Many Non-bulgarian people, might be unware about an interesting fact about Bulgaria.
Here in Bulgaria, we used to produce an 8-bit and 16-bit computers in one little town Pravetz.
Pravetz town was a home place of the bulgarian communist party leader Todor Zhivkov (he used to be something like the democratic country president).
Pravetz Computers factory was producing about 100 000 computers per year for the use of the ex-USSR, making Bulgaria the biggest computer producer in the Soviet Union!
Pravetz used to be a personal computer (PC) but it was officially marketed as Microcomputer. As for that world it was considered way smaller than the big VAXes or MainFrames.
Pravetz design was not too revolutionary, its microchip was stolen from IBM, while some of the earlier 8 bit pravetz computers were stolen by Apple ][ microcomputer. The computer came with its own documentation. I've never owned a newly bought Pravetz at this time as buying a computer in the years of 1985 – 1995 in Bulgaria was a pretty hard and too expensive. I personally got my Pravetz 16 with the high 640 KB of Memory and even a 21 Mbytes of Hard Disk! The monitor was a monochrome black and green CGA. The computer however had a major bug as I cannot play a lot of the games which was intended for 16 bit Personal Computers because the screen was failing to produce some of the 16 bit colors it was supposed to.
A lot of schools in the 1990 and 1998 was using heavily Pravetz Computers for their Informatics educational program. Students were mostly learned in BASIC programming language. BASIC and Borland Pascal was the most used programming language on this archaic machines. Actually the first computer ever I saw in my life was an 8 bit Pravetz 8M.
Seeing a computer was quite an interesting experience, we used to have here in Bulgaria special calculation ceneters dedicated to high calculations, storing a lot of mainframes, along with the mainframes Pravetz was supporting the scientific works of the Bulgairan scientists.
The pravetz factory which used to be producing the Pravetz line Personal Microcomputers was disbundled about the year 1998 like a lot of other government (communist party) owned and supported factories.
Most of the Bulgarians in age between 23 and 45 should definitely still remember how euphoric it was to run an old school DOS games on Pravetz. Actually most of the the schools in bulgaria in the years 1982 – 2000 had either used only Pravetz or used mostly pravetz. Nowdays not much people remember the Pravetz years. Pravetz was runnign a computer architecture of 8086 XT
I still remember on Pravetz playing great games like Double Dragon, Karateka, Prince of Persia, Grand Prix 🙂
And many many more, I even remember a program called Stripe or something for 3d design. Pravetz was running fine a lot of stuff including the great File Manager Norton Commander.
Well what can I say it was good years 🙂 Its a pity nowdays computers are nto produced in Bulgaria anymore.