Data I/O 29B

Randy Dawson rdawson16 at
Sat Aug 22 01:19:36 CDT 2015

Hi Jim,

Data I/O flew down to Texas every month, for sales meetings, we were doing a huge business for them. We would make joint calls and I remember that our field stuff was always updated as part of the trip.  All our demo units had these cool small suitcase, foam lined cases.  The FAE would go thru our stuff and make sure we were current.

There were always new chips to support for the Unipak, and they wanted to make sure that as we went on calls we never got stuck, as we were doing so well with the product.  My rep firm, USDATA was Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana for the product.  I never recall us going to visit Hamilton or Avenet, (AKA Hamilton Havenot!) I think they took those sales direct.  We were calling on TI, NASA, Datapoint, and the petrochem guys.

Jim, Did you know these guys?  I recall Dennis (sales mgr) and Marty (FAE)?
We had excellent support from these people as we were also users.  Our product line ('78-'82 timeframe) was all the top computer graphics, and we constantly had to update PROMS, EPROMS for the rest of our stuff:

Jupiter and AED graphics terminals;
Printronix and Trilog color printers;
Compucolor 8080 color computers;
Matrix film recorders;
Grinell image processor engine;

I remember after a day of Houston sales calls with them, I am driving them back to the airport.  We did not have lunch that day, so I stop at a tamale truck and hand these guys a sack of tamales.  Front seat is loaded with demo equip, so they are sitting in the back.  "Ever had a tamale?" I ask.  "These are great!"

I look in the rear view, and they are eating them, corn husks and all...

Back to Redmond, WA for these guys.

Now that is sales support!


> Subject: Re: Data I/O 29B
> To: cctalk at
> From: jws at
> Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2015 22:24:45 -0700
> At microdata we had a support contract with Data I/O and every set of 
> roms for the base unit and the Unipak came with a new poster up to date 
> with the latest parts from the manufacturers.
> So you don't need to just get a poster or table or list, but you also 
> need to match it to the firmware set in your 29xx.
> I grabbed a stack of the posters at one time which were old and have 
> them somewhere.  I'm not sure what would have happened to them at heavy 
> user sites, but I know such as the local Avnet, and Hamilton offices 
> which we mooched programming time from after I left Microdata had quite 
> a few.  I don't know if they got as many updates as Microdata did.
> Randy, did you know of such a program?  The program I'm talking with may 
> have gone around rep firms, as Microdata was using the crap out of a lot 
> of different roms, and then eproms.  Of course if you blew up a rom in 
> the Data I/O the manufacturers also warrantied them back pretty much w/o 
> any question, or someone came out to find out what you were doing wrong.
> Thanks
> Jim
> On 8/21/2015 8:05 PM, Randy Dawson wrote:
> > Something must be wrong here, the 29B/unipak is very easy to use.
> > I was the rep in Houston (USDATA) and I must have sold 50 of these.  It went for $4500 with the unipak.
> >
> > A typical demo we would plug in a dumb terminal, its a lot more effective demo to select a device than from the keypad.
> >
> > One of these I sold to Gateway Technologies, Rod Canion.  The demo and sale went down at a pancake house on the Southwest Freeway.
> > They used it to suck the BIOS out of the IBM PC, and form Compaq Computer.
> >
> > Randy
> >
> >> Subject: Re: Data I/O 29B
> >> To: cctalk at
> >> From: aek at
> >> Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2015 18:45:12 -0700
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> On 8/21/15 5:33 PM, Billy Pettit wrote:
> >>> This is the poorest documentation I've ever seen on a piece of test equipment.
> >>>
> >> The problem is they went through at least three generations of
> >> programming packs (individual device, unipak, unipack2/2A/2B)
> >>
> >> There is a text file (unipak2.txt) that I sent you that lists
> >> about 1000 devices along with the family and pin adapter.
> >>
> >> I gave up on anything earlier than the 2900/3900/Unisite a LONG
> >> time ago. I'd just offer them to people in the bay area and not
> >> even bother testing them. I should have the docs on bitsavers for
> >> them.
> >>
> >   		 	   		
> >
> >

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