Good piece in today’s LA Times on the joys of coming up with codenames for technology products. I don’t mind sitting in on codename discussions, but I try desperately to avoid anything to do with real product names. Those meetings are generally full of MBAs and interminable.
Anyway, as you might expect, this piece recycles the wonderfully bizarre “BHA” episode involving Carl Sagan and Apple:
In 1993, Apple managers who were unsure whether the Power MacIntosh 7100 would ever make it to market named it Sagan, after the popular but speculative astronomer Carl Sagan. When the human Sagan got wind of the mock tribute, he asked Apple to drop the name.
So Apple renamed the machine BHA, which Sagan correctly surmised was short for Butt-Head Astronomer.
Sagan sued for libel and lost.
But after Apple attorneys settled other aspects of the case, the engineers promptly changed the code name a final time â€” to LAW, short for Lawyers Are Wimps.