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Why is it called JCN?

The origins of the name JCN (pronounced Jason) go back to one of the myths surrounding Stanley Kubrick's file "2001: A Space Odyssey". It has been claimed that the name HAL is derived by subtracting one letter from "IBM", though Arthur C. Clarke strongly denies this was his intention.

When trying to think of a catchy name, we simply tried moving one letter in the opposite direction: if you add one letter to "IBM", you end up with JCN! We found it was easy to talk about the processor by calling it "Jason", so the initials stuck.

We started work in approximately November 1999 on the JCN hardware and compiler tools. The first program was successfully compiled and run on the simulated hardware on January 12, 2000. By coincidence, January 12th also happens to be the fictional birthday of HAL...

(For movie trivia buffs, there is an additional AT&T connection with 2001. HAL sings 'Daisy Daisy' as it is being shut down. This was the first song ever sung by a computer - the work being carried out by AT&T Labs back in 1961!)

These pages were last modified 28/9/01.

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