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Why was it called ELF?

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  • jdrose_8_bit
    Why did Mr. Weisbecker call his Popular Electronics implementation of the 1802 computer the ELF ? We can all make guesses regarding size and simplicity as
    Message 1 of 17 , Apr 28, 2013
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      Why did Mr. Weisbecker call his Popular Electronics implementation of the 1802 computer the "ELF"?

      We can all make guesses regarding size and simplicity as inspiration.

      Just wondering if there is some actual history to the nomenclature?

      --- J.D.

      Postscripture,

      I have an original edition of the magazine and noticed that it is "ELF". All capitalized. Not sure if that is important or not.

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/31767011@N02/8690654183/sizes/l
    • joshbensadon
      ... Great question, sadly, I don t know the answer. You would think since it s spelled in all capitals, it might stand for something? I don t even want to
      Message 2 of 17 , Apr 28, 2013
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        --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "jdrose_8_bit" <rarecoinbuyer@...> wrote:
        >
        > Why did Mr. Weisbecker call his Popular Electronics implementation of the 1802 computer the "ELF"?
        >
        > Just wondering if there is some actual history to the nomenclature?
        >
        > I have an original edition of the magazine and noticed that it is "ELF". All capitalized. Not sure if that is important or not.

        Great question, sadly, I don't know the answer. You would think since it's spelled in all capitals, it might stand for something? I don't even want to venture a guess, since it might lead history to the wrong answer.

        :)J
      • Kevin
        Very astute. It would be blown up like the Apollo rumor.
        Message 3 of 17 , Apr 28, 2013
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          Very astute. It would be blown up like the Apollo rumor.

          --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "joshbensadon" <joshbensadon@...> wrote:
          >
          > I don't even want to venture a guess, since it might lead history to the wrong answer.
        • Dave Ruske
          I don t know about the ELF, but there is precedent for Weisbecker coming up with an acronym for at least one of his creations. In the August 1974 IEEE Computer
          Message 4 of 17 , Apr 28, 2013
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            I don't know about the ELF, but there is precedent for Weisbecker coming up with an acronym for at least one of his creations. In the August 1974 IEEE Computer journal, Weisbecker introduced a conceptual COSMAC-based computer called FRED, which he said stood for "Flexible Recreational and Educational Device." The machine described in that article lays out a blueprint for what RCA would eventually commercialize as the VIP.

            I'm not sure that the original Popular Electronics article had "Elf" in all caps, though; the web-based versions of the article I just tried looking up don't have it in all caps. There's probably an original scan somewhere, and I likely have the original article somewhere in my basement, but it's late so I'll leave it to someone else to confirm… :)

            Dave


            On Apr 28, 2013, at 11:29 PM, joshbensadon <joshbensadon@...> wrote:
            --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "jdrose_8_bit" <rarecoinbuyer@...> wrote:
            >
            > Why did Mr. Weisbecker call his Popular Electronics implementation of the 1802 computer the "ELF"?
            > 
            > Just wondering if there is some actual history to the nomenclature?
            > 
            > I have an original edition of the magazine and noticed that it is "ELF". All capitalized. Not sure if that is important or not.

            Great question, sadly, I don't know the answer. You would think since it's spelled in all capitals, it might stand for something? I don't even want to venture a guess, since it might lead history to the wrong answer.

          • Kevin
            CONFIRMATION: http://home.comcast.net/~cwebay6/elf76b11a.jpg
            Message 5 of 17 , Apr 29, 2013
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              CONFIRMATION: http://home.comcast.net/~cwebay6/elf76b11a.jpg

