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Lviv PC-01

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    Lviv PC-01

    A long time ago in a country far, far away....
    At the beginning of 80th soviet clone of famous CPU i8080 arrived to the city of Lviv. There wasn’t any documentation, any examples or instructions about this wonderful black box. But this magic attracted a lot of people from universities. On these images you can see i8080 usage evolution:
    The last picture is the widely–known in narrow circles computer PC-01 Lviv. It’s developing was almost finished in 1985. But you know, Soviet government, bureaucracy… So, the production started several years later. It was even difficult to defend name “Lviv” in Moscow. “What? Lviv? No-no! This is nationalism!” But “Gorbachev”, “perestroika” and other fresh winds help to leave original name.
    At the end of 1987 or a little bit later computer appeared in shops. It cost about 650-750 rub. 150 rub. per month was not so bad salary. If you are cool and experienced engineer you can get about 300 rub. Good price for 8 bit computer at the end of 80th, isn’t it? But usually PC-01 was sold as soon as it came to warehouse. To understand this crazy situation you should know what else soviet people can by in that period. So, you can made computer “Micro-80” by your hands or buy it about twice cheaper that PC-01. “Micro-80” also has i8080 clone, but it hasn’t no graphic, no color, no sound. I told “you can buy”, but really you can’t. This computer also never was stored for a long time. What else… BK-0010 has the powerful PDP-11 clone and the same price as PC-01. It can be great home computer, but 16 KB of RAM and only 4 predefined colors was the sad soviet legacy. Other computers cost more than 1000 rub. and weren’t present at shops.
    (Beautiful story about love between soviet computer and student girl. 1987)

    So, what you’ll have for this money. You’ll have i8080 clone, 48 KB RAM, 16 RB ROM, 16 KB video, 256x256 resolution, 4 colors palette from 8 possible. You should buy tape-recorder, and modify your TV set for custom RGB port. One cassette with two or three programs and several small instructions were present in box. And… nothing else. You can’t go to the shop and buy new game. You can’t order joystick or book for this computer. This is soviet reality. “We produced computer for you, and you should make everything you want by your hands”.
    (PC-01 Lviv advertisement)

    And people started to produce. First of all games, of cause. Started from simple Basic games for own usage, and then cool Assembler games for sale. Look at these pictures:

    (Not Dizzy, but Dracula)

    (8 bit racing)

    (Every computer must have this game)

    (And this, of cause)

    (Game for two players)

    (3D game! Almost…)

    And later… But what happened later I’ll tell you next time.

    Thank you for the attention. Also, you can play PC-01 games online here. Or you can get a lot or emulators even for Dingoo (Ooops! This is topic for next chapter)


    A very interesting story, Zelya.

    I know nothing of Intel 8080 clones like the PC-01, but I'm sure there's a user here who has shared your experiences.

    Do you currently own a PC-01, or are you just extremely fond of it?


      Originally posted by WMH
      A very interesting story, Zelya.
      This is only first chapter I started during lunch break. I hope that the story about PC-01 advance, decay and revival in emulation is interesting too.

      Originally posted by WMH
      I know nothing of Intel 8080 clones like the PC-01, but I'm sure there's a user here who has shared your experiences.
      PC-01 Lviv is mostly forgotten computer. Only few persons were interested in it. It was difficult to find emulators, programs, manuals etc. But no situation is improving. We even found designer of this machine and he told us a lot of interesting things.

      Originally posted by WMH
      Do you currently own a PC-01, or are you just extremely fond of it?
      Yes I have PC-01 and yes I fond of it . I created a small site with forum and online emulator (link is above), and now I’m trying to revive interest to this computer. Also I developed Lviv Studio, wrote several lessons for programmers and started a small arcade game.


        Originally posted by Zelya View Post
        PC-01 Lviv is mostly forgotten computer. Only few persons were interested in it. It was difficult to find emulators, programs, manuals etc.
        I see what you mean. I checked my favorite source of information (Google) and the only relevant information was your post here on the VCForums.

