Charles Babbage Institute: The Computing Industry in Minnesota > A-B
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Minnesota Computing Companies


Data 100 Corporation (established 1969)

Model 88-6 Remote Batch
Model 88-6 Remote Batch

DATA 100 was organized in December 1968 as American Data Corporation. The name Data 100 was adopted in February 1969. The company develops, manufactures, markest and maintains remote batch computer terminals. Prior to their association with DATA 100, the founders of the company were employed by Control Data Corporation.

The company's original product, the Model 70, is a hard-wired, IBM 2780-compatible terminal which was later made available with a 1250 lines-per-minute printer. In July 1970, DATA 100 introduced the Model 78, an intelligent remote batch terminal capable of off-line processing and compatible with a wide range of computers. Peripheral options included CRT displays, magnetic tape drives, line printers, card punches and readers for cards and paper tape.

Another intelligent terminal, Model 74 is an interleaving HASP-type workstation that replaces IBM S/360-20s and -30s and offers 2780, 3780, and 2922 capabilities. Model 75 is a 1250 lines/min. print station for use primarily at mainframe installations. DATA 100's Eighty-Eight Series of equipment includes Model 88-21, a 2780-compatible keyboard terminal with low-volume, 80-column card-oriented data preparation and transmission capabilities; Model 88-22 with a 165-characters/sec serial printer; and Model 88-23, a data entry terminal. KEY- BATCH is a recent key-to-disk data entry capability added to DATA 100's intelligent remote batch terminals (established in Models 78 and 74). Through subsidiaries, the company also designs, manufactures and markets minicomputers, minicomputer memories, metal enclosures for computers and other electronic equipment.

Source: Profile in Modern Data (August 1974)

Data Action (1967)

Magnetic Data Inscriber, 1970
Magnetic Data Inscriber, 1970

Data Action Corporation (established 1968; ceased 1971)

Purchased by National Computer Systems (NCS) in 1971

See: National Computer Systems, Inc.

Datacard Corporation (established 1969)

Datacard Corporation, doing business as Datacard Group, is privately held and based in Minnetonka, Minnesota USA.  Datacard Corporation develops, markets, and supports high-volume embossing and encoding systems for the  credit card market. Datacard Group provides card issuers and service bureaus around the world with fully integrated systems for a variety of financial, identification, transportation, telecommunications and loyalty applications. Datacard Group also offers smart card personalization systems and applications and custom solution development. Datacard offers the world’s best-selling photo ID systems, identification software and ID card printers. In the healthcare market, Datacard is the market leader in patient tracking and identification solutions. 

Datacard Group also pioneered digital photo ID technology and installed the world’s first digital photo ID system in 1991. Since then, Datacard Group has created the world’s best-selling line of photo ID systems, software and printers. Today, Datacard Group is the industry’s leading supplier of enrollment and identification systems with more than 350 million photo ID cards issued and more than 30,000 photo ID systems installed around the world. 

Smart cards represent one of the highest growth areas for plastic card issuance on a worldwide basis. Datacard has been a leader in smart card personalization since the cards were introduced in the 1980s. Datacard Group works with major card issuers, scheme providers and other industry leaders to develop systems and standards that make smart card issuance faster, more secure and easier to manage. 

Datacard Group employs more than 1,800 people worldwide and generates annual revenues of approximately $350 million. Datacard Group sells and supports its products and services in 120 countries through a network of direct sales organizations, dealers, distributors and value-added resellers. 

Data Card Group company web site, October 2000

Datacard Group 
See: Datacard Corporation

Data Central (established 1969)

Data Display (established 1958; ceased 1965)

dd-13 System

dd-13 System

Data Display was incorporated in October 1958 as a manufacturer of computer display peripherals. Its president was Malcom Macauly, who had worked with Computer Research Corporation and Remington Rand Univac in St. Paul. Edward D. Orenstein, the firm's vice president and treasurer, was a graduate of the University of Minnesota and had worked on the NTDS program at Univac. 

In 1960, Data Display's first product, the dd51, was marketed to Control Data Corporation (CDC) for its 1604 computer. In 1961, Control Data accounted for forty percent of Data Display's business. 

Data Display was acquired by Control Data Corporation on January 4, 1965, for $3,493,048 in CDC stock. 

"Summary History of Acquisitions, April 23, 1971," Control Data Corporation Records (CBI 80). Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
Upper Midwest Investor (December 1961) 14-15.