              --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, Dave Ruske <dave@...> wrote:
              >
              > I don't know about the ELF, but there is precedent for Weisbecker coming up with an acronym for at least one of his creations. In the August 1974 IEEE Computer journal, Weisbecker introduced a conceptual COSMAC-based computer called FRED, which he said stood for "Flexible Recreational and Educational Device." The machine described in that article lays out a blueprint for what RCA would eventually commercialize as the VIP.
              >
              > I'm not sure that the original Popular Electronics article had "Elf" in all caps, though; the web-based versions of the article I just tried looking up don't have it in all caps. There's probably an original scan somewhere, and I likely have the original article somewhere in my basement, but it's late so I'll leave it to someone else to confirm… :)
              >
              > Dave
              >
              >
              > On Apr 28, 2013, at 11:29 PM, joshbensadon <joshbensadon@...> wrote:
              > > --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "jdrose_8_bit" <rarecoinbuyer@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Why did Mr. Weisbecker call his Popular Electronics implementation of the 1802 computer the "ELF"?
              > > >
              > > > Just wondering if there is some actual history to the nomenclature?
              > > >
              > > > I have an original edition of the magazine and noticed that it is "ELF". All capitalized. Not sure if that is important or not.
              > >
              > > Great question, sadly, I don't know the answer. You would think since it's spelled in all capitals, it might stand for something? I don't even want to venture a guess, since it might lead history to the wrong answer.
              >
            • William Donnelly
              In all my travels, I ve never seen a reference that explains the chosen name. I think Elf (1802) and Pixie (1861) are fairly self-explanatory. An Elf being a
              Message 6 of 17 , Apr 29, 2013
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                In all my travels, I've never seen a reference that explains the chosen name.

                I think Elf (1802) and Pixie (1861) are fairly self-explanatory.

                An "Elf" being a "small person", and therefore "small computer".

                Although it is entirely possible that the name for the Pixie was chosen
                after, and because of, the name for the Elf. So that doesn't, necessarily,
                suggest the creation of "elf".

                It didn't click for me that apparently Weisbecker wrote the Popular Electronics
                articles himself. So, unless the name was suggested by the editors of PE, or
                they had input, he did specifically name it as such.

                Maybe he asked someone in his family (a child), or who knows.
                It could have been an office or meeting brainstorm.
                RCA may or may not have had input.

                – Bill
                 
                CRAV Computing — Classic • Retro • Antique • Vintage
                  SimElf++ / COSMAC Elf2
                    Online COSMAC ELF-ish CDP1802 Simulator in Javascript
                  CRAV Computing Group
                  facebook CRAV Computing
                   COSMAC Elf and 1802 Microcomputing
                 
                 Rights Activism and Rights Activist Philosophy
                 
                 Deviant Artwork.
                 
                The Consortium of indies, Artistes, & Others • www.CiAOiFilm.net
                 
                .¸¸.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.::::?   www.ChicoSkyWatch.org
                  GeoEngineering • Aerosol Spraying • Toxic Aluminum in Rainwater
                 
                 ✈__✈ █ █ ▄   www.AE911Truth.org
                 
                d71081f2e3459993710e8af1002d1e1e
                _________________
                (\__/) This is Bunny.
                (='.'=) Copy and paste Bunny into your signature.
                (")_(") Help Bunny gain World Domination.


              • Ray Sills
                It would be possible to ask his daughter, Joyce, if she knows the origin of the name. I have an email address of hers dating from 2009. 73 de Ray
                Message 7 of 17 , Apr 29, 2013
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                  It would be possible to ask his daughter, Joyce, if she knows the
                  origin of the name. I have an email address of hers dating from 2009.

                  73 de Ray


                  On Apr 29, 2013, at 4:06 AM, William Donnelly wrote:

