White Sinclair Spectrum Clone with Russian characters, unknown maker, Russia, 1980-1990
Large numbers of clones of Sinclair computers were produced in the former Soviet Union. It was impossible for computer enthusiasts to legitimately get hold of genuine western computer technology before the removal of the Iron Curtain, leading electronics enthusiasts in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe to reverse-engineer smuggled-in western machines. Clones were also made unofficially in State electronics plants by workers who made the machines as low-volume hand-assembled kits. They were used with domestic tape recorders and television sets. This process was made more problematical for Soviet users by the fact that they used a different alphabet. Sinclair computers remained popular in Russia until quite recently, although PCs are now predominant as elsewhere in the world.