[TUHS] Etymology of bc(1)

Christian Neukirchen chneukirchen at gmail.com
Fri Sep 12 07:24:32 AEST 2014


on de.comp.os.unix.shell there is a recent thread about bc(1) which
turned into a discussion about why it is called "bc".  dc(1) is pretty
clearly "desk calculator" as by the man page, but the etymology of bc
seems to be unclear.

I've heard the following plausible theories:

- basic calculator (Wikipedia)
- beauty calculator (some people apparently dislike RPN)
- better calculator
- bench calculator (Wikipedia)
- b is the letter d mirrored (RPN vs algebraic)
- bundle calculator (the word "bundle" appears 97 times in bc.y of V6)

...but nobody had a really conclusive argument.  Perhaps someone here
remembers the real story?

Christian Neukirchen  <chneukirchen at gmail.com>  http://chneukirchen.org

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