Anyone ever heard of...

From: Bruce Ray <>
Date: Sun Feb 4 20:34:24 2001

Data General created a separate business unit in the mid '70s called the
Commercial Systems group to market systems to business VARs and end users.
Previously DG tried to sell hardware/software on technical merits rather
than a an overall "business solution" basis. DG sold pre-packaged hardware
configurations along with proprietary Interactive COBOL or Business BASIC,
and called the major products the "CS" line. This designation had nothing
to do with the type of computer that came with a pre-determined
configuration, only a crude approximation of the relative power or number of
users supported within a given line. By 1982 DG eventually ended up with
following CS product line:

product processor # of users
CS/10 microNova 1
CS/20 microNova 1
CS/30 microNova 3
CS/40 Nova 3 9
CS/50 Nova 4 15
CS/60 S/130 25
CS/70 C/150 32
CS/100 S/20 32
CS/200 S/140 64

Within each product line were sub-groups, usually given the designation
"Cx", where "x" was the relative power, or number of users supported, by
that sub-group. For example, the CS/40 had a C1, C3, C5 and C9
configuration which supported the corresponding number of users.

DG originally used its RDOS operating system in 1975 for the first CS/40
system (yes, they started out with the CS/40 system as their first
delivery). Marketing then said that a "real time system should not be used
for business applications", so they chanced the name to ICOS (Interactive
COBOL Operating System) which was the same as RDOS but with a different boot
message. (Okay, hard-core Nova'files know that there was one "control/D"
enhancement put on the operating system.) After 1981 DG finally decided to
ship all CS systems with RDOS officially again as support of two "different"
systems was not worth the marketing benefits (which were found to be none).
The high-end CS/200 systems used AOS rather than RDOS.

Most CS systems were DG ICOBOL based, but Business Basic was sometimes used.
ICOBOL is still a useful product over 25 years later (and our company still
provides products and services for this and other DG markets).

The DG ICOBOL language was an extension of ANSI '74, and compiled to an
intermediate code. This code was then "executed" by an interpreter written
for each of the different DG hardware platforms. Program object files could
be used on any DG computer without any changes or modifications whatsoever,
as could the data files. It worked and overall worked quite well. Does
this concept sound familiar to some "new technology" language touted today?

Bruce Ray
Wild Hare Computer Systems

----- Original Message -----
From: "Vintage Computer Festival" <>
To: "Classic Computers Mailing List" <>
Sent: Saturday, February 03, 2001 11:10 AM
Subject: Anyone ever heard of...

> Anyone ever heard of a Data General machine from the 70s with the model
> designation CS-20 or CS-30?
> Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> International Man of Intrigue and Danger
Received on Sun Feb 04 2001 - 20:34:24 GMT

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