The Electronika BK was a series of 16-bit PDP-11-compatible Soviet home computers developed by NPO Scientific Center, the leading Soviet microcomputer design team at the time. It was also responsible for the more powerful UKNC and DVK micros. First released in 1984 (developed in 1983), they were based on the К1801ВМ1 (Soviet LSI-11-compatible CPU) and were the only "official" Soviet home computer design in mass production.
They sold for about 600-650 rubles. This was expensive, but marginally affordable, so they became one of the most popular home computer models in the Soviet Union despite numerous problems.
In 90s, their powerful CPU and straightforward, easy to program design made them popular as demo-machines. BK (БК) is a Russian abbreviation which stands for "Бытовой Компьютер"—domestic (or home) computer. It was also for a short time used as cash register, for example, in the State Universal Store.
Although BK-0010 was one of the cheapest Soviet PCs and in speed (as well as memory, graphics, and so on) differed little from the simple 8-bit models, this PC was one of the first fully 16-bit home computers in the world (in contrast to the TI-99/4A, BK had the controllers with the same width). It worth to mention that the IBM-PC was a 8 bit machine - only the CPU was 16 bits internally.
It used a Soviet K1801VM1 microprocessor, K1801VM1 @3MHz (BK-0010), @4.6MHz (BK-0011), @4MHz (BK-0011M).
The chip's price, like the computer's, was relatively high and it was only marginally affordably.
Of the 4 buttons, only the Sound on/off switch worked reliably.
- Reset button.
- Pause switch.
- Clock speed switch (“turbo” switch).
- Sound on/off switch.
The pause switch caused games to crash and the reset button wore the computer out early.
- Name: Vilnius Basic.
- Paradigm: imperative and algorithmic.
- First appeared: 1986.
- Dialects: BASIC-86 and BASIC-88.
- Influenced by: MSX BASIC.
- Influenced: None.
Vilnius BASIC is a dialect of the BASIC programming language running on the Elektronika BK-0010-01/BK-0011M and UKNC computers.
It was a quite advanced BASIC and featured a runtime threaded code compiler that compiled the program when one entered the RUN command. The dialect was very close to MSX BASIC. The major differences were the lack of the PLAY, SOUND, VPOKE and PUT SPRITE operators, the inability to open several files at the same time, and the inability to use more than one operator on one line. Only the UKNC version had a full-screen editor. Machine-dependent features, like graphics operators parameters and PEEK/POKE addresses were also different.
The software was developed at Vilnius University, located in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, which was a republic of the Soviet Union at the time.