Classic Computer Rescue Squad

From: Lawrence Walker <>
Date: Fri Nov 7 18:53:54 1997

On 6 Nov 97 at 18:07, Allison J Parent wrote:

> <> The Nova will never be featured in the newspapers because it is not a
> <> socially significant computer.
> No more (or less) so than PDP-11s that it competed against.
> <Ever read, say, _Soul of a New Machine_?
> Good read, still have my copy!
Me too. But I've also got a hard-cover now!
> Once upon a time there were many computer companies in Massachusetts
> and during the life of the pdp-8, PDP-11 and the VAX there was Data General
> trying to also carve a niche in the minicomputer market. This is
> significant as most of action preceeds 1978. To put that in perspective
> by '78 the altair was two years old and MITS starting to crumble, IMSI was
> starting to peak, TRS-80 was new, AppleII was there as well, SS50 bus
> machines were strong with SWTP and the new Smoke Signal Broadcasting
> Company. The PC would be three years away.
This prompted me to dig up a Nov 81 copy of a mag called Datamation
whose feature article was a history of the Route 128 companies and a
companion piece "Rte128's new Wave Startups" which included Apollo,
Stratus, SOLV-vation, and the 'revamped"Charles River Data Systems..
The push was on to 32bit and Data General was offering it"s
"brand-new" medium-priced supermini,the MV 6000 whose price was on
it's way down to only $100,000. Mind you in the new hardware section
in the back, they report "A typical system with peripherals will sell
for $215,000 ,DG says."
 One of the products featured was a modem for VAX' from Clyde
Digital Systems with programmable auto-dial, auto-answer 300bps to
1200 bps called CALOUT (of course :^)) for only $1845.
 Another "cute" blurb, "CP/M-86 is the 16 bit version of the de facto
industry standard microcomputer operating system, CPM. Once a user
slips the 8-inch floppy containing CPM-86 into a (IBM) Displaywriter,
an entirely new world of data processing will open up on the typist's
desk." Sounds almost pornographic. ; ^ ))
> Computers each and every have significance, some because of new concepts,
> new markets or in a few cases the scams and swindles behind them! There
> were many unremarkable computers made and many while noteable were really
> junk!
> If I could say one thing about all of the arguments...
> Been there, done that! I even have a few of the t-shirts that are still
> not rags yet. How many were at PCC'76 on the boardwalk?
> Allison
 I was 40 at that time and I didn't go to many concerts by then. Just
hung out, smoked a little of dope and listened to some sides. My
lady of the time did catch the Stones at the ElMo in 77 tho. ;^0

ciao larry
Received on Fri Nov 07 1997 - 18:53:54 GMT

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