[TUHS] Happy birthday, PDP-8!

Greg 'groggy' Lehey grog at lemis.com
Mon Mar 27 08:20:56 AEST 2017

On Sunday, 26 March 2017 at 16:11:30 -0400, Paul Winalski wrote:
> On 3/26/17, Dave Horsfall <dave at horsfall.org> wrote [regarding the PDP-8]:
>> Yep, it could add, but not subtract.  Dammit, but I'm trying to think of
>> the CADET acronym; it went something like "Can't Add, Didn't Even Try".
> CADET was the official IBM internal development code name for the
> 1620, designed to be a low cost computer for the scientific
> marketplace.  Part of the reduced cost was attained by abandoning the
> traditional ALU circuitry.  Instead the 1620 did arithmetic by table
> lookup.  The joke was made that CADET stood for "Can't Add, Doesn't
> Even Try", and that interpretation stuck and became popular with the
> machine's user community.

I didn't know it was an official name of a project, and I thought it
referred to the 1401, the predecessor of the 1620.  To be fair, they
did arithmetic one byte at a time, so a table lookup made sense.

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