Data International (established 1969)

Data Management, Inc. (established 1961)

Founded as G. Bischoff Industries in 1957, Data Management, Inc. was renamed on June 23, 1961. Its offices were located at 333 E. Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota. The company was formed to establish a Twin Cities computer center for business applications using a Control Data 160-A computer. The company's first president, Keith R. Johnson, was a project engineer with Remington Rand Univac in St. Paul. Its secretary, James A. Hummel, had worked with Control Data corporation (CDC) and Univac as an engineer before coming to Data Management, Inc. 

Data Management, Inc., management

  • Keith R. Johnson, President
  • Richard W. Edwards, vice president
  • Robert K. Bischoff, Treasurer
  • James A. Hummel, Secretary
Upper Midwest Investor (November 1961) 33-34.
Upper Midwest Investor (December 1961) 24-25, 29.
Data Systems, Inc. (established 1961)

Data Systems was incorporated on May 12, 1961, as a service bureau located at 434 Stinson Blvd., Minneapolis. It originally set up operations in the basement of Lieberman's Music Co.'s store in north Minneapolis. The company leased IBM tabulating equipment and expected to take possession of a Univac Solid State 80/90. Clifford G. Retherford was a director, who was manager of Data Processing and Communications at General Mills. Another director, Herbert F. Cherry, was director of Data Processing for Minnesota Mutual Life.

Data Systems, Inc., management

  • Harold M. Okino, President
  • R. Dean Caldwell, Vice president
  • David Eige, Treasurer
Upper Midwest Investor (December 1961), 19-20.

Data Systems and Management (established 1985)

Datagraph, Inc. (established 1972)

DataMyte Corporation (established 1983; ceased 1986)

The DataMyte Business of Rockwell Automation is headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota. It was incorporated in 1965 as Electro/General Corporation; the company changed its name to DataMyte in 1983, taking the name of its major product line, DataMyte data collectors. 

DataMyte specializes in industrial data collection systems for the improvement of quality and productivity. These products include hardware, such as the renowned DataMyte data collectors, gage interface design and application, as well as Linear Variable Differential Transducer (LVDT) and precision measurement devices.  DataMyte's first volume users were the major automotive companies. DataMyte products are now used in a wide range of industries, including automotive, aerospace, packaging, pharmaceutical, medical and food processing. 

DataMyte also specializes in data collection and analysis software, such as Quantum SPC/DC data collection software, Quantum SPC/QA quality analysis software and the new DataMyte Reporting and Analysis program. DataMyte also offers the Quantum Factory line of factory floor management software, including Quantum Factory EnGage! gage calibration and management software. 

DataMyte became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Allen-Bradley Company, Inc., in 1986; a division in 1990; and a business unit in 1993. 

In December 1995, Allen-Bradley became Rockwell Automation of Rockwell International, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Rockwell International company web-site, October 2000
DataMyte company web-site, October 2000

Dicomed, Inc. (established 1968)

Dicomed Logo (old)

Founded on December 23, 1968, Dicomed, Inc., is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Dicomed also has offices in Milan, Italy, and distributors worldwide. Dicomed is a manufacturer of hardware and software products to apply computer graphic technology to the field of radiology by scanning x-ray films, converting the information into digital data, enhancing it and redisplaying the processed image.

Dicomed manufacturs of high-resolution digital imaging systems, including the BigShot instant digital camera family, Pro Series digital scanning cameras and Imaginator 6.0 imaging software. Dicomed designs, manufactures, markets, and supports the highest resolution digital imaging systems.

Dicomed logo (old)
Dicomed chronology
1968 Dicomed, Inc., is incorporated.

1971 NASA's dramatic pictures of Saturn and Mars - are created on Dicomed's D47 Color Image Recorder, the first commercial, high-resolution color film recorder for imaging digital information. 

1976 Dicomed shifts its focus from scientific imaging to corporate electronic graphic and presentation needs with the creation of a system for creating word and title slides. 

1977 Dicomed opens the world's first computer-generated slide service. 

1981 Dicomed introduces the watershed product of this era: the Dicomedia II Slidesystem, the first fully computerized creative design system for the professional graphic artist. The advantage was speed and efficiency. 

1982 The microcomputing advances spurred innovative new Dicomed products: Micromedia, the first software package to create high-resolution, low-cost business graphics on the Apple II computer; and Dicomedia Micro 2, the first program to turn an IBM PC into a presentation-graphics design station. 

