Michel Henric Coll, a young
french commercial engineer from Philips Data System, is at the origin of the
Hector/Victor series. He recalls:
"I discovered the Interact
Model 1 during a trip to the United-States in july 79. It was very simple: I
had read its description in an american technical magazine. When I arrived to
Ann Arbor (the city in Michigan where the Interact firm is based), I phoned
to Interact to explain that I wanted to sell their products in France. James
Scotton, the Interact chairman, sent me a white Cadillac to my hotel and spent
a whole day with me. A contract was quickly signed".
Thus, in september 79, Michel
signs a commercial distribution agreement with Interact. Then in january 80,
he creates its own company, Lambda System, based in Toulouse (France).
Michel Henric Coll
"As I obtained the
right to sell the Interact under my own brand, I immediatly renamed it Victor
Lambda. It was during a brainstorming group organised in a training course I
followed in Toulouse at the "Ecole Supérieure de Commerce" from january
to july 79, that I discovered this name. We already have chosen the first name,
Victor, thanks to the help of the computer (!). We were looking for the last
name. Tired, someone said: is it so important to waste so many time to this
search to sell a lambda computer to a lambda customer? It rang my bell, we had
just found the name."
Unfortunately for Michel,
the american company Interact closes its doors in february 80 and Lambda System
does the same thing in july 81.
Here comes Micronique, a
french company specialised in electronic hardware. In fact, the Micronique group
is composed at that time by 7 companies, 330 employees and has an annual result
of 120 millions of francs. As Micronique wanted to own their own product, when
they meet Michel in the summer 81 just after the failure of Lambda System, they
don't miss the opportunity to enter the micro-computers market with the Victor
René Benech, one of the three
chairmans of Micronique
In december 81, Micronique
becomes the only owner of the Victor Lambda by buying all the right to the americans.
Then, at the start of 82, a new structure is created so that the new activity
could be more independent : Victor Lambda Diffusion, VLD. It is in charge with
the marketing of the computer and the development of software.
The first system sold until
then, an Interact computer in fact, is completely re-studied and the new models
Victor I, II and 2HR, will be completely conceived and built at Corbeil, in
the Micronique factory. The first american model was based upon the 8080 from
Intel, the french models will run with a Z80A.