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Doug G
October 15th, 2012, 03:13 PM
Back in the 70's I serviced a mini system that printed MICR numbers on check. The system was run by a Data General Nova clone, but I can't remember the company that made it. IIRC DG ended up suing this company out of business.

Anyone remember these?

Chuck(G)
October 15th, 2012, 03:38 PM
Keronix?

If they were the ones, there was a very lurid story involving its demise, not involving a DG lawsuit:

http://www.ricomputermuseum.org/Home/equipment/keronix

barythrin
October 15th, 2012, 04:11 PM
Completely talking out of my arse/google but perhaps Digital Computer Controls D-216? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_General_Corp._v._Digital_Computer_Controls,_I nc.) Reference to a D-216 being a nova clone (http://ed-thelen.org/comp-hist/GBell-minicomputer-list.html) although the above lawsuit I see D-116 mentioned. Interestingly here's an article on Strobe Data, Inc who came out with a PC compatible card (Falcon card?) to run DG Nova software (http://books.google.com/books?id=xcjJdL5JYD4C&pg=PT40&lpg=PT40&dq=data+general+nova+clone&source=bl&ots=LGWJaFzz3v&sig=8ZeCvcyJDFaZ-wuoSPe0zJvAbDw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=I6d8ULX2G5K02AWX34GICw&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA).

xprt
October 15th, 2012, 04:30 PM
Point 4 made Nova clones in the seventies, but they are still around:
http://www.point4data.com/static/about_us.htm
and they no longer make hardware.

Doug G
October 15th, 2012, 07:48 PM
Completely talking out of my arse/google but perhaps Digital Computer Controls D-216? Reference to a D-216 being a nova clone although the above lawsuit I see D-116 mentioned
Digital Computer Controls strongly rings a bell. The lawsuit in the wikipedia page would be too early though, I was still working on NTDS stuff in 1971. Maybe I just heard stories about that lawsuit when I was getting trained on the system we serviced.

I'm pretty sure the machine I worked on was a Nova 2 clone, and I'm real sure the printer was a real pain to work on :). There are positioning requirements for printing micr on checks, and it was expensive to run diagnostics on the printer since the ribbon was pretty expensive and was a one use ribbon. I worked for CDC at the time, it was of one of the OEM printer models CDC sold.

Thanks for all the replies. It's amazing how all these things I just knew I'd never forget get forgotten.

Chuck(G)
October 15th, 2012, 08:05 PM
Well, a very important lawsuuit was brought by a company called Digidyne (Tustin, CA) in 1978 against DG, but it didn' involve DG's hardware, but rather DG's refusal to sell RDOS to Digidyne's customers (Digidyne made Nova clones). This one went all the way to the Supreme Count in 1985. I think Digidyne won that one--I'd have to check...

patscc
October 15th, 2012, 09:11 PM
Why would that go that far ? Did they make licensed clones ?
patscc

Chuck(G)
October 15th, 2012, 09:21 PM
The basis IIRC, was an antitrust issue. Remember the Fairchild 9440 CPU--the Nova clone? Fairchild joined with Digidyne in a suit against DG. The gist was that since DG sold RDOS separately (non-bundled) with their hardware, denying software sales to non-DG hardware users was an attempt to unfairly exercise monopoly powers.

I don't think the matter of hardware cloning was being contested. After all, there were plenty of S/360 clones out there (e.g. Two-Pi systems, RCA, etc.)

The Supremes eventually sided with Digidyne and both Fairchild and Digidyne collected damages something like 10 years after suit was first brought. The wheels of Justice grind exceedingly fine and exceedingly slow. Since anti-trust cases are almost a relic of bygone days, I don't know if Digidyne v. Data General holds any legal sway (IANAL, much less an anti-trust specialist) today. But it was a big deal back then and followed by a lot of people in the trade.

Maybe one of our legal scholars can comment...

Marty
October 17th, 2012, 02:12 PM
Hi All;
Chuck, in Your opinion, Do you think that this or legal battles like this may have had anything to do with Data General's demise ?? I know they were bought out by a holding company.. And what they did with some of the old software is a travisty..
THANK YOU Marty

Chuck(G)
October 17th, 2012, 03:24 PM
Mary, I don't know--the penalty phase ISTR was about $100M, but I don't know how much of that was paid out in cash. For 1986, that still was a lot of money--but I don't think it was a proximate cause of their failure. By that time, the company fortunes had changed a lot since "The Soul of a New Machine".

The miserable fumble with the Eclipse, the rise of DEC's VAX and then finally the rise of PCs (remember the DG One?) probably all conspired to drive their customers elsewhere. I liken the situation to the First World War--old-line military strategists trying to use the same old strategies in the face of new technologies and losing badly.

The sad thing is that it's not a unique story.

patscc
October 17th, 2012, 07:29 PM
It's not even just a historical story. Still going on today.
patscc

Marty
October 18th, 2012, 09:46 AM
Hi All;
Yes, I know and have seen their PC, another management mistake, not only were they late to the market, but it was not compatiable with the other PC's arround..
THANK YOU Marty

Chuck(G)
October 18th, 2012, 01:10 PM
Hi All;
Yes, I know and have seen their PC, another management mistake, not only were they late to the market, but it was not compatiable with the other PC's arround..
THANK YOU Marty

Well, the DG/One was a pretty prescient device--traditional clamshell-type laptop with a full-size screen and 3.5" disk drive. The only problem was that it made for a mighty expensive shaving mirror--unless you stared at the display carefully, it was hard to tell that the system was on. I've never seen the One with an EL display, but that would have been an improvement of sorts.