks,
- Mikrotehnika from Graz sent integrated circuits
- Voja Antonić personally programmed all EPROMs
- Galaksija (magazine) collected requisition forms and organized deliveries
Galaksija was almost not comparable by any measure of features to the commercially available computers at the time. However, that was not important. The computer sparked the minds of many people. Many enthusiasts have learned how computers actually work by looking at Galaksija's schematic diagrams and Voja's great descriptions. It was a great learning tool. Making a computer yourself boosts confidence and brings on the challenges of making the best out of it.
The Galaksija computer's popularity was significant enough that it became commercially available. Many educational institutions were given some. Although many of them were not ready for the experience, many others used it as a great tool to teach computer science (computer architecture and programming) even in elementary schools (in 1984!)." (Wikipedia)
Download from Megaupload:
Galaksija Galaksija - Demos (TOSEC-v2009-04-27)
Galaksija Galaksija - Games - [GAL] (TOSEC-v2009-04-27)
Galaksija Galaksija - Games - [GTP] (TOSEC-v2009-04-27)
Galaksija Galaksija - Various (TOSEC-v2009-04-27)