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Bajtek was one of most popular Polish computer magazines at its times.


First issue of Bajtek

Bajtek was started in 1985 by Władysław Majewski, an editor of "Przegląd - Komputer", which was an insertion added to "Przegląd Techniczny". The first issue would be published by "Krajowe Wydawnictwo Czasopism", but because it was started 'ad hoc', it didn't have paper allowance (Dear Reader, please remember that at this time Poland was a communist country), so it had to borrow paper. "Sztandar Młodych" (Youth Banner), the newspaper of ZMP (Polish Youth Association - an organ of the communist party for the young communists) decided to lend paper for Bajtek, and the first issue could be printed. It was followed by three other issues during the year 1985 and all 200,000 copies were sold on the spot.

The editor of "Sztandar Młodych" liked the idea of a computer magazine addressing the young computer enthusiasts rather than computer scientists - as all other Polish computer magazines at that time did - so much that he decided to take it over.

First full-color issue of Bajtek. Also notice the new logo

In the fall of 1985, the editor of "Sztandar Młodych" Aleksander Kwaśniewski, who will later became President of Poland, became "minister do spraw młodzieży" (Minister of Youth Affairs), and his first decision was to make Bajtek a part of the "Sztandar Młodych" publishing house. From 1986 to 1989 Bajtek was published by "Sztandar Młodych".

In the year 1989, thanks to the 'Round Table', there were many changes in Poland. One of the most important was the closing of the Office of Censorship and stopping of the press regulation. With that and many other changes, Bajtek was separated from the "Sztandar Młodych" and continued on its own, published by Bajtek Publishing House, a co-operative started by Bajtek's redactors. It ran until 1996, when bankruptcy of Agrobank brought Bajtek Publishing House to its knees, eventually bankrupting it too.

Bajtek and CPC

At the beginning, Bajtek had mainly articles about computers from "private import" (more communistic 'nomenclature'), particularly about ZX Spectrum, which became quite popular in Poland in the first half of the 80's, mainly because of its price. In the 1986, there was an advent of 'clans' - sections of Bajtek, each dedicated to only one machine/producer (all Ataris, all Commodores and so on).

By that time, the popularity of the CPC in Poland was rising. That was to the simple fact that CPCs were (thanks to CP/M+ and 80 column mode) considered a cheap alternative to IBM PC and other 'professional machines'. Personally, I've heard about CPC applications in scientific calculations, which on its own shows how this trend was strong. That was because even institutions (like universities) couldn't afford buying substantial amounts of PCs. Poland was at that time a very poor country and high currency exchange rates added to the problem. Also, there was Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM), which meant that really big machines were out of reach.

Moreover, the built-in Centronics port of the Schneiders enabled very easy producing of so called "publikacje bezdebitowe" ("debitless" publications). "Debit" is a word from French meaning "to sell", "place of selling" and "bez-" is a Polish prefix for "without". At that time, if you wanted to distribute your publication, you had to have a "debit", a consent from the Office of Censorship. So, in short, "bezdebitowe" or "debitless" publications were illegal papers distributed by the underground political organizations. As they usually were produced in quantities of around 200 copies, a CPC with a good NLQ (near-letter quality) printer and possibly a copier was all you needed to fight with communism. Needless to say, CPC became quite popular in the underground.

Thanks to that, CPC was noticed by Bajtek and the "Klan Amstrada/Schneidera", a clan for the CPC and PCW computers was formed. Unfortunately, because of the typical profile of Polish CPC users, a Polish "scene" never formed, so there were no authors in the CPC clan who could portray the "Colour in CPC". Most articles were about practical applications of CPC and PCW.

Bajtek continued to publish articles about CPC and PCW until 1994.

List of articles releated to CPC

(As no other wiki editor could do it, I'll make that list, but this will take some time. Some of my Bajteks were lost when I've moved, others still aren't here... But should be by the end of this year)


Title Title translation Issue Page
Arnold - Rozmowa z Joe Oki Arnold - interview with Joe Oki 5-6/1986[1] 6
CPC 464 CPC 464 5-6/1986 10
Mini organy Mini organ 5-6/1986 12
Drugi drążek sterowy Second Joystick 5-6/1986 13
Pisać zamiast pisac Impossible to translate - this article was about Polish diacritical signs 5-6/1986 13
Animacja Animation 5-6/1986 14
Zabezpieczenia Protections 7/1986 19
Odzyskiwanie plików omyłkowo skasowanych na dyskietce (6128) Recovering data deleted from disc by accident (6128) 7/1986 19
CPC 6128 CPC 6128 8/1986 8
Menu dysku Disc menu 8/1986 8
AMX dla myszy AMX for mouse 8/1986 9
Ekran na papierze Screen on paper 8/1986 10
Zegar dla Amstrada Clock for Amstrad 8/1986 10
Lista zmiennych Variables list 8/1986 11
Powiększanie napisów Enlarging the Signs 8/1986 11
Jednoręki bandyta One-armed bandit (slot machine) 9/1986 12
Magnetofon i Amstrad Amstrad and the tape recorder 9/1986 14
Jak odbezpieczyć program w BASIC-u How to unprotect a BASIC program 9/1986 14
Test oczu i uszu Test your eyes and ears 10/1986 14
Muzyka robota Robot's music 10/1986 14
Transmat Transmat 10/1986 15
Polskie litery Polish letters (again about Polish diacritical signs) 11/1986 8
Trochę ruchu... Some movement... 11/1986 8
Pamięć pod lupą Memory under magnifying glass 11/1986 9
Amstrad PC 1512 Amstrad PC 1512 12/1986 11
Circle Circle 12/1986 11
Ruchome literki Moving letters 12/1986 11

[1] - Troughout the 1986, there were some problems with continuous publishing, so there were a couple of bi-monthly issues


Title Title translation Issue Page
PCW8512 PCW8512 1/1987 20
Co piszczy pod klawiaturą (1-12) What squeaks under the keyboard (part 1 to 12) 1-12/1987 [1]
Węże Snakes 2/1987 11
Programy biurowe Office applications 2/1987 12
Zmiana krojów pisma Font changing 4/1987 15
BASIC CPC 464 BASIC CPC 464 5/1987 14
Języki programowania Programming languages 6/1987 13
Drukarka? Printer? 6/1987 14
Instalacja polskich liter w CP/M PLUS dla CPC6128 Installation of Polish letters under CP/M PLUS for CPC 6128 8/1987 13
Firma Firm 10/1987 14
Uczymy mówić CPC 464, 664, 6128 Teach CPC 464, 664, 6128 to speak 11/1987 13
Katalog Catalog 12/1987 12

[1] - This article was in 12 parts, each one on a different page. I could list all 12 entries, each one stating the correct page number, but, as I don't think, any of You collect Bajtek (now or will in the future), I don't see the point.

Links & Download

1. ZbyniuR at (Polish forum of Spectrum & Amstrad users) share a .dsk images of Bajtek's listing in this topic. Some of these programs were rewritten with bug fixes and/or enriched additions compared to the original source. 2. Scans of the Bajtek magazine are available at AtariOnLine (Atari's user page) in djvu format. 3. There is also a project "Bajtek Reduks", involving the transfer of the full content of the paper issues of Bajtek into the electronic form (PDF).