October 22 2010

Museum of Soviet arcade machines

If you enjoy old arcade and video games, the “Museum of Soviet arcade machines” looks like one tourist stop you do not want to miss! ¬†At the museum, foreign tourists will get a look at what gaming was like behind the “Iron Curtain” while Russians might remember playing these games and enjoy the¬†nostalgia. Check out their outstanding site which shows off many of their over 40 arcade games – and even lets you play some of them online! (Tip: You can play more of the games if you enter the Russian version of the site)

Museum of Soviet arcade machines.

September 3 2010

Configure your computer to type in Russian

“Need to type in Russian? Most computers can be easily configured to allow you to type in Russian. It only takes a few seconds, but it can be difficult to find all the settings if you’ve never done it before. Here’s a site that has instructions (and videos) showing how to configure your computer for typing in Russian.”

Russian Keyboard

August 24 2010

Soviet Ground Effect Vehicle A-90 “Orlyonok”

The A-90 Orlyonok was an amazing mix of boat and airplane developed in secret by the Soviet military. The A-90 is one of the largest ground effect vehicles ever made. This A-90 is now on display in Moscow.

Ground effect vehicle A-90 Orlyonok. by Peer.Gynt

Photo by Peer.Gynt

May 28 2007

Soviet Cities on the Moon?

Soviet Moon Cities

The February, 1958 edition of Science Digest featured an interesting article on Soviet plans to build cities on the moon. Of course the Soviets never sent men to the moon, and it would be another 11 years before Neil Armstrong would make his historic landing. Back in 1958, however, it seemed that Soviet plans to colonize the moon were taken rather seriously by American scientists. The article is very interesting and gives some historic perspective on the space race between the US and USSR.

Link: Soviet Cities on the Moon?

April 24 2007

A Tunnel From Russia to Alaska

Bering Strait TunnelLast week in Russia, backers of a plan to build a massive transportation network connecting Siberia to North America once again floated an age old idea of building a tunnel under the Bering Strait. The plan was apparently first conceived more than 100 years ago by officials of Russian tsar Nicholas II. Supporters of the plan said it would cost about $65 billion to build the system.

Read More: Reuters – RPT-Russia-Alaska tunnel is far off, if not a pipe dream
Read More: Russia Blog – Bering Strait Tunnel – It’s Possible, but is it Affordable?

March 23 2007

US Software Engineer to Tour Space with Russians

Billionaire software engineer Charles Simonyi is currently training for his planed tour to the International Space Station. He will be the 5th space tourist to visit the station with the Russian space agency. Simonyi started his programming career in Hungary using a Soviet-built Ural-2 system and plans to carry some paper-tape from that machine into space with him. He went on to work for several companies including Microsoft, where he helped develop Microsoft Word and Excel.

Simonyi’s friend Martha Stewart has planned a gourmet meal for Simonyi to take with him and share with the space station crew. According to Reuters, the meal will include “quail roasted in Madrian wine, duck breast with capers, shredded chicken parmentier, apple fondant pieces, rice pudding with candied fruit and semolina cake with dried apricots.”

Link: U.S. software developer to become world’s 5th space tourist
Link: Space station guest’s meal plan: roast quail to go

February 7 2007

Russian School Teacher Charged With ‘Pirating’ Microsoft Windows

A Russian teacher from Perm has been accused of pirating software for school computers. Aleksandr Ponosov, says he unknowingly purchased computers for his school with unlicensed copies of Microsoft Windows pre-installed. Microsoft says that Ponosov knowingly used pirated Windows software in the school and caused the company losses of $10,000.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has written an open letter to Bill Gates asking him to show mercy on Ponosov. In his letter, Gorbachev said that “The teacher, who has dedicated his life to the education of children and who receives a modest salary that does not bear comparison with the salaries of even regular staff in your company, is threatened with detention in Siberian prison camps.” Microsoft quickly rebuffed Gorbachev’s appeal saying “We are sure that the Russian courts will make a fair decision.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin also entered the debate saying “To grab someone for buying a computer somewhere and start threatening him with prison is complete nonsense, simply ridiculous. The law recognizes the concept of someone who purchased the product in good faith.”

Link: Cnet – Microsoft spurns appeal in Russian piracy case
Link: BBC – Gorbachev wades into piracy row
Link: Gorbachev’s letter to Bill Gates (Russian)