History: Lixco L/B881, the first Romanian commercial microcomputer

It was back in the early eighties. Launched in 1977, Apple II became one of the most recognizable and successful computers during the 1980s. In Europe, in 1980, a Cambridge based company, later to be known as Sinclair Research, started to sell, in kit or as ready built, the Zilog Z80 based Sinclair ZX80. In 1981 it was followed by ZX81 and, in 1982, by the highly successful ZX Spectrum.

In communist Romania all these great toys could be seen only in the pages of the few magazines smuggled through the iron curtain. Worse, due to export restrictions, some complex integrated circuits were simply banned for export in the communist countries.

However, during these difficult years, a group of enthusiasts, self named Lixco (after the nickname of Nicoară “Lix” Paulian, the team leader) designed, manufactured and sold, in kit or as ready built, their own version of a microprocomputer, the L/B881.

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