Search in: Word
Vietnamese keyboard: Off
Virtual keyboard: Show
Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
El Camino Bignum
Jump to user comments
humour /el' k*-mee'noh big'nuhm/ The road mundanely called
El Camino Real, a road through the San Francisco peninsula
that originally extended all the way down to Mexico City and
many portions of which are still intact. Navigation on the
San Francisco peninsula is usually done relative to El Camino
Real, which defines logical north and south even though it
isn't really north-south many places. El Camino Real runs
The Spanish word "real" (which has two syllables: /ray-al'/)
means "royal"; El Camino Real is "the royal road". In the
Fortran language, a "real" quantity is a number typically
precise to seven significant digits, and a "doubleprecision" quantity is a larger floating-point number,
precise to perhaps fourteen significant digits (other
languages have similar "real" types).
When a hacker from MIT visited Stanford in 1976, he
remarked what a long road El Camino Real was. Making a pun on
"real", he started calling it "El Camino Double Precision" -
but when the hacker was told that the road was hundreds of
miles long, he renamed it "El Camino Bignum", and that name
has stuck. (See bignum).