Data General Minicomputers

Although I have many DG minicomputers, including a NOVA/1200, a NOVA/3, a NOVA/4, an Eclipse S/130 and an S/140, I only have pictures of three of them so far. The DG part of the collection is proof that the collection is not entirely for nostalgia's sake: I have never done any real work or study on a DG minicomputer.

First, the NOVA/4 and S/140. Both use the same basic chassis. The differences between the two stem from the architectural differences between the simpler, earlier NOVA line and the later, more sophisticated Eclipse line. Both are pretty boring to look at, as all console interactions depend on the presence of some kind of terminal, rather than the "traditional" lights and switches found on minicomputers.

NOVA 4 The NOVA/4 (and Eclipse S/140)

The Nova 4 (and the HP 2112B) were the result of something of a "horse trade". Both were owned by a gentleman named Ted Wagner, aka "Rev. Ted", who was quite a "character". He sponsered "The Church of the Helping Hand". Ted, now deceased, had the vision of improving the lot of impoverished people by teaching them useful computer skills, so that they could get good paying jobs. At the time we traded for these, it was after the end of the minicomputer era. The reality was that they no longer fit his vision. He needed, and fortuantely did manage to acquire, microcomptuers that were more appropriate for his goals.

The S/140 is one of the very few pieces of equipment that was originally at the Department of Transportation, where I work. There, it had been serving as a communications processor, gathering response time statistics. We had it at the very end of the "minicomputer" era. It was sent to State surplus, where I later purchased it for $50. (Within two weeks, I was offered as much as $4000 for the machine, but I declined the offers, which shows just how crazy this hobby of mine is).

The other Data General minicomputer I have a picture of is the Eclipse S/130. The S/130 is one of the more photogenic computers in the collection. I think it is just plain cute.

The Eclipse S-130 S-130

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