Lenin Museum opened 1987 still uses Apple II

Interesting story about sophisticated electro-mechanical displays run by British software on American microcomputers - which must be done by stealth. The Agat was apparently not compatible enough.

via Emmanuel Florac on diaspora

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Didn’t the Agat feature an OS of its own?
(There are various statements out there to a varying degree of compatibility or incompatibility, from “fully Apple II compatible”, or “ROM directly lifted from the Apple II, still with Wozniak’s name in it”, to different OS and incompatible ROMs. Fun fact: http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=509 has the latter two in the same article side by side. The legacy of a rather ill fated BYTE review, “bad copy of the Apple II”, apparently rather referring to a lab mockup of what was more a distant precursor of the Agat than to the real object, doesn’t exactly help clarifying things.)

It sounds (from your link) like the successive Agat models got closer and closer. Possibly, the work on the exhibits in question was underway before this point:

The Agat-7, conceived in 1986, introduced the expansion feature which was the main weakness of the original Agat and had an optional full Apple compatibility card available.

The article mentions this compatibility board and also provides the reason for not using the Agat, an incompatibility in connectors still remaining. (Also, I guess, if you’re going to use an integrated package, you wouldn’t lightheartedly exchange the most crucial part for a “might work” solution, which may break at any point for obscure reasons. Not for such a high visibility application.)

But the creators of the Lenin Museum had a problem. Soviet law barred them from trading directly with foreign companies, and Agat-7, a Soviet Apple II clone, was unlikely to do the job. It required an external card to run software made in the West, and its 60-pin slots would not fit the 50-pin cards used by the ES4000. “All our programs depend on these add-on cards to provide the time code and high-speed communications facilities,” Bob Simmons, Electrosonic’s Managing Director, told Apple User at the time. That meant the company would need to bring their own Apple computers to the Soviet Union.

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