On the XO Laptop

Terra plus Putare gives Terraputer

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[First published as terraputer, xo-laptop: terra plus putare gives terraputer on November 23, 2007.]

I just made up a new word: terraputer.

You haven’t heard of it before, and neither had I, until I made it up a few minutes ago.

A terraputer is a global computer. The first terraputer has just been built. It is called the XO-1 Laptop.

I’ll be writing a lot more about the XO laptop and the notion of a terracomputer, a lot more.

Two definitions from Cassell’s Latin-English Dictionary:

Cover Cassell's Latin-English Dictionary,
Dictionary Cover

puto, -are

Cassell's Latin-English Dictionary, "terra"
terra, -ae

puto, -are, to cleanse, clear; of trees, to lop; Trans., to clear up, settle,, esp. of accounts; hence to weigh up, ponder, reckon, estimate, to consider, believe, think; parenthetically,, puto or et puto, I suppose.

terra, -ae, f. earth, land, ground, soil; a country, land, region; orbis terrarum, the whole world

whence terraputer, n. computing system for the whole world; a global computing platform; e.g., the XO-1 Laptop.

I used a book to hold down the pages of the Cassell’s Dictionary, and you can see a fragment of the cover. The choice was intentional. The book is Richard Gabriel’s Patterns of Software, one of the finest books ever written about the art of programming.


Written by daveshields

December 12, 2007 at 2:33 pm

Posted in xo-laptop

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