Code Names Uncovered

Tim Byars (
Thu, 23 May 1996 23:05:46 -0700

Code Names Uncovered

By Owen W. Linzmayer

Apple's research & development facilities located on Infinite Loop in
Cupertino are some of the most secure buildings on the Apple campus.
Confidential papers are discarded into locked wastebaskets lest they
into the hands of dumpster-diving competitors or MacWEEK reporters;
are posted at all entrances; and employees must pass their electronic
identification badges in front of wall plates that verify access
and monitor personnel movement. Apple has come a long way from the
days when
Jobs and Woz eagerly showed off what they were doing in the garage,
but it
hasn't gotten paranoid. Like all good high-tech companies, Apple is
trying to maintain the secrecy of the many new technologies and
products it
is constantly designing.

Before Apple publicly announces a product by its official name,
it is referred to by a code name. Usually lead engineers or managers
get to
name their own projects whatever they want, but a few recurring
trends are
evident. Early in its incarnation, Apple favored female names for
More often than not, the projects were named after the children,
girlfriends, or wives of the team members (for example, the Lisa was
after Steve Jobs' daughter born out of wedlock). Jef Raskin rebelled
the sexist notion of female code names and looked instead to apple
as the inspiration for his Macintosh project, purposely misspelling
McIntosh. For a while, the names of different types of apples (Pippin,
Johnathan) were often whispered in the R&D labs. Having exhausted
the apple
varieties, project managers now tend to choose whimsical code names
either reflect pop culture or contain awful puns. Perusing the list
of code
names is like walking down memory lane, checking out the fads and
that swept through Apple cubicles and lab benches over the years.

Apple takes the code-naming business seriously, often assigning the
project different code names, one to be used internally, and another
external use. Also, a single project may have separate code names
with hardware, software, documentation, and marketing. Furthermore,
outsiders - - such as developers and the press - - may be told about
same project, but each will be told a different code name. And just
to keep
everybody guessing, Apple sometimes changes code names in the middle
of a
project, or reuses old code names for new projects. Not only does
all this
create confusion in Apple-watchers, it also serves as an audit trail to
trace leaks to their sources.

Despite Apple's best efforts to keep a lid on this sort of thing
public, after much tedious research I've compiled an exhaustive list
of code
names that have escaped from Cupertino and other Mac-related firms
over the
years. In some cases, I've even been able to uncover why a
particular code
name was chosen. I realize this list isn't perfect, so if you're an
employee or devout Mac fan and you spot a code-name error or omission,
please bring it to my attention for correction in a subsequent


