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Articles about DEC
Volume 2, Number 10 October 1983
Two Appointed Vice President
The Making Of MicroVAX
New Rainbow & Comprehensive Service For Personal Computers
European Senior Managers Exchange Postions
Corporate Purchasing Manager Appointed
Western Region Sales Has New Manager
Plant Manager Named For Franklin Mfg. Facility
OEM Group Realigns
Sam Fuller and Jeff Kalb have been named vice president reporting to Jack Smith, vice president, Manufacturing and Engineering. Both will remain heads of their respective operations—Research and Architecture, and LSI-- which they served as Group managers until their recent promotions.
Sam joined Digital in 1978 as the Engineering manager for the VAX Architecture Group. Since then, he has held a variety of positions in Engineering and was instrumental in setting the direction of Digital's Systems Architecture .
Jeff joined Digital in 1981 as associate manager for the LSI Group in Hudson, Mass. He was named group manager of LSI in 1982 and has been instrumental in establishing Digital's strong position in semiconductor technology.
Eighteen months ago, parallel engineering efforts began at DECWEST, near Seattle, Washington, at Hudson and Maynard, Massachusetts, and at the Spit Brook facility in Nashua, New Hampshire. Those efforts are now coming to fruition as a family of 32-bit microprocessor products -- the MicroVAX program. The result is the user gets full VAX/VMS compatibility in a compact, low-cost computing system.
"MicroVAX is to the VAX family what the LSI-11 was to the PDP-11 family," explains Roy Moffa, manager, MicroVAX Program Office. "It will open new markets and become the standard in the industry for small, 32-bit single- user and multi-user systems, as part of a Digital network. The program includes three new systems and three new software products."
system, MicroVAX I, was announced Oct. 18, together with
VAXElan, a VAX-compatible development system for building
standalone, real-time applications for both VAX and MicroVAX
systems. These products were developed by the 20 engineers at
DECWEST, under the leadership of Dave Cutler.
Meanwhile, software engineers at Spit Brook under Dick Hustvedt have developed MicroVMS, a general-purpose, modular version of the VMS operating system designed specifically for MicroVAX computers. And other engineers under Bill Munson at Tewksbury are developing ULTRIX, a native UNIX* operating system for the MicroVAX family.
The technical definition and rules for the MicroVAX family were first set down in January of 1982. In April, Bob Supnik from the Hudson semiconductor facility began developing a single-chip processor using advanced technology. At that same time, Dave Cutler took on the task of developing a multi-chip version of that same processor concept, using commercially available technology. His goal was "time to market," to produce a machine in just 18 months (half the normal development time) to meet the formal definition that had been agreed upon. His group met all its goals, giving Digital an important competitive edge in this emerging marketplace.
The crowning glory of the development effort came in the last weeks of September, according to Roy Moffa. "Within a couple weeks of receiving from the vendor the custom semiconductor chips they had designed, DECWEST had the diagnostics and VAXElan running on a prototype machine. Then Dick Hustvedt and Kathy Morse flew to DECWEST and got Micro/VMS to run in less than a week. This software had been developed using a simulator at the same time the hardware was being designed 3000 miles away. Thanks to rigorous discipline, close communications over the Engineering Network and excellent engineering, the products of these two separate and complex projects worked well together on nearly the first try. That's an amazing feat."
"MicroVAX I is completely VMS compatible at the layered, non-privileged mode level," notes Roy Moffa. "That means that all the applications software and tools for the development of software are instantaneously available."
"We have a 28-megabyte disk system in a small package for $17,000 . With 10-megabytes, it's $14,000. And if you buy no disk at all, just in a box, for OEM use, it's $9995. That's incredible," he concludes. Shipments will start in February.
MicroVAX I is intended to pave the way for the rest of the program. The single chip processor, the heart of the MicroVAX II system, is also keeping to an aggressive scheduled and is due out in FY85. MicroVAX III is also underway in Littleton, Mass.
*UNIX is a trademark of Bell Laboratories, Inc.
On September 27, Digital announced an addition to the Rainbow personal computer series and a new comprehensive service program for all the personal computers.
