Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Jan 24 15:34:53 UTC 2011

At 1/22/2011 05:31 PM, Garson O'Toole wrote:
>I meant to say that Asimov did not know the accurate etymology of
>UNIVAC. He thought it was "Universal Analog Computer" and not
>"Universal Automatic Computer".

Given this blooper, must I view all Asimov's
assertions about science skeptically?  Anyone who
had taken Computers 101 (or read Wikipedia) would
know that UNIVAC I was not analog, but digital.

And Wikipedia's photo confirms my recollection of
having walked around inside one.  The one given
to Harvard in 1956.  It was not one gigantic
vacuum tube (Wiki says 5200 tubes).


>On Sat, Jan 22, 2011 at 5:23 PM, Garson O'Toole
><adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> > The name "Multivac" is used in the short story "Franchise" published
> > in 1955. Asimov explained how he created the name "Multivac" in the
> > book "Today and tomorrow and ..." published in 1973. (I have only seen
> > a snippet of this book via Google Books. The date is from a WorldCat.)
> > Excerpt:
> >
> > "Univac" is an acronym for "Universal Analog Computer," but I chose to
> > consider it "Uni-vac" ("one vacuum tube") and invented my own favorite
> > computer, "Multivac." In "Franchise," I had Multivac select (by
> > methods best known to itself) 

> >
> > http://books.google.com/books?id=R7faAAAAMAAJ&q=uni-vac#search_anchor
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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