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Deutsches Technikmuseum - November

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The Websites of the donation Stiftung Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin at a glance:


The donation contains six locations:

Exhibit of the Month November 2012

Photo: Everything looks old-fashioned and voluminous: The circuit board in its case, the keyboard and the square mouse.

The must-have for computer freaks in the GDR, the Z 1013 © SDTB / C. Kirchner

GDR Self-Assembly Computer Z 1013 from 1987

Build your own computer?!
In the age of fancy tablet computers, that seems quite absurd.

For the computer freaks in the GDR about 25 years ago, however, it was the most normal thing in the world. There was hardly any other way, you see, for a private person to acquire a PC.

At that time, the self-made computer Z 1013 shown here was ordered with a postcard to the producer, VEB Robotron Electronics in Riesa, and about a year later delivered to the Robotron Shop for Home Electronics in Erfurt, where the customer had to pick it up. Depending on the features, it costs between 600 and 950 Marks of the GDR.

Do it yourself!

The model Z 1013 was a single-board computer. The 8-bit processor had a frequency of 2 MHz, had a 4-KB ROM (read-only memory), and depending on the model 16 to 64 KB RAM (random access memory). In the less expensive variations, you received an unequipped circuit board, had to solder all the components yourself, and build a case. It became more expensive when you ordered the already fully assembled circuit board with a keyboard and only needed to produce the case and the power supply. A black and white TV served as the computer screen and as storage, a cassette tape. You had to program the thing yourself – for example, in the BASIC programming language.

The advantage of such self-made computers was their expandability. For instance: the computer lover, who later left his Z 1013 to the museum, didn’t like the membrane keyboard. Therefore, he built a second, user-friendly keyboard and found that his computer could really "take off": on the keyboard, he pasted a sticker of SAS, the Scandinavian airline.