1984 Dicomed introduces PresenterPC, a virtual graphics production center with advanced charting and slide making features and 8000-line resolution output. Dicomed also releases its vector-based line of design stations, including the Producer.

1986 Imaging professionals realize their long-standing dream of ensuring color fidelity between input, output, display devices and media with Color Advantage color matching technology, one of Dicomed's most significant breakthroughs. 

1987 Artists gain access to a comprehensive set of paint, retouching, color correction and illustration tools with Dicomed's Synervision I Composition Center. 

1988 The Dicomed D148 Film Recorder, the long-standing symbol of the graphics industry's highest quality, is redesigned and relaunched as the Captivator 16k Film Recorder. 

1989 Dicomed launches the Imaginator SI, a professional imaging workstation with a comprehensive tool set for photo composition including: retouching, masking, compositioning, line-art/text stripping, color correction and other special creative tools, as well as the power to handle 400+ megabyte files and interface with major pre-press formats. 

1990 Dicomed is purchased from Crosfield/DuPont Fuji and becomes privately held corporation. 

1992 The Imaginator Ultra 64+ and 256, the world's leading electronic workstation, brings together state-of-the-art computer hardware and enhanced icon-based imaging software. 

The Dicomed Imaging Service Center (DISC) worldwide network is established to provide high-resolution scanning, electronic imaging services and the highest resolution film output for photographic professionals, advertising agencies, and graphic designers. 

1993 Dicomed releases the Imaginator Ultra Sport, the first electronic imaging workstation designed and priced specifically for the professional photographer.   Dicomed also announces the development of a portrait electronic imaging system designed exclusively for people, portrait and wedding photography labs and photographers. 

The APL Show in London marks the announcement and demonstration of Dicomed's Imaginator Pentia workstation, incorporating the new Pentium microprocessor by Intel. 

1994 Dicomed launches the world's highest resolution digital camera at the PMA Show in Atlanta. With a resolution of 6000-by-7520 pixels, the Dicomed Digital Camera provides the highest quality data for filmless capture of high grade images on a 4x5 studio camera. 

1995 At the spring Seybold Show in Boston, Dicomed launched Imaginator 5.0, the software only version of its highly successful creative imaging workstations. 

May 1995 saw the announcement of the world's highest resolution instant capture digital camera at DRUPA. The camera captures a single shot 4100 x 4100 pixel image on a 6cm x 6cm CCD yielding a 48MB+ file. 

In November 1995, Dicomed demonstrated the new BigShot instant digital camera at the PMA Photo & Imaging show in London. 

1996 Dicomed launched Imaginator 6.0 with enhanced features for image manipulation,  Dicomed expanded the BigShot product range to provide products for all applications. Models include:

  • BigShot 4000 - Instant capture, professional resolution color 
  • BigShot 3000 - Liquid Crystal Filter, professional resolution color 
  • BigShot 1000 - Black and White, professional resolution 

Dicomed expands and renames the digital scanning camera line to Pro Series. The line includes:

  • FieldPro - fully portable high resolution 4 x 5 scanning camera insert capable of 2-129MB file capture. 
  • StudioPro XL - same features and resolution as the FieldPro but without the portability option. 
  • StudioPro - for the budget minded studio photographer. File capture is from 2-32MB. 

Dicomed Corporate Communications 
Dicomed product literature. Computer Product Literature Collection (CBI 12), Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Digi International, Inc. (established 1989)

Digi International, Inc. was founded in 1985 as DigiBoard. The company went public as Digi International in 1989 and is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol DGII. Digi employs more than 650 people worldwide and is headquartered at 11001 Bren Road E., Minnetonka, Minnesota.

Digi International is worldwide provider of server-based remote access solutions; data communications hardware and software for open systems; and routing, fax and computer telephony (CTI) applications. The company also provides serial port and local area network (LAN) connectivity solutions. The company’s products provide asynchronous and synchronous data transmissions for analog modems, ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network), X.25, Frame Relay or T1/E1 connections. 

Digi sells and markets its products through a global network of distributors, systems integrators, value added resellers (VARs) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The company also sells direct to select accounts and the government. Internationally, Digi sells and markets its products through 180 distributors in more than 65 countries.