Rainbow 100+ includes a 10-megabyte Winchester hard disk and
128 kilobytes of system memory (expandable to 896 KB). It is
already in volume production and will be available throughout
the U.S. by the end of October and in selected markets outside
the U.S. starting in November.
A service and warranty package, called the Investment Protection Plan, provides buyers of the Rainbow, Professional and DECmate II with on-site warranty service including parts and labor, call-in customer support for hardware and software, updates for selected operating systems and a limited-offer, 30-day money-back return policy. Many of these features extend up to one full year.
"DEC’S Warranty Perceived As Boon to Small Business," read a headline in Computer World. "... for small business and home users it might just be enough to clinch the sale," the article affirmed.
"The Investment Protection Plan backs our promise that Digital produces the highest quality, most reliable products," says Joel Schwartz, vice president, Small Systems Group. "It extends this commitment with coverage that is strongest where it is needed most — at the retail level, where individuals from small and medium-sized businesses, who typically need the most start-up help and support, tend to buy personal computers."
At the end of this fiscal year, Geoff Shingles, vice president and European Country Group manager, will reassume responsibility as manager for United Kingdom, Ireland and the Middle East. Darryl Barbe, U.K. managing director, will take over as European Country Group Manager. Geoff’s transfer was planned at the time of his original move to Geneva in • 1977. His return will bring back international and corporate experience to the U.K.—-Digital's largest subsidiary outside of the U.S.
For the past seven years, Darryl has successfully run the U.K., Ireland and Middle East operations and coupled with his previous international experience, he will bring a unique perspective to his new role. Beginning in FY85, he will be responsible for all the country operations in Europe with the exception of UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany and France.
At the beginnning of FY85, Geoff and Darryl will formally exchange positions. In the interim, they will work closely to handle the transition period.
Tom Colatosti has been appointed U.S. Area Finance and Administration manager reporting to Ivan Pollack, Field Operations Finance. He will be responsible for all accounting and administrative services for all Field business activities in the U.S. Area.
Tom has been with Digital for ten years, and most recently was the F&A manager for Canada. Prior to moving to Canada, Tom was a member of the Corporate Financial Planning staff and previously spent four years as Controller for the Educational Products Group.
Ron Payne has been appointed Corporate Purchasing Manager responsible for the management of purchasing practices and vendor relations worldwide. Ron joined Digital in 1977 as purchasing manager for the Springfield Manufacturing facility. In 1978, he was promoted to Springfield plant manager, a position he held until his recent appointment. He now reports to Bill Thompson, vice president, External Resources and Corporate Materials.
Joe DiNucci has been appointed as Western Region Sales manager replacing Gale Morgan, who has left to head the Artificial Intelligence Marketing group. Joe joined Digital in 1972 as a Sales engineer in Cleveland, Ohio, and has held several Sales Management positions since then, including manager of Compupter Special Systems West. Since 1980, Joe has been District Sales manager for Santa Calra, California.
Mary Couming has been appointed plant manager for the Franklin, Massachusetts, facility. She is part of the Computer Systems Manufacturing staff and reports to Lou Gaviglia, CSM Administration.
Mary has held a variety of operational, streategic and business positions in her six years at Digital, most recently as the Work Stations Manufacturing manager. "Mary is leaving this position with wide spread respect for her successful management of the introduction of the Work Stations product into Manufacturing," says Loud. "And because of her success, we are sure this product will be praised for meeting time to market, quality and cost goals." May will now develop the one-year-old Franklin facility into a manufacturing plant for large VAX systems.
The OEM Group has realigned to focus its resources on three major market segments. It now consists of three product groups: Microcomponents, headed by Dick Heaton; Technical OEM, under Jack MacKeen; and Commercial OEM, managed by Jim Willis.
Microcomponents includes the microprocessor boards and the Design Win Program. Technical OEM is responsible for system and software products to OEM customers, for such tions as process control, seismic analysis, medical and CAD/CAM. Commercial OEM provides all systems and software products to OEMs that provide computer solutions for such end users as libraries, lawyers, accountants and small businesses of all kinds.