Data General

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Data General ( DG ) was a US company in the computer industry .

Company history

Data General was founded in 1968 by Edson de Castro, who had previously left Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) due to a dispute. There he was responsible for the famous PDP-8 computer. Since he could not enforce his own ideas at DEC, he left the company to start his own computer company. With a cycle time of 800, later 300 nanoseconds, the NOVA computers were the fastest minicomputers on the market for years. In 1999, Data General was taken over by EMC Corporation .


Right from the start, DG caught the eye with its aggressive and successful marketing . Famous in the computer industry in the sixties was an advertising poster that showed the founder Ed de Castro in a large, grainy black and white. Underneath it read: "Hello, I'm Ed de Castro. We earn our money with computers. And since we want to earn a lot of money, we build very good computers!". A statement that can hardly be surpassed in terms of clarity and directness. As a result, DEC salespeople talked a lot about "the bad guys from Data General" to customers, which in turn piqued their curiosity about DG.


The Data General Nova 3 system

The first computers were called Nova and were 16-bit machines. Due to their high stability, they were to be found in military use for many years , especially in the US Navy on ships.

DG later developed the Eclipse series of computers, of which 32-bit versions were also available from 1980 . The Eclipse S / 230 developed by DG was positioned in direct competition with the successful PDP-11 from DEC . The spelling "S / 230" was not just coincidentally based on the terms commonly used by the market leader at the time, IBM , such as " System / 360 or S / 360 ". In the mid-1980s there were also fully integrated office solutions with software for word processing, bookkeeping and operational accounting systems for the Eclipse systems, but these were unsuccessful against the IBM mainframes and were a little too early on the market as minicomputers.

In 1984 DG launched the Data General / One, one of the first really portable and partially network-independent MS-DOS computers. Due to its high price and the use of advanced, but not then existing standards in the DOS world corresponding technology (e.g. 3.5-inch floppy disks), the DG One achieved little importance on the market

In 1989 DG brought the AViiON computers onto the market, which were initially equipped with Motorola 88000 processors and on which DG's own Unix derivative DG / UX ran. A number of technically interesting concepts such as SMP and NUMA were used to increase performance .

In 1992, HADA ("High Availability Disk Array") laid the foundation for the CLARiiON series of storage systems, which were launched in 1994.

Today the company no longer exists independently, it was bought by EMC in 1999 . The main reason for the purchase were the storage systems of the CLARiiON series. The other products have been discontinued.

Individual evidence

  1. Joe Wilcox: EMC buys Data General for $ 1.1 billion . CNET News, August 9, 1999
  2. Tracy Kidder: The Soul of a New Machine. 1981, ISBN 0-316-49170-5 .
  3. Tracy Kidder: The soul of a new machine . Modern Library, New York 1997, ISBN 0-679-60261-5 .

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