[rescue] Rescue of a life-time.. or the year at the very least.

Mike Parson mparson at bl.org
Fri Sep 17 10:05:01 CDT 2004

On Fri, Sep 17, 2004 at 10:25:27AM -0400, Phil Stracchino wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 17, 2004 at 01:21:14AM -0500, Patrick Finnegan wrote:
>> The final item I found there was a Data General Eclips MV/4000.  It had 
>> two 19" rack mount disk drives, which appeared to possibly be SCSI (?), 
>> a 9-track drive, and the CPU.
> Sweet!!!
> As a point of historical coincidence, you know that significant design
> features of the Eclipse were inspired by the VAX architecture, right?
> Apparently one of the DG designers dressed up in orange coveralls, took
> a toolbox with him, went to a site that had a VAX, walked in and opened
> up the machine pretending to be a service technician, and just sat there
> poking through its innards for several hours to see how it worked.

This was covered in "The Soul of a New Machine" by Tracy Kidder.

It's been a a while since I read it, but from what I remember, it wasn't
even that devious, the DG guys saw the VAX at a convention and being the
geeks they were, pulled the sides off and started poking around, until
the DEC guys figured out who they were and asked them to leave.

Possible that Kidder's account of that particular event is inaccurate,
but it doesn't seem that far from plausible.  Dressing up in coveralls
and purposefully poking around the machine could have been considered
corporate espionage and possibly resulted in either criminal charges or
at least some sort of lawsuit.

Michael Parson
mparson at bl.org

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