Re: I ran across this strange modernistic Data General ...odd computer
Bruce at Wild-Hare.com
Tue May 22 09:42:08 CDT 2018
G'day Zane -
Like every other computer system created, the Desktop Generation has its
own set of quirks and wonders. It was an interesting evolutionary
repackage of the microEclipse processor, but I never saw a customer or
user site actually using the Model 10's MS-DOS "compatibility feature".
The hardware consisted of modular metal frame chassis with snap-on
plastic covers. While great for manufacturing and cost control, the
delicate plastic cover retaining tabs were always breaking and the
covers would pull away from the chassis or just fall off. Only an
annoying cosmetic problem until you find that a "dead man's switch"
interlock was maintained by the power supply chassis front cover. Yes,
the power supply would always be cut off whenever the plastic cover
shifted, vibrated or fell off the chassis. Which happened often. (The
cheapest solution was the unintended, creative use of a ball point pen
combined with nerd engineering.)
Many OEMS delivered DG/RDOS- or AOS-based applications written in ICOBOL
or Business BASIC (i.e. NAPA). These were good systems for OEMs who had
previously developed software for DG - providing their application was
not disk-bound. DG eventually was forced to design and sell a parallel
I/O bus option to help improve disk performance... to the confusion of
customers previously told of the benefits of a serial I/O bus design.
The system was followed by the DG/500, which had a similar hardware
functional microEclipse-based design but enclosed in a then-familiar IBM
PC AT (desktop) form factor. This was the final unsuccessful attempt to
defend the low-end 16-bit Eclipse line from the PC onslaught.
Wild Hare Computer Systems, Inc.
Boulder, Colorado USA
bkr at WildHareComputers.com
...preserving the Data General legacy: www.NovasAreForever.org
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