Univac, Multivac (1955), Microvac (1956) and fictional etymologies

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 22 22:31:20 UTC 2011

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".

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

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