How do you get a bit of publicity when you never make any really big sales, but you want to tell the world that you are out of the woods, back in business, on the up-and-up and all the rest of it. That was the problem facing General Automation Inc, the Anaheim, California company in which Sanderson Electronics Plc, Sheffield, is now the largest shareholder. The answer winged in like a dream from the company’s Dallas-based dealer, Varsity Computing Inc, which had a story that had it all – glamour, sex, violence, the lot. The customer is Victor Duncan Inc of Irving, Texas, which has decided to kick out its old Honeywell DPS 6-based Ultimate machine (bit of violence there) for a large, 120-user GA8830 68030-based Pick machine. Victor Duncan is part of the London-based Samuelson Group of Companies, and the glamour and whatnot comes in what it does – it supplies and services professional production equipment to the feature film, television, commercial production and corporate presentation markets, and among the TV programmes for which it does the business are Dallas and Heat of the Night, and it was also in on the feature films Silkwood, Beverly Hills Cop, Planes, Trains and Automobiles and the soon-to-be-released Steel Magnolias. More violence came in the selection of the system, when the IBM AS/400, the DEC MicroVAX 3600 and several Unix-based systems such as the Bull X45, and tick-based systems such as an Ultimate 15X, a Fujitsu 2600 and a Sanyo/Icon 4000 were tested against the GA8830 and found wanting. The configuration has a list price of $287,000.
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