History of computers and games
History of computers and games
At that time, many lived in poverty and barely made ends meet, so my acquaintance with computers, like many others, began in a computer club. At that time it was the first computer salon in the city near my house, in the Chess Club. There were 3 Atari 65XE computers connected to Soviet Electron TVs, TVs that weighed more than me. Then I was 11, but for some reason I clearly knew that my whole life would be connected with computers.
My name is Dmitry Cherepanov, my professional name is Dmitry Brain. Founder of BrainTEC Digital and Blueweb Host. Founder of the first computer museum in Ukraine in Mariupol IT8bit.club and this site. I am a designer, programmer, perfectionist. In the past, in the 90s, he was also a pirate smuggler, but this is a separate and fascinating story).
In the mid-90s, in the Spectrum community, it was known as Technotronic from the ISI (Inferno Software Inc) Mariupol group. Our group also consisted of Jector and SW. At that time we were making music demos and games on the ZX Spectrum computer, doing business, listening to trekker music, writing music on the computer, drawing, programming, soldering computers, smoking weed and drinking alcohol, inspired by Commodore 64 computers, dreaming of an Amiga 500 or 1200 But then we were not in the trend, the concepts of IT and cyberpunk did not yet exist, and cybernetics was considered a field for nerds. Yes, in fact, we were then nerds who saw and felt the approach of an inevitable future in which digital technologies would rule. The Internet had not yet appeared, and not everyone could afford the FidoNet or BBS networks, and we exchanged information in the market or passed cassettes with floppy disks to each other throughout the CIS, through conductors or buses through drivers.
Time passed, and we all grew up, each of us became a professional in what used to be just a hobby for us. My passion for computers never went away, and one day, in 2003, I decided to collect my small collection of computers from the dream of my youth, which eventually turned into a computer museum in Mariupol. I got so carried away that the collection no longer fit in 2 rooms of my house and something had to be done about it.
The museum opened in August 2016. My collection included 120+ personal computers of the last century, game consoles, peripherals, components, cassettes and floppy disks with programs, books, magazines and many other related exhibits. In total, about 500 exhibits. The museum was visited by adults and their children, they admired the variety of computers of the last century and loved to play games of that time in my museum.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit us in 2020, I was forced to suspend the museum and it was in "sleep mode". The last time I visited my museum was March 14, 2022, and then I didn’t know that I would never see it again. The museum building was already damaged by mines and shells, but the museum itself was still intact.
We did not leave the city in the first days of the war, hoping that Mariupol would stand and not be occupied. But we were greatly mistaken and underestimated the scale and brutality of the Russian invasion.
Until March 15, we lived in complete isolation, without light and communications, without gas and heat, without water. We did not live, we survived, being in a blockade, without understanding how to break out of it. The shops were empty in just one or two days, there were no products, they had to be looked for in broken shops and warehouses, cafes and offices. Every day, under constant shelling, we went hunting, our hunt for food and resources. We still had gasoline in our small car, and we used it as a BMS “combat supply vehicle”, so jokingly I called our MINI Cooper, which was not scary to use for such purposes, since it was of no interest to the military because of its size and gluttony. We traveled and walked on foot, for water, to a spring or to a drama theater, which was already destroyed on March 16 and in which hundreds of civilians who were hiding from the horror of bombing and shelling died. At night, we hardly slept because of the cold and constant shelling, we got up at dawn and every morning I lit a fire for the day so that we could warm ourselves and cook food. We were so accustomed to shelling and bombing that we simply listened and judged by the whistle where or how far a mine, shell or bomb flew, and they flew constantly. We learned to distinguish one from the other by the sound and understand when it is worth hiding and when not. One morning, a mine flew into a neighboring house 20 meters from me, just when I was boiling water for morning coffee, out of surprise, I only managed to duck a little, but quickly realized where it had landed. They tell the truth that if it flies to you, then you simply won’t hear it, the closer it falls, the less you hear.
On March 15, we did not sleep all night, the bombing was heavy and already close to us, the house was constantly shuddering from falling bombs almost very close, and nightly street battles with the DRG took place literally on neighboring streets. The sound of an airplane that is circling and constantly bombing has already begun to not only strain, but even annoy like an annoying fly. In the morning we decided that even with the complete absence of information about the corridor, it became more dangerous to stay in the city than to run. We especially realized this when, while trying to pick up our friends already in the city center, we came under tank fire. The ork tanks were already just a kilometer away from us and it was too dangerous to stay. We grabbed what we could, abandoned our BMS breadwinner, and headed out of town on the safest possible path across the embankment, in other vehicles kept fueled in a safe location for just that purpose.
There we were waiting for a traffic jam for several kilometers along all parallel streets. Lines of cars, people like us, who just realized that they had to run, right now. We got out of the city for almost 3 or 4 hours, it seemed that nothing would work out and we would either come under fire or have to return. As I later learned from the news, about 4,000 cars, approximately 20,000 people, left Mariupol that day.
5 days on the road, from city to city in search of a place where you can stay at least for a week. On the way, I learned that there was no drama theater, then that our house and yard in general did not exist, and that my museum no longer existed. I lost everything that I loved, everything that was dear to me in Mariupol, where I was born and lived for 45 years of my life. The city where I created and built my business.
But I still have my family, my ideas and my desire to succeed, and I believe that I will start over and be able to find my new home. And perhaps, when a child wakes up in my soul again, I will collect a new collection and open a new museum.
And now we are all doing everything we can to ensure that Ukraine wins this cruel and senseless war, and I believe that we will see the dawn and find our home. And Russia will fall apart, as the USSR collapsed in the late 80s, when I was only 11 years old and when I realized that computers are my whole life!
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