The Vilnius Computing Machine Factory

Computing machine repair unit. VSGM, 1988 photo album. Source:

Most residents of Vilnius have a computer at home today, which is a rather unsurprising fact. The first Lithuanian computer was born at the Vilnius Computing Machine Factory and was far from the ones we use today. Gintautas Grigas, Associate Professor of the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics of Vilnius University, and his team created a computer named Rūta. It could process up to three programmes at once. 410 km of cables and more than 16,000 transistors and diodes were needed to build it. You could not take it with you and use it in a café; the computer was about two metres tall and wide, and had an input device the size of a kitchen cabinet nearby.

Nevertheless, this computer made Lithuania the leader of calculating machines designed for processing big flows of data in the Soviet Union. These computers were used for accounting-related calculations and for the maintaining of accounts, and you did not need any special education or knowledge to do that. 37 computers were assembled in total. You can see one at the Vilnius Energy and Technology Museum today.

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