The name "George" actually goes way, way back into computing history

Hi all,

I was idly reading a history of the Burroughs B7800 mainframe that used to be housed in the Monash University data center, back in the mid 1980s.

About 2/3 of the way through the article I found this gem. (All spelling errors and typos copied faithfully from the article.)

The machine designers chose to halt the machine on detected irregularities rather than risk corrupting customer data. Most of the dead stop information was only relevant to MCP operating system designers but some was usefull to us, like IPW detection, assorted internal parity faults or whathave you. One of the deadstop numbers was the hilarious reason given as “Dialled George” . When MCP got itself totally honked up we would occassionaly get a “Dialled George” fault. I wonder who in Burroughs “George” was. He must have been the person that either fixed all the intractable faults that everyone else had given up on , or, on the other hand perhaps “George” was the person you went to , when you wanted something totally screwed up.

The article can be found here:


Dialled George - No printerering!!! :frowning: :smiley:

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But that means, George has morphed from being the fixit fellow to the…lower rung.

End of line.

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