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Keatah

Significance of the number 80 in computing?

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Throughout the ages I've heard that 80 is an important number in computing. Almost as important as the powers of 2. Besides there being 80-columns and Intel's FPU doing 80-bits precision what else is there that's related to 80?

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Screen width probably goes back to IBMs 80 character punch cards.
I'm guessing much of the later use was due to the 80s being 'the future' or present decade depending on when a product came out.
It was very common as part of IC or microcomputer names.
8080, 8085, 8051, Z80, TRS-80, ZX-80, and a lot of other computers with 80 in their name
If you drop the zero, you get 8 bit.  :)

64, 65, and 68 were used a lot as well

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This lead me down the rabbit hole of where the "80" in Z80 came from. Looks like it started with the Intel 4-bit 4004 which then lead to the 8008, 8080 and finally the Zilog Z80.

Edited by DanBoris
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19 hours ago, Keatah said:

Throughout the ages I've heard that 80 is an important number in computing. Almost as important as the powers of 2. Besides there being 80-columns and Intel's FPU doing 80-bits precision what else is there that's related to 80?

Might it be like how everything used to be labeled the "XYZ 2000" to make it sound futuristic,  1980 was also the future at one point, so putting "80" on the end made it sound futuristic?  Just a guess.

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On 9/27/2020 at 4:12 PM, DanBoris said:

This lead me down the rabbit hole of where the "80" in Z80 came from. Looks like it started with the Intel 4-bit 4004 which then lead to the 8008, 8080 and finally the Zilog Z80.

...and then the Z80 was used in the TRS-80, TRS-80 clones, and other Z80 computers. It was mostly TRS-80 stuff. I'm not aware of any other use of "80" in product names. I've heard (but don't know if it's true) 80 collums was based on the standard width of a typed page.

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On 10/1/2020 at 8:20 PM, KG7PFS said:

...and then the Z80 was used in the TRS-80, TRS-80 clones, and other Z80 computers. It was mostly TRS-80 stuff. I'm not aware of any other use of "80" in product names. I've heard (but don't know if it's true) 80 collums was based on the standard width of a typed page.

The Sinclair ZX80.

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Luxor ABC-80 (superficially inspired by the TRS-80, Lobo MAX-80 and LNW-80 (which both are TRS-80 clones), Sharp MZ-80C/K/A/B (which isn't).

 

If you dig deeper, you have Datasoft PCS-80 and VDP-80, IMSAI PCS-80 and VDP-80, NEC Compo BS/80, Bull Micral 80/22, Bull TTX-80, Kontron PSI-80, System Formulet Bubcom 80, Conitec PROF80, Darlay DY-80, Mitsubishi MF-F80 (MSX), GoldStar FC-80 (MSX).

 

So yes, you have 80 as part of quite a number of computer models, even those released as late as 1983.

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The TRS-80 was named for the Z80 initially, but it quickly became powerful marketing.

 

Anyone who could add could tell the ZX-81 was a little better than the ZX-80. It was equally clear to anyone with decent algebra skills that the TRS-80 was four times more powerful than the VIC-20 and 20% more powerful than the C64, Apple and Atari 800XL.

 

It was all a numbers game. Commodore got smart with the 128 and then smarter still moving to the Amiga 500 - good machines like the Atari ST would have done much better with a big number after it and instead of confusing people sounding like the C64 the Jag, would have done far better marketed as the Jaguar 5000 Moon Machine - let's do the math now! :) 

 

 

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Well, the Atari 800 would be 10 times better than a TRS-80, right? Also you're forgetting that Atari's 16-bit line indeed had numbers to it, the 520 and 1040 ST/STF/STM/STFM/STE. It would mean that an Atari 520ST was 4% better than an Amiga 500.

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