Northgate Computer Systems, Inc.

Northgate Computer Systems, Inc., based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA, was a mail-order personal computer company, founded in 1987 by Arthur Lazere.[1]

The 1990s were a golden era for mail-order PC business. Consumers were fed up with high prices for IBM, Compaq and other brand-name PCs sold through dealers so they opted to purchase their computers from a catalog. This was a revolutionary idea at the time, because people wouldn’t be able to see or touch their computer before buying it. Aside from Dell and Gateway, popular brands of mail-order PCs were Northgate and Zeos.

The company was known for its quality systems and keyboards; in particular, its line of OmniKey keyboards was highly praised.[1] The keyboards were particularly valued for their tactile response and durability, and along with IBM’s Model M PC keyboards, were considered some of the best in the industry.[2] As such, the company’s keyboards were often purchased by users of other manufacturers’ PCs.

* 1987 founded by Arthur Lazere[3]

* 1990 Announced 486 systems using IBM’s Micro Channel architecture and merger talks with CPT.[4]

* 1992 Discussed a merger with Everex Systems but these talks ended and a 51% stake was bought by investor group Marjac Investments.[5]

* August 1994 A chapter 7 petition was filed against the company by creditors.

* September 1994 The company filed for a conversion to a chapter 11 reorganization plan.[6] Mylex was owed $4.6 million, $113,000 was expected to be paid from liquidation from Northgate’s inventories.[7] The landlord of their Eden Prairie building also canceled their lease and they were planning to move to Minneapolis.[8]

* December 22, 1995 Announced a reorganization plan with its creditors which paid 19 cents on the dollar to cover $16 million in unsecured debts. The funding would be from a percentage of computer sales up to a maximum of $3.75 million.[9]

* 1997 Northgate was purchased by Lan Plus.[10][11]

* October 2000 Lan Plus begins merger with Mcglen Internet Group.[12]

* April 16, 2001 Mcglen and Lan Plus announces that the merged company will be operating under the Northgate name.[13][14]

* September 10, 2001 Lan Plus and Mcglen expect to complete the merger by October under the name Northgate Innovations with Andy Teng as chairman and CEO.[15]. However the completion of the merger wasn’t announced until March.[16]

* September 20, 2002 Announced a « Volunteer Training Program » with local technical schools to provide real-world computer manufacturing experience.[17] Their principal executive offices are now in the city of Industry, California.[18]

* 2003 Announced a trial with 7-Eleven to sell Northgate Computer branded PCs through their stores.[19]

* 2004 Name changed to Digital Lifestyles Group to focus on the « teen computing and digital lifestyle » market with a new « hip-e » brand.[20]

* 2005 On April 25 an announcement on their web site stated « Northgate Computers will close its operations to all customers. Northgate will no longer supply any type of warranty services inclusive of technical phone support. »[21][22]

After Northgate went out of business Creative Vision Technologies picked up the line of keyboards, marketing them under the Avant brand.[23]

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