Jacek Karpiński (1927 – 2010)

Karpinski was a Polish computer scientist who participated in the Warsaw uprising where he was heavily wounded. He founded the Polish Information Processing Society and invented (among others) the K-202 minicomputer.

Since the Polish computer industry belonged to the Comecon, the K-202 was never mass produced. It was one of the first minicomputers designed with a modular architecture, dual bus, multi tasking and worked at a rate of one million operations per second (faster than personal computers even 10 years later).

Despite the success of Karpinski’s inventions he was constantly harassed by various institutions and eventually removed from directing the department of microcomputers.

Fun facts:

  • After losing his job overseeing the design of the K-202 he moved to Warmia to farm pigs and poultry.
  • In the 90ies Karpinski was chronically plagued by financial woes while waiting for his inventions to come through and forced to moonlight by designing web-pages.

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