Nova computers - up date

Wild Hare Computer Systems, Inc., is pleased to announce that a
“Hobbyist License” is now available for legacy Data General
Nova and Eclipse software. This license allows educational, hobbyist,
non-commercial use of the vast amount of DG software - software
that changed the world in many ways.

The initial archives are currently available at:

and includes documentation for the corresponding software.

This October announcement also honors the 54th anniversary of the original
Data General Nova. An international celebration of the Nova’s 50th anniversary was
hosted by Wild Computer Systems in Colorado, USA. Some of the festivities
can be seen at:


To complement this Hobbyist License, a Nova and Eclipse emulator that can run all of the
software will be introduced later this week.

Wild Hare Computer Systems is dedicated to preserving Data General’s
significant contributions to computer history. We seek DG hardware, software, documentation,
sales literature - basically “anything DG” - that can be added to the
archives for posterity.

Bruce Ray
Wild Hare Computer Systems, Inc.
Denver, Colorado USA
[email protected]

…preserving the Data General legacy:


BTW, there’s even a Nova emulator!

Refer to for further information.

First steps:

  • click the “load RDOS” button
  • hit ENTER on the “Filename ?” prompt
  • enter date and time
  • type “UP” from the default master directory (DP0) and hit ENTER to initilize the system
  • use “LIST” to list the directory
  • you must initilize a directory (files with .DR extension) before it can be used, e.g., “INIT DEMO”
  • change to a directory using “DIR ”, e.g., “DIR DEMO”
  • apparently, you change back to the parent directory by “DIR %MDIR%”
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The DG Nova (and Eclipse) is one of the range of “mini’s” that seems to me, steeped in a shroud of mystery and intrigue… Yes, I’ve red “Soul of a new machine”, but never actually had any sort of “hands-on” experience with one. I’ve only seen them in the flesh just once in a private museum.

Maybe it’s just me being in the UK though - I suspect DEC had much more dominance in that market here at that time - the uni I went to bought into Prime minis (and I can’t say I have fond memories of them, sadly?)

So maybe this is an opportunity to spent some time with them and see what I missed…




In the early 1980s, while in the U.S. Air Force, I worked on the NORAD BUIC (BackUp Interceptor Controller) air defense system. We received data from 17 radar sites, and coordinated that radar data with flight plans and other data. The system used a Nova 3 to precondition the incoming radar data before sending it on to the Burroughs D825 mainframe computer. We (the computer repair techs) we responsible for any work on the Nova, but unfortunately (for me :slightly_smiling_face:) the thing never broke.

I have also been looking for info on the Nova (thanks for the links everyone) to learn more about it - although I doubt that anyone still has the software for that BUIC; it may still be classified.

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Wild Hare Computer Systems is pleased to announce the public beta release of its Data General Nova and Eclipse emulator.

This emulator allows the full range of DG 16-bit Nova and Eclipse computer software to run on Microsoft Windows and Linux platforms, and will become a major part of Wild Hare’s increased efforts to preserve Data General’s significant contributions to computer history.

The emulator combines portions of Wild Hare’s commercial products with the SimH project structure to create a single emulator for the 16-bit Nova and Eclipse computers. The program supports a wide range of features, including:


unmapped Nova, SuperNova, Nova 1200, Nova 800, Nova 2, Nova 3, Nova 4
mapped Nova 840
mapped Nova 3/D
mapped Nova 4/X
Eclipse S/130
Eclipse S/140
Eclipse S/150
Eclipse S/120
Eclipse Desktop Generation Model 20 and Model 30


TTI/TTO        primary console (TeleType) input/output
RTC        real-time clock
TTI1/TTO1    secondary console (TeleType) input/output
PTR        paper tape reader
PTP        paper tape punch
PLT        plotter
LPT        line printer
MTA        mag tape unit
DSK        fixed-head disks
DKP        moving head disks
DEP        Desktop Generation disks
DZP        popular "Zebra" moving head disks
QTY        4060 "Quad" asynchronous multiplexers
ALM        4255 Asynchronous Line Multiplexers


Operating Systems

DOS        Novas (first DOS written for Nova)
URDOS        RDOS for Novas and Eclipses (in unmapped mode)
MRDOS        RDOS for Mapped Nova 840
NRDOS        RDOS for Mapped Nova 3/D and Nova 4/X
ZRDOS        RDOS for Mapped Eclipses
MP/OS        Nova 4
DG/RDOS        Eclipses
AOS        Eclipses
MP/AOS        Eclipses


ASM (Assembler)
MAC (Macro Assembler)
Extended BASIC
Business BASIC
MP Pascal
SP Pascal
Interactive COBOL (ICOBOL)

Prior Data General knowledge is beneficial to using the emulator and corresponding DG software. For convenience, Wild Hare has created container files of pre-configured operating system environments and their corresponding languages to minimize the time needed to enjoy the full DG “experience”.

This “beta-level” software release is intended to gather user feedback to help guide future product development. Bug reports, comments, suggestions, ridicule and giggles can be sent to [email protected].

Further information is contained in the emulator beta release web page:

Bruce Ray
Wild Hare Computer Systems, Inc.
Denver, Colorado USA
[email protected]

…preserving the Data General legacy: