Computers in your home


It would be pretty immodest to say that the 100-page publication "Racunari u vasoj kuci" set off the computer revolution in Yugoslavia. So I won't say it; the fact is, however, that the computer revolution began just after the appearance of the first issue of the "Racunari " magazine. Clearly, the time and the circumstances were favorable, and the well advertised publication only gave things a push in the right direction...

I have to admit that, at the time, I couldn't imagine my area of interest would become so popular, so wanted and needed. The editorial board of the popular science magazine "Galaksija," however, had estimated the market much better than I. In June 1983, Gavrilo Vuckovic, Editor - in - Chief of "Galaksija," asked me to think about an "special publication about computers." Thereafter, things started to happen pretty fast, and our plans also began to change: at the end of August, a new opportunity arose, allowing us to enhance the publication with a chapter on do-it-yourself assembly of the Galaxy computer, a project headed by Voja Antonic. At the same time, the market began expanding so fast that it became obvious programmable calculators were already old hat. At the beginning of October 1983, Jovan Regasek, one of the editors in "Galaksija," informed me that I was slated to be the author of the entire special edition, which would include Voja's chapter on do-it-yourself assembly of the Galaxy computer.

And, boy, what a challenge that turned out to be! Time has shown, however, that I succeeded in overcoming all the problems involved in this project. The special edition included several important and very successful chapters with instructions on how to make the right choice when buying a computer; descriptions of peripheral equipment; a classification of commercial software; and a section on the 'little secrets of the great masters' of programming.' The most popular chapter was an introduction to BASIC for absolute beginners. There was, naturally, a chapter about how to assemble a Galaxy computer on your own. Looking at it as a whole, the project was not a magazine in the real meaning of the term -- if bound and assembled under one cover, it would have been a real book.

"Racunari u vasoj kuci" entered the market at the end of December 1983. It was an unbelievable success, appearing at the right time and in the right place. The people who bought the magazine were very interested in computers but knew almost nothing about them. The circulation of 30,000 copies was sold out in a matter of weeks, so we printed another one of the same size. Finally, at the end of 1983, we printed a third edition of 40,000 copies which sold out as well, even though two other issues of "Computers" had appeared in the meantime. I must emphasize the fact that over 8,000 of our readers have built their own Galaxy computers.

Soon afterwards, the pace began to pick up -- other media also started to talk about computers and Voja and I took part in many shows. Everybody wanted to ask questions, to suggest ideas, to propose something... Even the government's trade and tariff board left computers off its very strict list of import products. The board set such limits that at least the Spectrum could be imported legally. "Racunari u vasoj kuci" continued to come out regularly, and finally it grew into the magazine "Racunari." I was one of the editors of "Racunari " for 11 years, until circumstances allowed me to create a new magazine. But this time, it was a privately published magazine and everything went much easier.