Apollo DN420 Workstation

Apollo Domain DN420 Workstation
(c Fall 1982)

Originally purchased by Cadre Technologies, Inc. in Providence and named "//jabba". This workstation was instrumental in the development of Cadre's flagship product, teamwork, a leading CASE tool suite of the 80s and 90s.

Apollo was started in 1980, two years before Sun Microsystems. In addition to Bill Poduska, the founders included Dave Nelson (Engineering), Mike Greata (Engineering), Charlie Spector (COO), Bob Antonuccio (Manufacturing), Gerry Stanley (Sales and Marketing), and Dave Lubrano (Finance). The founding engineering team included Mike Sporer, Bernie Stumpf, Russ Barbour, Paul Leach, and Andy Marcuvitz.

In 1981, the company unveiled the DN100 workstation, which used the Motorola 68000 microprocessor. Apollo workstations ran Aegis (later replaced by Domain/OS), a proprietary operating system with a POSIX-compliant Unix alternative shell. Apollo's networking was particularly elegant, among the first to allow demand paging over the network, and allowing a degree of network transparency and low sysadmin-to-machine ratio.

From 1980 to 1987, Apollo was the largest manufacturer of network workstations. Its quarterly sales exceeded $100 million for the first time in late 1986,[1] and by the end of that year, it had the largest worldwide share of the engineering workstations market, at twice the market share of the number two, Sun Microsystems.[2] At the end of 1987, it was third in market share after Digital Equipment Corporation and Sun, but ahead of Hewlett-Packard and IBM. Apollo's largest customers were Mentor Graphics (electronic design), General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Chicago Research and Trading (Options and Futures) and Boeing.

Apollo was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 1989 for US$476 million, and gradually closed down over the period 1990-1997. But after acquiring Apollo Computer in 1989, HP integrated a lot of Apollo technology into their own HP 9000 series of workstations and servers. The Apollo engineering center took over PA-RISC workstation development and Apollo became an HP workstation brand name (HP Apollo 9000) for a while. Apollo also invented the revision control system DSEE (Domain Software Engineering Environment) which inspired IBM Rational ClearCase. DSEE was pronounced "dizzy".