                  >
                  >
                  > In all my travels, I've never seen a reference that explains the
                  > chosen name.
                  >
                  > I think Elf (1802) and Pixie (1861) are fairly self-explanatory.
                  >
                  > An "Elf" being a "small person", and therefore "small computer".
                  >
                  > Although it is entirely possible that the name for the Pixie was
                  > chosen
                  > after, and because of, the name for the Elf. So that doesn't,
                  > necessarily,
                  > suggest the creation of "elf".
                  >
                  > It didn't click for me that apparently Weisbecker wrote the Popular
                  > Electronics
                  > articles himself. So, unless the name was suggested by the editors
                  > of PE, or
                  > they had input, he did specifically name it as such.
                  >
                  > Maybe he asked someone in his family (a child), or who knows.
                  > It could have been an office or meeting brainstorm.
                  > RCA may or may not have had input.
                  >
                  > – Bill
                  >
                  > CRAV Computing — Classic • Retro • Antique • Vintage
                  > SimElf++ / COSMAC Elf2
                  > Online COSMAC ELF-ish CDP1802 Simulator in Javascript
                  > CRAV Computing Group
                  > facebook CRAV Computing
                  > COSMAC Elf and 1802 Microcomputing
                  >
                  > Rights Activism and Rights Activist Philosophy
                  >
                  > Deviant Artwork.
                  >
                  > The Consortium of indies, Artistes, & Others • www.CiAOiFilm.net
                  >
                  > .¸¸.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.::::? www.ChicoSkyWatch.org
                  > GeoEngineering • Aerosol Spraying • Toxic Aluminum in Rainwater
                  >
                  > ✈__✈ █ █ ▄ www.AE911Truth.org
                  >
                  > d71081f2e3459993710e8af1002d1e1e
                  > _________________
                  > (\__/) This is Bunny.
                  > (='.'=) Copy and paste Bunny into your signature.
                  > (")_(") Help Bunny gain World Domination.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • system3025
                  All of the text was capitalized in that image. :-) In the article it was referred as Elf several times.
                  Message 8 of 17 , Apr 29, 2013
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                    All of the text was capitalized in that image. :-) In the article it was referred as "Elf" several times.

                    --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "jdrose_8_bit" <rarecoinbuyer@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Why did Mr. Weisbecker call his Popular Electronics implementation of the 1802 computer the "ELF"?
                    >
                    > We can all make guesses regarding size and simplicity as inspiration.
                    >
                    > Just wondering if there is some actual history to the nomenclature?
                    >
                    > --- J.D.
                    >
                    > Postscripture,
                    >
                    > I have an original edition of the magazine and noticed that it is "ELF". All capitalized. Not sure if that is important or not.
                    >
                    > http://www.flickr.com/photos/31767011@N02/8690654183/sizes/l
                    >
                  • Rick Cortese
                    Looking at the title text that goes with it (E)xperimental (L)ow cost but the F is less obvious. I would suggest from Dave s post   (F)RED, which he said
                    Message 9 of 17 , Apr 29, 2013
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                      Looking at the title text that goes with it (E)xperimental (L)ow cost but the 'F is less obvious. I would suggest from Dave's post 
                       (F)RED, which he said stood for "Flexible Recreational and Educational Device."

                      From: system3025 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                      To: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Monday, April 29, 2013 8:04 AM
                      Subject: [cosmacelf] Re: Why was it called ELF?

                       
                      All of the text was capitalized in that image. :-) In the article it was referred as "Elf" several times.

                      --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "jdrose_8_bit" <rarecoinbuyer@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Why did Mr. Weisbecker call his Popular Electronics implementation of the 1802 computer the "ELF"?
                      >
                      > We can all make guesses regarding size and simplicity as inspiration.
                      >
                      > Just wondering if there is some actual history to the nomenclature?
                      >
                      > --- J.D.
                      >
                      > Postscripture,
                      >
                      > I have an original edition of the magazine and noticed that it is "ELF". All capitalized. Not sure if that is important or not.
                      >
                      > http://www.flickr.com/photos/31767011@N02/8690654183/sizes/l
                      >



                    • jdrose_8_bit
                      I remember seeing her posts at another groupsite. She seemed friendly and open to correspondence. Give it a go. Would be interesting to know if she remembers
                      Message 10 of 17 , Apr 29, 2013
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                        I remember seeing her posts at another groupsite. She seemed friendly and open to correspondence. Give it a go. Would be interesting to know if she remembers the history of the "Elf" name.