Digi maintains strategic partnerships with other industry leaders to develop and market technology solutions. Digi partners include Citrix Systems, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Lotus, Micron, Microsoft, Motorola, Novell, Santa Cruz Operation (SCO), Sun Microsystems, and Fundação CPqD (the Brazilian R&D Center for Telecommunications).

September 27, 2000 Digi signed a Merger Agreement with Inside Out Networks™, a leading developer of data connection products based in Austin, Texas. The acquisition will create the most competitive and complete Universal Serial Bus (USB) product line in the industry  Digi will also benefit from Inside Out Networks’ pioneering EPIC software, which provides a seamless transition between legacy software and the latest USB-attached devices.

Digi International, Inc., management 

  • Joseph T. Dunsmore, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Douglas J. Glader, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer
  • S. (Kris) Krishnan, Senior Vice President, Finance, Accounting and Administration and Chief Financial Officer
  • Michael Bantz, Vice President, North American Sales
  • Jon A. Nyland, Vice President, Manufacturing Operations
  • Burk Murray, Vice President of Marketing
  • Joel Young, Vice President of Engineering
  • Bruce Berger, Vice President and Managing Director of European Operations
  • Wulf R. Halbach, Vice President of Research and Development 
  • Dino Kasdagly, Senior Vice President of Development
Digi International, Inc., company web-site, October 2000
Digi International, Inc., press release, September 27, 2000
DigiBoard (established 1985; ceased 1989)
See: Digi International, Inc.

Diginamics Corporation (established 1961)

Founded in 1961 by James H. Foster, formerly of Honeywell Aeronautical Division.

Diginamics brochure. Computer Product Literature Collection (CBI 12), Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Diversified Numeric Applications (established 1968)

Documed (established 1987)

Also known as Medical Documenting Systems, Inc.

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Earthwatch Communications, Inc.

Edge Computer (established 1985)

Electro/General Corporation (established in 1965; ceased 1983)

Incorporated in 1965 as Electro/General Corporation, the company changed its name to DataMyte Corporation in 1983.  See: DataMyte Corporation

Electronic Technology Group (established 1968)

EMR-Computer (established 1964)

See:  Advanced Scienctific Instruments
Engineering Research Associates Inc. (established 1946; ceased 1952)

Engineering Research Associates (ERA) was largely responsible for the existence of a computer industry in Minnesota. Its formation in 1946 was the result of efforts to keep intact some of the work and staff of the Communications Supplementary Activity of the Navy. Among this group was Howard Engstrom, William C. Norris, and Ralph Meader who joined with investment banker John Parker to create ERA at the St. Paul facilities of Northwestern Aeronautical Corporation. The group eventually developed the first digital computer created in Minnesota, the Atlas I, which was delivered in 1950 a year before the well-known UNIVAC. ERA went on to produce more scientific computers and other electronic products. The company became a division of Remington Rand in 1952.

Cohen, Arnold A. "Introduction" in High-Speed Computing Devices. Charles Babbage Institute Reprint Series for the History of Computing Vol. 4 (Los Angeles: Tomash Publishers 1983).
"Engineering Research Associates: The wellspring of Minnesota's computer industry" (St. Paul: Sperry Communications Dept., 1986).
Tomash, Erwin and Arnold E. Cohen. "The Birth of ERA: Engineering Research Associates Inc. 1946-1955." In Annals of the History of Computing 1:2 (October 1979).

ETA Systems (established 1983; ceased 1989)

ETA Systems was a Control Data Corporation supercomputer subsidiary. ETA never escaped the orbit of its parent company, and was closed by CDC in April 1989 after having installed about 25 systems. 
The ETA-10 Supercomputer

The ETA-10 was designed to be instruction-set compatible with the CDC Cyber 205. Like its ancestors in the CDC Cyber series, the ETA-10 was a vector machine without explicit vector registers, relying on pipelined memory operations to a high-bandwidth memory hierarchy. It was a shared-memory multiprocessor with up to 8 CPUs (and up to 18 I/O processors). The CPUs were capable of executing 4 double-precision or 8 single-precision operations per clock cycle.

Each CPU had up to 32M bytes of private memory, and the set of CPUs had common access to up to 2G bytes of shared memory. Most CPU load/store instructions could not touch the shared memory, however, and I/O operations could not touch the private memory, creating store-and-forward problems for the operating system. Fortunately, there were also interprocessor message buffers that lived outside the main memory space.

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