Data General was started by some deserters from Digital
back in the 1960s
. There was a lot of hostility about it at the time; years later, the president of Digital
was still fuming, by some accounts.
Back in the day
, Data General made minicomputers
, and they basically lived and died with that market, just like Digital
did, but with less success when times were good. And they seem to have outlived Digital
as an independent entity, by a few years anyhow.
Data General positioned themselves as the "badass
es" of the minicomputer
market. They were fiercely competitive and relatively cheap. Things turned sour when Digital
introduced the VAX
: Data General had no 32-bit
machine to compete with it, and they took far too long to get one out the door
. By the time they did, they'd gotten killed in the market. The journalist Tracy Kidder
wrote a classic book about the the 32-bit
"fend-off-the-VAX" project at Data General: The Soul of a New Machine
The Soul of a New Machine
is most of what Data General is remembered for. They were a footnote. But bear this in mind: The founders still got rich.