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#1
Old 03-30-2004, 06:42 PM
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"That Does Not Compute"--origin?

In trhe movies, robots & computers use the phrase "that does not compute" when something does not make sense.

What is the origin of this phrase?

Does it come solely from fiction, or did it appear in early computer research & get adapted?
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#2
Old 03-30-2004, 07:13 PM
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It's a Hollywood invention. Computers, especially early ones, produced very cryptic error codes that only the engineers who designed and worked on them could understand. Robots were walking around in movies and on TV saying "does not computer" long before computers started spitting out error codes that a normal human could understand.

A typical error code from something like an old univac looks like this:
I/O TYPE 01 CODE 22 CONT 12 REENT ADR: 015245 BDI: 403034

which obviously wouldn't have the same effect for a typical TV watcher of the 60's as "does not compute."
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#3
Old 03-30-2004, 07:22 PM
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The Robot On Lost in Space (1965-68) used to say it .. I don't say that is the first time ... but it is a benchmark
#4
Old 03-30-2004, 07:27 PM
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That does not compute goes back at least as far as Robbie the robot in Lost in space.
Quote:
G: Who created the line "It does not compute!", do you know?

B: The writers. Strictly ...

G: The same for "Warning - Warning"?

B: Yeah, the only thing is, some of the writers - as good as they are...
Lost in Space Australia
It may date to "Forbidden Planet", but I can't find a cite for that.
#5
Old 03-30-2004, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squink
That does not compute goes back at least as far as Robbie the robot in Lost in space.
*nitpick*
'Robbie the Robot' was from Forbidden Planet. The one in Lost In Space was just known as 'Robot'.

I think they were both built by the same person though.
#6
Old 03-30-2004, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuanoLad
*nitpick*
'Robbie the Robot' was from Forbidden Planet. The one in Lost In Space was just known as 'Robot'.

I think they were both built by the same person though.
Robbie did make a guest appearance once.
#7
Old 03-30-2004, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
In trhe movies, robots & computers use the phrase "that does not compute" when something does not make sense.
What is the origin of this phrase?
Does it come solely from fiction, or did it appear in early computer research & get adapted?
Robert Cummings sitcom "My Living Doll," Julie Newmar's robotic character.
#8
Old 03-30-2004, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuanoLad
*nitpick*
'Robbie the Robot' was from Forbidden Planet. The one in Lost In Space was just known as 'Robot'.

I think they were both built by the same person though.
I stand corrected.
Funny how things like that stop computing as you get older.
#9
Old 03-31-2004, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SettingSun
Robert Cummings sitcom "My Living Doll," Julie Newmar's robotic character.
I can find a newspaper article which used the phrase, published a week before "Lost in Space" premiered. So I think LIS is not the true origin.

But, do you have just a memory that "MLD" actually used it? Any cite other than memory?
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