        Originally posted by Zelya View Post
        I created a small site with forum and online emulator (link is above), and now I’m trying to revive interest to this computer.
        That's great! I checked out your site, it looks pretty good. The PC-01 seems to have a following and quite an interesting history. I wish you luck in your efforts.


          lol, don't ya hate that? Search for something and you come back to your post on the VCF?! But hey, on the bright side googlers will now find your site and info on this system which is great now. So the LVIV PC-01 is the keyboard system in that last picture? Those graphics are very impressive for an 8080 (I haven't seen much on 8080 systems but still, I always imagined more text games and not graphics).
          Looking to acquire: IBM 5100, Altair 8800


            Originally posted by barythrin View Post
            lol, don't ya hate that? Search for something and you come back to your post on the vcf?!


              Nice surprice to find you here Zelya

              Do you really have this prototype?
     my blog (Ukrainian)
              i like IBM,Compaq and SUN computers


                No, I haven't. But Puyda (main designer) has. By the way, here is interesting photo:


                Here you can see Puyda and head of his laboratory in Moscow. Also there are several military persons near them. Maybe you know that firstly army was interested in PC-01 and first lots have very cool metallic body. These computers couldn’t be found in shops. But even in later PC-01 versions we can see perfect keyboards. They have black plastic symbols fused in white keys. These keys will not be erased for hundred years of usage. Puyda wrote that this keyboard is military legacy. Unfortunately, I haven’t found metallic PC-01 yet.


                  How to beat a world record in ten steps

                  Step 1:

                  Go to site

                  Step 2:

                  You should register your account. First of all click on link "Регистрация"

                  Step 3:

                  Change your language to English and continue registration

                  Step 4:

                  After your account was created come back to and perform login via "Вход" link

                  Step 5:

                  Type your login and password. After pushing "Вход" ("Enter") button your interface will become English.

                  Step 6:

                  Go to "Games" section

                  Step 7:

                  Scroll page down to the table "Best of the Best" and select any game from it

                  Step 8:

                  Press "Play" button to start the game into new window

                  Step 9:

                  Do your best to show good results and gain a lot of scores. Remember you should play until "game over". If you shut down game before, your result wouldn't be stored

                  Step 10:

                  After you played as much as you wish, refresh game's page to see your record on it.

                  Congratulations!!! All the world now knows about your power!

                  Any additional questions can be resolved here:


                    I did recently learned 3000 hryvnia could buy a very good time in Lviv. It never occurred to me that buying an old 8080 over there would be one of the ways that could happen!
                    "Good engineers keep thick authoritative books on their shelf. Not for their own reference, but to throw at people who ask stupid questions; hoping a small fragment of knowledge will osmotically transfer with each cranial impact." - Me


                      Welcome to Lviv .

                      By the way, PC-01 got two new games at the beginning of 2013:
                      1. Color lines
                      screen1.png screen2.png

                      2. Playable demo with Dangerous Rick
                      screen1.png screen2.png


                        I've mentioned the newest games in the previous post. But I think it would be interesting to see several a little bit older examples, but... But they would be MSX examples. Yes, it is not so hard to recompile MSX games to PC-01 Lviv as you can think. Here you can see six beautiful ports prepared by Alexandr Timoshenko and Ivan Gorodetsky in 2009-2011. Left side is an original version and right side is a PC-01 port. Even AY sound is supported!



                        Color Ball

                        Driller Tanks

                        Fire Resue

                        Indian no Bouken

                        Not so bad, am I right?


                          Lvov PK-01

                          This was my favourite machine to emulate, not because of its catchy name (I’m not patronising the Russians here; it’s not like ours were much better e.g. ZX81, Amstrad CPC464) but because it has an intro screen with gaudy 3D letters spelling out its name. Brilliant.
                          Made in 1986, the Lvov is a great little machine. On it you can play great arcade games (even if the colour scheme is a bit iffy). I managed to play an excellent Galaxian-type game, a Way of the Exploding Fist copy and a Pengo game, all with very responsive controls and good gameplay. Interestingly, the Lvov doesn’t feel behind the times at all, rather it seems about the same as some of the computers you could have bought in 1986 in the West, such as the MSX or the Amstrad CPC machines.

                          Apart from these games, I could make little sense of any of the commands and errors that were needed to run this computer properly. Despite this, I greatly enjoyed emulating it, and it’s one I shall definitely return to, if only to see what other gaudy-coloured games are available.