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The Digital FloodThe Diffusion of Information Technology Across the U.S., Europe, and Asia$
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James W. Cortada

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199921553

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199921553.001.0001

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Limits of Diffusion

Limits of Diffusion

Computing in the Soviet Union, German Democratic Republic and Eastern Europe

Chapter:
(p.238) Chapter 6 Limits of Diffusion
Source:
The Digital Flood
Author(s):

James W. Cortada

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199921553.003.0006

This chapter reviews the arrival, adoption and use of computers in Communist Europe of the 1950s through the 1980s and includes a discussion of post Communist computing in the region into the 2000s. It discusses Soviet-style management of the economy and technology and provides a detailed analysis of developments in Russia, East Germany, Poland and other Comecon countries. Unlike Western Europe where computing spread rapidly and was widely used, diffusion was slower and less effective in command-controlled economies. This chapter provides detailed information about applications, volumes of machines installed, and public policies intended to facilitate diffusion of technologies.

Keywords:   Eastern Europe, Comecon, Soviet Union, Russia, Cold War, East Germany, German Democratic Republic, information technologies, computers, Poland, Rumania

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