Computer proverbs for Fred Shapiro

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Fri Jun 7 19:42:04 UTC 2002

RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) has acquired the backronym "[the] Really Interesting Stuff is in the Compiler".

There are other computer backronyms, many satirical (e.g. IBM = "Itty Bitty Machines"), but this is the only one I know of that expresses a serious thought.

I don't know when the acronym RISC first appeared.  If I had to guess, I'd say the mid-1980's.  However, the first commercially successful RISC computer was the CDC 6600 of circa 1963, and the idea of RISC computers was advocated by Alan M. Turing way back in 1945, when the only electronic computers in existence were the Colossi at Bletchley and Zuse's machine in Germany.

Also, do you have the (now long obsolete) proverb "Nobody ever got fired for recommending IBM"?

     - James A. Landau

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