This is the page where I'll document the restoration of my Data General minicomputers. My obsession began with a Nova 3 I got in late 2001, and was followed by a second Nova 3 and Eclipse S/130 in September 2005. For those who don't already know, they are both 16 bit minicomputers made by Data General in the mid 1970's and were in direct competition with DEC's PDP-11 series. For more information on this class of machine visit Carl Friend's Minicomputer Museum. He's a nice fellow in America with a soft spot for Data General gear. His page contains a wealth of information on the Nova instruction set, relative speeds etc. I have linked to some of his pages to save myself repeating things he has already written. If you're the curious type and want to know more, go there! Bruce Ray's Novas Are Forever is another rich source of information in all things DG.

Who Is This Page Aimed Towards, Anyway?

A lot of people actually. Firstly, it's aimed towards my friends who think that I must be munching Daturas to get so excited about such an old machine. These people, as much as I love them, think the idea of collecting computers to be rather odd. Upon hearing that I bought a computer the size of a refrigerator that has 96k bytes of RAM, one of them fell on the floor in a fit of laughter. I'd expect that reaction if I said something like "Microsoft create quality software" or "I truly believe that Destiny's Child have real talent". This is to show my friends that, yes, I'm a fruitcake.

It's also aimed towards the person who used one of these when they were new and hasn't seen one in years. I aim to evoke feelings of nostalgia. I'll probably succeed in evoking laughter as they witness a guy in his mid-to-late-twenties getting overly excited in trying to revive a couple of dinosaurs.

Finally, this page is aimed at me, who's having way too much fun for it to be healthy. Seriously, I'm loving it and if this web page doesn't show it then I'm doing something wrong. I really should cut back on the espressos!

Shut Up, Emil, And Get On With It!!!

Okay! Below is my first introduction to the first machine I would end up owning. It was taken by Ed Parsons, the previous owner.

[Really bad picture of the Nova 3]

It stands a bit over 5 feet high and has little wheels on the bottom which really is fantastic. Believe me. Ever try moving one of these buggers? The above photo doesn't do the machine justice. Fortunately, there are many more to follow. If you're finding this all too boring, pedantic or silly then you've obviously come to the wrong place!

One last thing before we start. I understand that some people aren't blessed with cable or ADSL and large images can take quite a while to load. Being the nice and understanding chappie that I am, I've decided to make the images hereon rather small. For those of us that like big pictures and spiffy detail, click on the smaller picture to have your high-res fantasies come true.

Are you all sitting comfy bolt two-square on your botty? Then I'll begin!

The Phone Call
The Pick-Up and Storage
The Nova Comes Home
Checking It Out
Circuit Boards and Other Sexy Bits
Front Panel LED Modification
Systems On eBay

Miscellaneous Stuff:

Inventory Of Punched Paper Tapes
The Big Thanks List


Simulogics - Novas Are Forever
Carl Friend's Computer Collection
Another Nova 3 System
Tom Jennings' Nova 4/X
The Computer History Simulation Project
Technology Guide: Computer Programming History

Feel free to mail me at for corrections or feedback. All correspondence is welcome!

Spam Prevention! Remove BRA to mail me.

Yes, I'm a twisted bastard!

Last updated: 22 August 2006