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

Francisco Javier Mesa-Martinez lefa at ucsc.edu
Fri Sep 17 12:52:51 CDT 2004

On Fri, 17 Sep 2004, Mike Parson wrote:

> 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.

Yah, it is in the book. The guy in the story is Tom West, which was the
lead engineer of the internal project in DG that later became the Eclipse
MV. The actual story goes that Mr. West knew a buddy at a place that had
just adquired a VAX, then the friend let him in the facility and West
proceeded to check out the machine inspecting it board by board. No
overalls and no convention where involved in the story though :)

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