Welcome, Voja Antonic!
- Chris had the opportunity to interview Voja while in Belgrade for work.
- Voja is the inventor of the Galaksija computer, which was the first (legally available) computer in Yugoslavia in 1984. It was based on the Z80 processor.
- There is also a more in depth discussion of the Galaksija in Serbian that can be translated with Google Translate.
- It was illegal to import other computers that were available at the time because of the cost of the finished goods.
- Over 8,000 DIY builders wrote in to the magazine published by Dejan Ristanovic (computers in your home) to mention the article inspired them.
- The cost of components was 230 Deutschmarks, which this site coverts at 2.871 / 1$. That means it cost roughly $80 in 1984 which would cost roughly $185 in today’s dollars (if this is wrong, please correct in the comments)
- They used to broadcast games over the radio station, which people could record onto tapes and then play on their computers.
- Voja will be demoing and running a workshop based around his DIY Single-chip 2D Retro Game Console at Choas Communication Congress (CCC) this year. Be sure to download and check out the (assembler) source code!
- In the late 90s, Voja wrote in about the Engineer’s Assistant, a multitool that could do logic and protocol analysis. This became Microchip’s AN689 but was later pulled because of sanctions against Yugoslavia at the time.
- Voja also wrote books such as The Guide To Critical Thinking and Patents That Won’t Change The World (Wayback Machine version).
- He also talked about the Vampire Detector (also only available on the Wayback Machine), a machine with switched mirrors that allowed you to see if someone in a crowd is a vampire. This was a send up of the patent system.
- Chris didn’t know about Voja’s site until after the interview, unfortunately. Check out this other awesome project with an OCR system for Bingo Balls.
Voja was a wonderful guest and I’m so glad we got to meet in person! Many thanks to my co-workers at Supplyframe for introducing me while I was in Belgrade.