                        --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, Ray Sills <raysills3@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > It would be possible to ask his daughter, Joyce, if she knows the
                        > origin of the name. I have an email address of hers dating from 2009.
                        >
                        > 73 de Ray
                        >
                        >
                        > On Apr 29, 2013, at 4:06 AM, William Donnelly wrote:
                        >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > In all my travels, I've never seen a reference that explains the
                        > > chosen name.
                        > >
                        > > I think Elf (1802) and Pixie (1861) are fairly self-explanatory.
                        > >
                        > > An "Elf" being a "small person", and therefore "small computer".
                        > >
                        > > Although it is entirely possible that the name for the Pixie was
                        > > chosen
                        > > after, and because of, the name for the Elf. So that doesn't,
                        > > necessarily,
                        > > suggest the creation of "elf".
                        > >
                        > > It didn't click for me that apparently Weisbecker wrote the Popular
                        > > Electronics
                        > > articles himself. So, unless the name was suggested by the editors
                        > > of PE, or
                        > > they had input, he did specifically name it as such.
                        > >
                        > > Maybe he asked someone in his family (a child), or who knows.
                        > > It could have been an office or meeting brainstorm.
                        > > RCA may or may not have had input.
                        > >
                        > > â€" Bill
                        > >
                        > > CRAV Computing â€" Classic • Retro • Antique • Vintage
                        > > SimElf++ / COSMAC Elf2
                        > > Online COSMAC ELF-ish CDP1802 Simulator in Javascript
                        > > CRAV Computing Group
                        > > facebook CRAV Computing
                        > > COSMAC Elf and 1802 Microcomputing
                        > >
                        > > Rights Activism and Rights Activist Philosophy
                        > >
                        > > Deviant Artwork.
                        > >
                        > > The Consortium of indies, Artistes, & Others • www.CiAOiFilm.net
                        > >
                        > > .¸¸.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.::::? www.ChicoSkyWatch.org
                        > > GeoEngineering • Aerosol Spraying • Toxic Aluminum in Rainwater
                        > >
                        > > ✈__✈ █ █ ▄ www.AE911Truth.org
                        > >
                        > > d71081f2e3459993710e8af1002d1e1e
                        > > _________________
                        > > (\__/) This is Bunny.
                        > > (='.'=) Copy and paste Bunny into your signature.
                        > > (")_(") Help Bunny gain World Domination.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        >
                      • William Donnelly
                        Experimental Low-cost F(RED) could be a bacronym. (by us or Weisbecker) Or it could be a real acronym if F.R.E.D. was a sparkle in Weisbecker s eye before/when
                        Message 11 of 17 , Apr 29, 2013
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                          Experimental Low-cost F(RED) could be a bacronym. (by us or Weisbecker)

                          Or it could be a real acronym if F.R.E.D. was a sparkle in Weisbecker's eye before/when
                          he created the ELF/Elf, and meant the ELF to be a simpler FRED.

                          If there was some linguistic association with 'ELF' and 'FRED" (anyone know of an Elf named Fred
                          prior to 1976?), like 'PIXIE', then there would be a stronger case for it.

                          There is a poem/limerick: (unknown date and author, afaict)

                          There once was an elf named Fred
                          Whose house was of gingerbread.
                          Though tasty, these walls
                          Dissolved in snowfalls
                          And also made crumbs in Fred's bed.

                          Anyone know if Weisbecker had a sense if humor? He was an EE, so....
                          (I'll let you decide which way that might be, or should be, meant)

                          'PIXIE' is also interesting if you want to think of 'pixel'.
                          [ dictionary.com says: pix·el [pik-suhl, -sel] noun Computers, Television.
                          the smallest element of an image that can be individually processed in a video display system.
                          Origin: 1965–70; pix2 (def 1)  + el(ement) ]

                          I've always liked to capitalize Elf, not uppercase it. And there is good evidence that it
                          was intended by Weisbecker to be capitalized and not uppercased, except as the
                          title of the article. I checked the (first) article and I didn't see it as anything but "Elf".
                          (several references)

                          So it's most-probably my suggestion of a "small" computer, which is probably a common
                          usage, although I don't know how you would prove that one way or the other.
                          But that still (possibly/potentially) doesn't completely explain it, if it is even true.

                          – Bill
                           
                          On 4/29/2013 8:28 AM, Rick Cortese wrote:
                           
                          Looking at the title text that goes with it (E)xperimental (L)ow cost but the 'F is less obvious. I would suggest from Dave's post 
                           (F)RED, which he said stood for "Flexible Recreational and Educational Device."



                        • garydidio
                          Believe it or not, Elf does not stand for anything. It simply means small . ... From: William Donnelly To: cosmacelf
                          Message 12 of 17 , Apr 29, 2013
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                            Believe it or not, "Elf" does not stand for anything.  It simply means "small".


