Engineer and entrepreneur George Comstock begins the interview by discussing his early years, including the influence of his childhood friend Al Howell on his decision to pursue mechanical engineering as a profession. Comstock worked for a number of companies once graduating from WPI in 1945, beginning at Grumman Aircraft. In 1946 he moved to the Norton Co, and in 1955 joined the computer industry at Potter Instrument Co., where his first project was development of a 3D Random Access Magnetic Memory System offering 2 MB of capacity, 1.5 sec max access time, and interchangable media storage. In 1964, he moved to the Friden Div. of Singer Manufacturing Co in San Leandro, CA. In 1969, he and his partner, Dr. Andrew Gabor, founded Diablo Systems Corp.which manufactured hard disk drives for minicomputers. In 1972 they brought Dr. Gabor’s daisy-wheel printer, in which alphabetic characters are arranged circumferentially around a print wheel, to market. The result was creation of a new market for printers that offered higher printing speed, better print quality, and much greater reliability than competing printers. Diablo was sold to Xerox. Comstock worked at Xerox for a few years then left to form a new company, Durango Systems Inc. Their product failed in the marketplace because of the arrival of the IBM PC. Finally, he discusses his work at networking start-up Network General Corp, and his current interests and hobbies.
Comstock, George; WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute); Grumman Aircraft; Norton Company; Potter Instrument Company; Gabor, Andrew; Friden; Diablo Systems Inc.; Itel Corporation; Durango Systems; Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC); Lee, David; Xerox; Qume; Network General Corporation; IBM Selectric; Howell, Al