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Man and Supermini

In response to:

Modern Times from the October 8, 1981 issue

To the Editors:

In Jeremy Bernstein’s review of The Soul of the New Machine [NYR, October 8], he implies that I left Data General because I was unhappy with the workload. This is a patently inaccurate and personally offensive interpretation. Although I was tired after working ninety-hour weeks for two and a half years, one and a half years doing specials and one year on the Eagle project, fatigue had nothing to do with my decision to leave Data General.

I resigned from Data General in the spring of 1979 for two reasons. First because I had major philosophical differences with the project managers over how a computer should be designed, and secondly for the opportunity to define the architecture of a new computer at another major computer manufacturer.

My disagreement with the managers of the Eagle project was of a technical nature and does not warrant discussion in this letter. As to the second reason I will speak briefly.

In the world of computer designers the opportunity to define a new computer architecture from scratch is extremely rare. Only five to ten truly new machines are designed each decade. Most new computers, like the MV8000, are extensions of older computer families. The MV8000 traces its roots to a machine called the NOVA, the IBM 4300 family, as another example, is an outgrowth of the earlier 360 and 370s. In the spring of 1979 I was offered the position of principal designer of a completely new computer which was about to be developed at another Massachusetts based computer company. Given my then current unhappiness with the development environment at Data General, and the attractiveness of the position that I was offered, I left the Eagle project and joined that other company where I am currently manager of processor development.

B. Joshua Rosen

Bedford, Massachusetts

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