Minszk-22 computer

The Minsk computer family manufactured in Minsk for 10 years is practically the descendant of the vacuum tube M3 computers developed in Moscow. The first member of the family, the Minsk 2, was the first semiconductor computer of the Soviet Union, the Minsk 22 is the already corrected and updated version of Minsk 2. The one on exhibit was bought in 1968 by the National Committee for Technological Development for the JATE, to replace the M3, already 9 years old, to support the applied mathematician training started by the initiative of László Kalmár. Until 1974 the machine operated in the Cybernetic Laboratory - hallmarked by the name of Professor Kalmár at JATE -, then it operated in another computing centre until 1979.

The Minsk 22, also a word-organised machine, had a main memory with an 8 Kword (37 bit/word) capacity ferrite memory, an operation speed of 10,000 operations/second, and a reasonably unreliable 1″ (non-standard), 800 words capacity magnetic tape unit memory. Two types of printers belonged to the configuration: a 60 line/minute speed chain printer from 10 decimal digits and + sign for printing numeric data, and a 100 line/minute speed rotating cylinder printer to print alphanumeric data. For data entry it originally had an 80 column punched card reader, the FACIT reader operating with 5 and 8 track punched tape was added to the machine in the Cybernetics Laboratory, which, similarly to most computers of the era required an air conditioned room. However, it operated really reliably, 5-6 days, sometimes 7 days a week, for 24 hours a day; giving it a total operational availability of around 90%.

The Minsk 22 served to solve scientific and research tasks, but it was drawn into several application projects and used for interesting educational tasks as well, for example, a student solved the simulation of Kalmár’s fictional machine on it as his thesis.