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Alternate Terminology: Computers, Ordinators, or Ypologists?

Ciclavex

Baron Ciclavex of Grittsysborough in New Sweden
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One note on the term “PC”; when I was in high school in the 2000s, writing a paper on computing history, there was still a very, very strong insistence that “PC” only referred to computers based upon the IBM PC’s architecture, and I had to use the generic term “microcomputers” when talking about what we now just call “PCs” as a whole. But, clearly, we were already moving toward using “PC” generically for all small, personal use computers, because they felt the need to insist.
 

OwenM

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I believe a common media term for the earliest computers was "(electronic) brain" - which the people working on them hated, although ironically the media started using their preferred "computer" as they were starting to give in on it, so that's a probably fairly easy divergence.

(On the gender thing, from memory the stats we have suggest programming was never quite majority female, but it has been fairly steadily declining)
 

Thande

Jabs First Brexit
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I believe a common media term for the earliest computers was "(electronic) brain" - which the people working on them hated, although ironically the media started using their preferred "computer" as they were starting to give in on it, so that's a probably fairly easy divergence.

(On the gender thing, from memory the stats we have suggest programming was never quite majority female, but it has been fairly steadily declining)
Good point re. electronic brain.

One phrase I tried to look up a while back was 'electric eye', yet there seemed to be way fewer examples of it in use than I thought, and I can't even figure out what it actually meant (possibly automated camera).

(Before anyone asks, Judas Priest didn't coin it, for example it appears in the David Bowie song "Moonage Daydream" from eleven years earlier and I'm pretty certain it's a Flash-Gordon-y time term, yet I can't seem to find its original use).
 

OwenM

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Ooh, I just thought of a possible related terminological difference - apart from how it's probably fairly well-known here that the name Google comes from their first investor misspelling googol on the cheque, in David Brin's 1988 book (set in 2038) Earth, whilst search engines are one of the few things he gets notably wrong about the future of the Internet for an 80s writer (he expected you to have to write a program of your own every time you wanted to search - which surely requires someone to have a directory anyway? Never mind), the equivalent are called "ferret programs".
 

Kato

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Excellent series of articles.

"ferret programs".
Thande has already discussed how different languages and geopolitical set ups can lead to different terms becoming dominant, but I'll leave the obvious Balkanised Britain joke aside.

(In the independent Great City of Bristol the Internet is strictly controlled and centralised, to the point where it is known as the Combine. The highly efficient search engines this enables are thereby naturally known as Harvesters).
 

Hendryk

Nothing ever ends
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Good point re. electronic brain.
In Chinese a computer is indeed called 电脑 diannao, "electric brain".

Likewise, cinema is 电影 dianying "electric shadows", though for a while in the early 20th century it was called 西洋影戏 xiyang yingxi "Western shadow play" by analogy with the traditional art form of shadow puppetry, television is 电视 dianshi "electric sight" and telephone is 电话 dianhua "electric speech", though a cell phone is a 手机 shouji "hand device".

Alternate naming that I have indulged in with WIAF include "Bryner" for screw truck and "ground glider" for hovercraft.
 

Thande

Jabs First Brexit
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In Chinese a computer is indeed called 电脑 diannao, "electric brain".

Likewise, cinema is 电影 dianying "electric shadows", though for a while in the early 20th century it was called 西洋影戏 xiyang yingxi "Western shadow play" by analogy with the traditional art form of shadow puppetry, television is 电视 dianshi "electric sight" and telephone is 电话 dianhua "electric speech", though a cell phone is a 手机 shouji "hand device".

Alternate naming that I have indulged in with WIAF include "Bryner" for screw truck and "ground glider" for hovercraft.
I like the idea of cinema being compared to shadow puppetry, I wonder if the same happened in Indonesia.
 

Hendryk

Nothing ever ends
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I like the idea of cinema being compared to shadow puppetry, I wonder if the same happened in Indonesia.
I don't know about Indonesia, but in the case of China, when the first moving pictures were shown in Shanghai in the late 1890s, the locals saw that it involved a light source and a screen, so close enough.
 
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