This time, we have something really special – not flyers, magazines and other replicated materials, but private letters from scener to scener, exchanged while swapping disks. This is something very familiar to those readers who were part of the scene in the 1980s, but something that members of younger generations hardly ever got to see. Here, however, the platform and location of the authors is rather unusual: The letters are written by Ukrainian ZX Spectrum sceners in the 1990s. While the Internet was a luxury in the post-Soviet countries, mailswapping was the usual way of interregional software exchange – and, obviously, it was not just enough to pack a disk into an envelope. Spectrum users exchanged personal letters, photographs, funny collages… This is where news and gossip was spread, long-distance friendships were forged, and new demo productions took shape. The small stack of letters presented here today was originally posted by VBI on his blog, and he was so kind as to provide us with higher resolution scans for permanent archiving. Thanks to him, we now have a unique insight into an early post-Soviet home computer culture.
As a new feature, we now have a built-in gallery at the bottom of the post, so you can browse the pictures quickly. There, you can also see the detailed metadata for the scans – they include summaries of the letters (which are, of course, written in Russian with bits of Ukrainian in between). To download the hi-res scans, however, click on the single links below pointing to our archiving space at scene.org.
• Rob F. to VBI, early 1999 [link]
• Consul to VBI, 19 September 1997 [link]
• Epson to VBI, 29 September 1997 [link]
• Injector to VBI, 25 August 1997 [link]
• Viator to VBI, 28 November 1996 [link]
• Viator to VBI, 19 December 1997 [link]