Data General NOVA4

Tom Jennings, updated 2 Nov 2006

Tom Jennings, updated 8 March 2005

(Bob R. is now the lucky owner of this machine now. I was never going to find the time to repair the disk logic.)

This is my old but nice Data General Nova 4/X minicomputer. At the moment it contains the Nova 4 CPU, hardware floating point, a Model 6070 10 megabyte fixed/10 megabyte removable hard disk, Model 6023 800 bpi vacuum column tape drive, a D410 terminal, SLC-1 clock/calendar, TP2 line printer; I've got a second tape drive, and a DGDAC 4300 I/O chassis with D/A and a bunch of parallel. I've got software for it all, FORTRAN4, FORTRAN5.

(Here's a very technically sweet summary of Data General's history complete with tech specs, 'hello, world' and other code example, and many hyperlinks to DG stuff. Quite nice.)

Many, many thanks to Bruce Ray (of both Simulogics and WildHareComputers) for much help, advice and software, without which this thing wouldn't be running, and for saving it from the dump heap in the first place.

I hauled it home, got it running, the whole thing: two vacuum column tape drives, the disk drive -- through my own screw up I crashed a head into the fixed platter, manages to successfully transpant a removable platter into the fixed drive, format it, and sysgen it! Then I got RDOS and FORTRAN4 up well enough to write the equivalent of the *nix "more" program -- then the hard disk electronics failed, analog read head stuff before the data separator, i spent weeks trying to make it go, buying expensive caps with the right temp coeff's and finally gave up, all the fun was suddenly gone. Then Bob R wanted it and came and took it all away.

Many photos.

A very nice and succinct summary of Data General's history complete with tech specs a 'hello, world' assembly code example, and many hyperlinks to DG stuff. Quite nice.

Overview of D.G.'s RDOS

Carl Friend's Nova 4 description, and links to his other D.G. machines.