Data General software agreement pre-announcement (Merry Christmas)
bruce at Wild-Hare.com
Sun Dec 27 11:59:42 CST 2009
Some details for those who have e.mailed me on- and off-list:
Good News / Bad News...
The DG Agreement is a "good news / bad news" situation for us hard-core
preservationists. It gives Wild Hare a legal umbrella to restore and
archive for non-commercial and educational purposes the tapes from DG (EMC)
"Manufacturing" means the DG department that shipped DG software to
customers, so this represents tapes from past-the-end of the software
The good news is that we finally were given all remaining DG tapes ad EMC,
the bad news is that most software source code tapes were tossed years
(decades) ago. <sigh>
Physical tape recovery
Approximately 1,200 DG tapes were kept in an unused inside office in the
basement in Hopkinton in tape racks and boxes. They were in pretty good
physical condition and almost all had accurate DG labels.
The tapes were 'triaged' and assigned priorities, and all of the critical
tapes have been read - over 750+ tapes read/recovered so far. The hundreds
of unread tapes unread at this point are lower priority items such as CEO
foreign language add-ons, laser printer fonts(!), and Computer Based
Training (CBT) data tapes.
About 10% of tapes so far are "unreadable" with current hardware/software
recovery setup and have been set aside for further processing. No tapes
that I consider "critical" have been lost.
The object code of most DG operating systems and languages have been
recovered - that is what DG Manufacturing shipped to customers.
Unfortunately, the DG manufacturing tapes do not contain source code for
most DG operating systems and languages. I've also found that the official
DG tapes do not have the latest OS version in a few cases(!), but have found
tape labeling issues that may account for this.
I plan to create OS "packs" that can be run on SimH, Wild Hare's reNOVAte,
reNOVAte/J or other Nova emulators. These would include a "quick start"
disk image, official DG release tape image(s), the corresponding DG
documentation set in .pdf format, and instructions for use. This also
'verifies' all critical [tape] data through original DG procedures. This
will be initiall done for SOS, RDOS and MP/OS and the commonly used
languages (ALGOL, FORTRAN IV, FORTRAN 5, MAC, DG/L, Extended BASIC).
There are several other projects planned, but more about them later...
Wild Hare Computer Systems, Inc.
bkr at WildHareComputers.com
...preserving the Data General legacy: www.NovasAreForever.com
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