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Good old days of COCOM list?

Good old days of COCOM list?

Posted Nov 19, 2010 22:19 UTC (Fri) by NAR (subscriber, #1313)
Parent article: Impressions from the 12th Realtime Linux Workshop in Nairobi

I'm not old enough to remember the days when computers (and software) couldn't be exported to the former Warsaw Pact countries, but I know that this list had an incentive on invention: because computers couldn't be imported from the West, they had to be built in the East. Even if these were mostly clones of Western designs, it was necessary to develop skills to build them. The Cold War had an other fortunate consequence: the Western companies weren't able to after those violating their copyrights and other intellectual property.

Now Africa is not bordered by such restrictions, both free software developers and proprietary software lobbyist can travel there.


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Good old days of COCOM list?

Posted Nov 23, 2010 1:18 UTC (Tue) by skissane (subscriber, #38675) [Link]

I think the Soviet IT industry really suffered due to the obsession with stealing Western designs. Rather than building their own native architectures and systems, the focus was on having KGB spies infiltrate Western companies, on smuggling Western systems through third countries and reverse-engineering them, etc... When your focus is on copying someone else, you will never do better than them, the best you can hope for is, if you copy them perfectly, you will be their equal. If they had put the same effort into innovation, they might have come up with advances ahead of what the West had. But, they had to do what their political masters told them to...

Good old days of COCOM list?

Posted Nov 24, 2010 22:33 UTC (Wed) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523) [Link]

It was even worse. The USSR had its own hardware and software some of it was quite advanced (BESM series, for example) and even unique systems like ternary Setun' computers.

But then the USSR decided to license IBM's technologies. It all went downhill from there.


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