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Thwarted at DEC, Thriving at Data General

Data General Nova, serial #1

This first completed Nova was shipped to Unitech in Austin, TX to be used by Mobil Oil. It never arrived. Braniff Airlines lost it. The computer was finally recovered two months later.

Thwarted at DEC, Thriving at Data General

Edson de Castro, the PDP-8’s designer, was frustrated by DEC’s refusal to approve a family of 16-bit computers. So he and other DEC engineers launched Data General in 1968 and created their own 16-bit design.

In just 15 months following the first shipment, the company sold 500 “Nova” computers at less than $10,000 each.

Edson de Castro (l.), Herb Richman and Henry Burkhardt (r.)

When Data General’s founders created the company, de Castro was 29 years old and Burkhardt was only 23.

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Prohoroff’s Poultry Farm

This farm near San Diego used a Nova minicomputer to calculate the most economic feed mixture for its 2 million chickens and turkeys. The objective was fast growth and high egg production.

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