                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: William Donnelly <william@...>
                            To: cosmacelf <cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Mon, Apr 29, 2013 12:33 pm
                            Subject: Re: [cosmacelf] Re: Why was it called ELF?

                             
                            Experimental Low-cost F(RED) could be a bacronym. (by us or Weisbecker)

                            Or it could be a real acronym if F.R.E.D. was a sparkle in Weisbecker's eye before/when
                            he created the ELF/Elf, and meant the ELF to be a simpler FRED.

                            If there was some linguistic association with 'ELF' and 'FRED" (anyone know of an Elf named Fred
                            prior to 1976?), like 'PIXIE', then there would be a stronger case for it.

                            There is a poem/limerick: (unknown date and author, afaict)

                            There once was an elf named Fred
                            Whose house was of gingerbread.
                            Though tasty, these walls
                            Dissolved in snowfalls
                            And also made crumbs in Fred's bed.

                            Anyone know if Weisbecker had a sense if humor? He was an EE, so....
                            (I'll let you decide which way that might be, or should be, meant)

                            'PIXIE' is also interesting if you want to think of 'pixel'.
                            [ dictionary.com says: pix·el [pik-suhl, -sel] noun Computers, Television.
                            the smallest element of an image that can be individually processed in a video display system.
                            Origin: 1965–70; pix2 (def 1)  + el(ement) ]

                            I've always liked to capitalize Elf, not uppercase it. And there is good evidence that it
                            was intended by Weisbecker to be capitalized and not uppercased, except as the
                            title of the article. I checked the (first) article and I didn't see it as anything but "Elf".
                            (several references)

                            So it's most-probably my suggestion of a "small" computer, which is probably a common
                            usage, although I don't know how you would prove that one way or the other.
                            But that still (possibly/potentially) doesn't completely explain it, if it is even true.

                            – Bill
                             
                            On 4/29/2013 8:28 AM, Rick Cortese wrote:
                             
                            Looking at the title text that goes with it (E)xperimental (L)ow cost but the 'F is less obvious. I would suggest from Dave's post 
                             (F)RED, which he said stood for "Flexible Recreational and Educational Device."



                          • jdrose_8_bit
                            ... ??
                            Message 13 of 17 , Apr 29, 2013
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                              --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin" <kriceslo@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Very astute. It would be blown up like the Apollo rumor.
                              >

                              ??
                            • Kevin
                              Viking/Voyager. My bad.
                              Message 14 of 17 , Apr 29, 2013
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                                Viking/Voyager. My bad.

                                --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "jdrose_8_bit" <rarecoinbuyer@...> wrote:
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin" <kriceslo@> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > Very astute. It would be blown up like the Apollo rumor.
                                > >
                                >
                                > ??
                                >
                              • Ray Sills
                                I have an email into that address. Haven t heard anything, but it hasn t bounced, either. I ll post any response. 73 de Ray
                                Message 15 of 17 , Apr 29, 2013
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                                  I have an email into that address. Haven't heard anything, but it
                                  hasn't bounced, either. I'll post any response.

                                  73 de Ray


                                  On Apr 29, 2013, at 12:13 PM, jdrose_8_bit wrote:

                                  >
                                  > I remember seeing her posts at another groupsite. She seemed
                                  > friendly and open to correspondence. Give it a go. Would be
                                  > interesting to know if she remembers the history of the "Elf" name.
                                • William Donnelly
                                  References? – Bill ... References? – Bill   On 4/29/2013 9:40 AM, didio4@aol.com wrote:   Believe it or not, Elf does not stand for anything.  It
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Apr 29, 2013
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                                    References?

                                    – Bill
                                     
                                    On 4/29/2013 9:40 AM, didio4@... wrote:
                                     

                                    Believe it or not, "Elf" does not stand for anything.  It simply means "small".


                                  • jdrose_8_bit
                                    ... Regarding the PE 1802 Elf, how do you know that? Thanks.
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Apr 29, 2013
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                                      --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, didio4@... wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Believe it or not, "Elf" does not stand for anything. It simply means "small".
                                      >

                                      Regarding the PE 1802 Elf, how do you know that?

                                      Thanks.
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