Bombs dropped by Russian forces further destroyed the 8-Bit Club and the 500 Soviet-era computing devices, collected by its director for some fifteen years. Among them, several Apple IIcs, ZX Spectrums and an Atari 400.
A piece of computer history has gone up in smoke. The 8-bit Club, a museum dedicated to early computers and video games in Mariupol, Ukraine, was flattened by shells from Russian forces. Among the debris: 500 artifacts from one of the largest Soviet-era collections.
“The Mariupol Computer Museum no longer exists. All that’s left of the collection I’ve collected over 15 years are just scraps of memorabilia on the museum’s Facebook page, website, and radio station.“, lamented on March 21 on Facebook Dmitry Cherepanov, the director of the Mariupol computer museum, destroyed by a shell from the Russian forces.
The museum, a real institution in Ukraine since its creation in 2003, brought together more than 500 pieces of computer history from the Soviet era, as well as many old video games like HeroQuest, Xenon or GhostBuster . Devices manufactured in now defunct Soviet factories such as Oriel, Kvorom and Robik. Some computers even weighed over 20kg and were the pride of their owner, such as certain parts that dated as far back as the 1950s.
The museum included several ZX Spectrum, the first personal stationary computers put on the market in 1982, very popular machines in the USSR from Leonid Brezhnev. Dmitry Cherepanov has accumulated over the years a whole range of exhibits such as an Apple IIc, the first laptop computer from the apple firm, as well as a Compaq Portable III or an Atari 400, marketed in 1979 and sold for two million copies until 1985. In addition, the museum also exhibited Radio-86 RK, the most affordable personal computers of the 1980s.
“I started with two or three devices, then I couldn’t stop. I got so caught up in the game that the collection no longer fit in two rooms of my house. Something had to be done and that’s why I decided to open this museum“says the director who spent fifteen years of his life bringing together this collection. For him, showing all these devices in broad daylight was also a way of telling the common history of Ukraine and Russia. A museum that also appealed to children reports Futurama , many there “discovered the video games of yesteryear, with the old joysticks and arcade terminals”.
On March 15, as the situation worsened under the shelling, Dmitry Cherepanov left his home with his family. “The war destroyed not only houses but also the lives of hundreds of thousands of Mariupol residents”, laments the director. Before concluding, on a note of optimism:But I still have my family, my ideas and my will to succeed. I believe I will start at the beginning and be able to find my new home. And maybe when the child wakes up again in my soul, I’ll build a new collection and open a new museum. This is not the end !»
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In Mariupol, the computer museum destroyed by a shell
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