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,
(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.
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.
This page is just taking shape as I bring the machine
up to operating condition. Here's a few tidbits with no
better place to be just yet:
- photographs, most
contents and wiring.
it came with.
6070 disk bringup. Hoo boy. The disk is still (April 2005)
giving me troubles; very high error rate (address errors mainly)
I've been so far unable to isolate, I think is in the Read/Write
Board, but who knows.
6023 tape bringup.
This section is just a place-holder, filled with crap.
System init console logs
- DTOS runs
- DKINIT and starter system
- random files
- My first real and useful FORTRAN program, MORE, in 30 years. I was only a very minor
and brief FORTRAN coder in the late 1970's, mostly maintaining
other people's code. You can be sure I now fully realize the
limitations of FORTRAN4's text handling ability: none. MORE.FR
above is written in DG's FORTRAN5, a superset of FORT4/subset of
FORTRAN77, I've given up on FORTRAN4. Globally-optimizing FORTRAN5
consists of nine passes! Let's just say its not quick. It
has some line-oriented functions (excuse me, subroutines) and
stores text in integer arrays. Program actually works OK. I'll
add "less"-like B)backwards soon enough.
- My first real programming job will be to get this RDOS Kermit to work. It compiles OK, no
small feat. This source is the output of a RATFOR ("RATIONAL
FORTRAN") preprocessor. It's ugly, therefore. The only
documentation is this brief note
from the author, John Lee of RCA. (Found this at
ftp://kermit.columbia.edu/kermit/d/; see Columbia's KERMIT
Other Data General machines
Selected Data General links