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The Rainbow 100 Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a Rainbow 100 anyway?

From General

The Rainbow 100 was a personal computer introduced in May 1982 by Digital Equipment Corporation as part of its low-end computer line. The Rainbow was meant to be a very compatible system, running 8- and 16-bit programs. All outputs from the computer were industry- standard at the time.

Sadly, the Rainbow 100 was unsuccessful in the market for many reasons. First, the computer initially carried a price tag of $2995 US (?). The high price made entrance into the consumer market near impossible at first. Secondly, the Rainbow did not receive much marketing support. Some television adds were run, but they did little to fight the competition of IBM. Thirdly, Digital was not fully behind the product. Ken Olsen, the CEO at the time, favored the Professional series of low-end systems. Also, DEC salesmen did not try hard enough to sell them. As one DEC employee put it, "Why try to sell 12 Rainbows when you can get the same commission on selling just one VAX."

Today, the Rainbow receives little support and interest. Still, some still run their 'bows on a regular basis. As far as early PCs go, the Rainbow is quite a capable machine.