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To build BESM, Lebedev needed more than 50,000 vacuum tubes. That was a significant portion of the
             yearly production of the tubes in the USSR. Besides, the production and distribution of  goods were
              prescribed by the State Planning Committe a year ahead. Lebedev directly approached  the plants
          producing the tubes trying to be the tubes for BESM, but  had no success, as they there were no surplus to
          sell him. During this trips he noticed huge stands with thousands of vacuum tubes, which were tested for
           20 days for failures. He proposed the plant to use his BESM as a testbed for the tubes. The management
           agreed and each 20 days the computer was shut down, all  tubes that survived test has been returned to
                                          the plant and new tubes replaced them.

       Bruk’s Computers
                          While Sergey Lebedev designed the first general-purpose mainframe computers, Isaak S.
                          Bruk was the father of the future mini and control computers. Prior to starting work on dig-
                          ital computers, Bruk designed mechanical differential analyzers (with up to thousand rack-
                          wheels).  He and Bashir I. Rameev were awarded the first Russian patent on a “digital com-
                          puting machine” in 1948, which however was never built. With a small team of  enthusiasts
                          and students, Bruk built his first computer M-1 in 1951 and immediately started the second
                          computer M-2, then M-3. These machines were not commercial, they were used mostly for
                          solving some unique problems, such as durability of large hydro power dams built  at that
         Isaak S . Bruk   He founded the Institute of Electronic Control  Machines, which became the head organi-
          (1902–1974)     zation that  designed computers for real-time control of power stations, power grids, and
                          technological processes.

       The First Serial Computer Strela
       Strela (Arrow) was the first computer serially produced in 1953–1956 in Russia, in Moscow, though the series
       was of only 20 machines. The com-
       puter had 6200 vacuum tubes, two
       tapes with capacity 1.5 mln words,
       used 150 kwt power, occupied  an
       area of more than 3000 square feet,
       and  performed 3000 operations per
       second.  The Strela programmers
       were pioneers in developing soft-
       ware technology in Russia.

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