|Re: An interesting site and a question...|
Message #4 Posted by Juan J on 9 Nov 2008, 6:28 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Ed Austin
The Soviets did acquire HP equipment legally on the 1970s. In the Memories sections the story can be found.
Following a trend that started under Stalin and Beria, the Soviets acquired and copied as much western technology as they could. As Beria himself sometime pointed out, it cut development costs and avoided dead ends.
The IBM 360 was copied and modified to some extent in the BESM series of mainframe computers, and FORTRAN was the programming language of choice on the Soviet Bloc. Eastern Germany developed a programming language, known as INKA (Interpreter-Kalkulator) but its use was restricted to East German equipment.
In the late 1970s there were rumors of Western chips being used in the guidance packages of Soviet ICBMs, but nothing else was known. Rumors aside, the problem with Soviet ICBMs was not guidance packages but rocket motors reliability and fuel technology. Not until the mid 1980s a reliable solid-fueled missile system could be deployed.
The Soviets did develop chip technology of their own, and liked RPN for their calculators. ElektronorgTechnika, known as Elorg, took charge of this and even prouced some interesting models. Some Soviet ICs were round instead of square, just to use up all the space available for connections.
As for the military implications, Western technology acquisitions, whether legal or illegal, helped in the design and deployment of a number of weapons systems throughout the Cold War; the US denounced such activities every now and then. In the end, we all know what happened. The arms race caused important quality of life declines in the US and the collapse of the Soviet state.
Just my two cents.