Digital Equipment Corporation

From Audiovisual Identity Database



Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC /dɛk/), using the trademark Digital, was a major American company in the computer industry from the 1960s to the 1990s. The company was co-founded by Ken Olsen and Harlan Anderson in 1957. Olsen was president until forced to resign in 1992, after the company had gone into precipitous decline.

The company produced many different product lines over its history. It is best known for the work in the minicomputer market starting in the mid-1960s. The company produced a series of machines known as the PDP line, with the PDP-8 and PDP-11 being among the most successful minis in history. Their success was only surpassed by another DEC product, the late-1970s VAX "supermini" systems that were designed to replace the PDP-11. Although a number of competitors had successfully competed with Digital through the 1970s, the VAX cemented the company's place as a leading vendor in the computer space.

As microcomputers improved in the late 1980s, especially with the introduction of RISC-based workstation machines, the performance niche of the minicomputer was rapidly eroded. By the early 1990s, the company was in turmoil as their mini sales collapsed and their attempts to address this by entering the high-end market with machines like the VAX 9000 were market failures. After several attempts to enter the workstation and file server market, the DEC Alpha product line began to make successful inroads in the mid-1990s, but was too late to save the company.

DEC was acquired in June 1998 by Compaq in what was at that time the largest merger in the history of the computer industry. During the purchase, some parts of DEC were sold to other companies; the compiler business and the Hudson Fab were sold to Intel. At the time, Compaq was focused on the enterprise market and had recently purchased several other large vendors. DEC was a major player overseas where Compaq had less presence. However, Compaq had little idea what to do with its acquisitions, and soon found itself in financial difficulty of its own. Compaq subsequently merged with Hewlett-Packard (HP) in May 2002.

(July 1986-January 1987)

Logo: Same as the Windows 1.0 and 2.0 bootscreen, except that the DEC logo at the time was used instead of the Microsoft logo. The text under the DEC logo varies:

  • MS-Windows for VAXmate
    Version 1.01.11
  • MS-Windows for Rainbow 100
    Version 1.03.04
  • MS-Windows
    Version 1.03.04

There's also a copyright notice for DEC below Microsoft's copyright notice. The sentence "Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp." is replaced with "Microsoft and MS-Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.", with more text below that text, which would vary:

  • "VAXmate and the Digital logo are trademarks of Digital Equipment Corporation."
  • "Rainbow 100 and the Digital logo are trademarks of DEC."
  • "The Digital logo is a trademark of Digital Equipment Corporation."

Variant: On Rainbow 100's OEM of Windows 1.03, the logo is stretched and the font looks slightly different, looking thinner than the normal bootscreen. It is also colored blue, like the usual colored bootscreen, but brighter.

Technique: Same as Windows 1.0 and 2.0

Music/Sounds: None

Availability: Seen on Digital Equipment Corporation's OEMs of Windows releases at the time.

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