Playing Computer Catch-Up

The Soviets launch a crash program to teach students the new technology

One way or another, students in the Soviet Union often adopt, belatedly at least, Western fads. By turning to the thriving black market in Moscow and other cities, many Soviet teens manage to spend their spare rubles on imported designer jeans or bootleg tapes of Michael Jackson and Boy George. But Soviet youth have so far missed out completely on one craze that is sweeping much of the West: the computer boom. Most Soviet teens have never touched a personal computer, much less spent hours hacking away happily at a keyboard. ;

Soon, however, the U.S.S.R. may have its own generation...

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