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CompuAdd Corporation was a manufacturer of personal computers in Austin, Texas, USA. It assembled its product from components manufactured by others. CompuAdd created generic PC clone computers, but unlike most clone makers, had a large engineering staff. CompuAdd also created a Multimedia PC (MPC), the FunStation, and a Sun workstation clone, the SparcStation 1.
CompuAdd was the largest clone PC manufacturer in Austin until 1993 and outsold PC's Limited (bankrupted and renamed Dell Computer Corporation). CompuAdd sold PCs to corporate, educational and government entities. CompuAdd Computers 386 was on the US Army's Mobile Missile System in Gulf War 1 (1991) and it was rated and tested by the Army for that use.
CompuAdd was founded by Bill Hayden in 1982. Hayden was born in San Antonio, Texas. He went to school at the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with degree in electrical engineering in 1971. He was employed by Texas Instruments as a design engineer in a classified government reconnaissance project. In 1974, Hayden switched jobs to TI's Calculator Division and became a project engineer. It was there that Hayden claims he developed the entrepreneurial spirit that he later applied when he started CompuAdd. After several years in this position, which required a great deal of overtime, he decided that he needed more time to contemplate his future. He noticed that quality assurance was less demanding work with shorter hours and switched jobs. As his 10-year anniversary with TI approached in 1981, Hayden turned in his resignation. The following year he founded CompuAdd using $100,000 earned by selling real estate part-time. Hayden sold computer peripherals and add-on devices such as disk drives. The name came from this computer add-on business plan.
CompuAdd also had a strong server line and all of its systems were superior to Dell Computer systems at the time.
CompuAdd was two years ahead of its local competitor Dell Computers (PC's Limited) in catalog sales and had over 200 retail stores at the time bankruptcy was filed.
Because of losses from debt owed by PC's Limited, and the default on over 1,500 retail stores (lease agreement with Trammell Crow), the debt to income ratio was much more than the corporation could sustain and it went through a liquidation process of all its assets.
At the height of CompuAdd's reign, it had over 100 sales people. CompuAdd policy was to not allow any sales representative to have the same name, so many chose their own names like Austin, Houston, Travis, Lamar, and other Texas geographically known places and historic people.
Hayden was CEO of CompuAdd Computer Corporation until its final day.
The company's marketing slogan at time of demise was: Customer Driven, by Design.
The computers sold to the 111th ADA Brigade, based at Fort Bliss, were actually Austin Computer Systems, sold at MicroCity Computers in El Paso. The deal was supposed to go to ComputerLand, for a Compaq server and workstations, but they dropped the ball. Out of time, the CWO making the buy for the Army bought the first 486 EISA bus system MicroCity had gotten from Austin. The sale was made by two brothers that operated the store for the Austin-based owner.
- "Texas EE Seizes the Entrepreneurial Spirit", EDN, January 14, 1993
- Chris & Mark Bradley, formerly of MicroCity Computers