Apple Code Names

32-bit QuickDraw: Jackson Pollock (named after the late American
famous for using splashy colors in his work)
32-bit ROMs for Macintosh II: Squeaky (as in "squeaky clean" since
ROMs were considered "dirty" because they didn't properly use all 32
A/UX 2.0: Perestroika, Space Cadet
A/UX 3.0: Hulk Hogan
Adobe Acrobat: Houdini
Apple 12" RGB Monitor: Mai Tai
Apple 16" Color Monitor: Goldfish
Apple Color StyleWriter Pro: Logo
Apple File Exchange: Renault
Apple Font Pack: Big Sur
Apple Freedom Network: Frogger
Apple Hard Disk 400SC: Eagle
Apple IIc: E.T. (exterterrestrial), IIb (for book-sized), IIp (for
portable), Pippin, VLC (Very Low Cost), Elf, Yoda, Teddy (short for
Every Day), Chels, Jason, Lollie, Sherry, Zelda (the children of team
Apple IIe: Diana, LCA (Low Cost Apple), Super II
Apple IIGS Video Overlay Card: Gumby, Pokey
Apple IIGS: Cortland, Phoenix (because the project had been revived
being cancelled), Rambo (when the design team was fighting for final
approval from the executive staff), Gumby (from an impersonation
done at
Apple's Halloween parade)
Apple III: Sara (after the daughter of chief engineer Wendell Sander)
Apple IIx (abandoned): Dove, Brooklyn, Golden Gate (referring to the
to make it a bridge between the Apple II and Macintosh)
Apple Keyboard II: Elmer
Apple OneScanner: Half-Dome, Ping-Pong
Apple Two-Page Monochrome Monitor: Fred, Kong (its colossal size is
reminiscent of King Kong)
AppleScript: Cheeze Whiz
AppleTalk Internet Router: North (as in Lieutenant Colonel Oliver
North who
routed Iranian arms sale proceeds to the Nicaraguan Contras)
AppleTalk Remote Access: 976 (the prefix for many phone-sex hotlines)
At Ease: Tiny Toons
Bandai Power Player: Pippin
Borland dBASE IV 2.0: X-15 (after the experimental jet with which Chuck
Yaeger set world speed records.)
Claris FileMaker Pro: Ninja, Samurai, Banzai
Claris MacProject: Road Runner
ClarisDraw: Expressway
ClarisImpact: Wall Street (because Claris is confident that this
graphics package will make lots of money for the company and appeal to
business users)
ClarisWorks: Terminator (because it was designed to terminate Microsoft
Works sales)
Data Access Manager: SnarfMan
Edition Manager: Diet Coke
eWorld: Aladdin
Extended Keyboard II: Nimitz (another aircraft carrier)
Extended Keyboard: Saratoga (it's so large it's named after an aircraft
carrier; prototypes were adorned with small model aircraft), D=F6rfer
nickname of Ed Colby)
FullWrite: Ozone
HyperCard 2.0: Snow, Hot Water
HyperCard IIGS: Bullfinch
HyperCard: WildCard (hence the creator code WILD)
IBM PC AT: Bigtop, Salmon
IBM PC: Chess, Acorn
ImageWriter II: Express
ISDN NuBus card: CarCraft
LaserWriter 320: Photon
LaserWriter IIf: Kirin Dry
LaserWriter IIg: Kirin
LaserWriter IINT: Leia
LaserWriter IINTX: Darth Vader
LaserWriter IISC: Solo
LaserWriter LS: Nike
LaserWriter: LightWriter
Layout Manager: Glass Plus
LocalTalk: AppleBus, AppleTalk
Lotus MarketPlace: Surfer
MacDraw: Mackelangelo
Macintosh 21" Color Display: Vesuvio
Macintosh 512K: Fat Mac
Macintosh Classic II: Montana, Apollo
Macintosh Classic: XO
Macintosh Color Classic: Slice
Macintosh II Monochrome Video Card: Bob the Card
Macintosh II Two-Page Monochrome Video Card: Barney
Macintosh II Video Card: Toby
Macintosh II: Little Big Mac, Milwaukee (engineer Mike Dhuey's
Ikki (means "bottoms up" in Japanese), Cabernet, Reno (in honor of the
expansion slots), Becks, Paris (homage to Jean-Louis Gass=E9e), Uzi
Macintosh IIci Cache Card: American Express, Optima (both are "cash
get it?)
Macintosh IIci: Aurora II, Cobra II, Pacific, Stingray
Macintosh IIcx: Aurora, Cobra, Atlantic (aborted 16-MHz configuration)
Macintosh IIfx: Stealth, Blackbird, F-16, F-19, Four Square, IIxi,
Zone 5,
Macintosh IIsi: Oceanic, Ray Ban (as in "the future's so bright, you
wear shades";it shipped to developers with a pair of sunglasses),
Raffica, Raffika
Macintosh IIvx: Brazil
Macintosh IIx: Spock, Stratos
Macintosh LC 475: Primus
Macintosh LC 550: Hook 33
Macintosh LC 575: Optimus
Macintosh LC Apple IIe card: Double Exposure
Macintosh LC II: Foster Farms
Macintosh LC III: Vail, Elsie III
Macintosh LC: Pinball (low-slung case design looks like a pinball
machine to
some), Elsie (as in the Borden cow--try pronouncing the letters L
and C),
Macintosh Performa 475/476: Aladdin
Macintosh Performa 550: Hook
Macintosh Performa 600: Macintosh IIvm (Consumer testing showed that
thought "vm" was an abbreviation for "virtual memory," so the model
the Performa 600.)
Macintosh Plus: Mr. T (perhaps of The A Team, but Apple's chief
Larry Tesler shares this nickname)
Macintosh Portable (with backlit display): Aruba, Love Shack, Mulligan
Macintosh Portable: Laguna, Riveria, Malibu, Esprit, Guiness
Macintosh SE/30: Green Jade, Fafnir
Macintosh SE: Mac plus or minus, PlusPlus, Aladdin, Freeport, Maui,
Macromind MacroModel: Zeppo (Mac version), Harpo (PC version), Gummo
(Silicon Graphics version)
MacsBug: a contraction of Motorola Advanced Computer Systems debugger
MacWrite: Macauthor
MacX: Malcom
Microsoft Mail 4.0: Capone
Microsoft Windows 95: Cairo, Chicago
MultiFinder: Juggler, Oggler, Twitcher
OpenDoc: Amber
PCI family of Macs: Power Surge
Personal LaserWriter LS: Nike
Personal LaserWriter NT: Twist
Personal LaserWriter SC: Shout
PlainTalk SR (speech recognition): Casper
Power Macintosh 6100/60: PDM (Piltdown Man)
Power Macintosh 6300: Crusader
Power Macintosh 7100/66: Carl Sagan, BHA (Butt-head Astronomer), LAW
(Lawyers Are Wimps)
Power Macintosh 7200: Catalyst
Power Macintosh 7500: TNT
Power Macintosh 8100/80: Cold Fusion
Power Macintosh 8500: Nitro
Power Macintosh 9500: Tsunami
Power Macintosh project: Cognac (in honor of a RISC pioneer with a
identical to the after-dinner liqueur)
Power Macintosh Upgrade Card enabler: Rocinante (Don Quixote's horse)
Power Macintosh Upgrade Card: STP (after the automobile fuel additive)
PowerBook 100: Asahi, Derringer, Rosebud, Classic
PowerBook 140: Tim LC, Tim Lite, Leary, Replacements
PowerBook 150: Jedi
PowerBook 165c: Monet
PowerBook 170: Road Warrior, Tim
PowerBook 190: Omega
PowerBook 520/520c: Blackbird LC (low cost)
PowerBook 2000: AJ
PowerBook 5300 series: M2 (the model of a mountain bike from
PowerBook Duo 210/230: DBLite (the lightweight machine was named one
over a few brewskies in a club called Das Boot), BOB W (Best Of Both
because it's a portable computer that's also a desktop machine when
into its dock), Cinnamon (name given out to developers by Developer
Technical Support)
PowerBook Duo 250: Ansel
PowerBook Duo 270c: Escher
PowerBook Duo Dock II: Atlantis
PowerBook Duo Floppy Adapter: Blackwatch
PowerBook Duo MiniDock: Spaniard
Quadra 605: Aladdin, Primus
Quadra 610 DOS PDS card: Houdini
Quadra 610: Speedbump 610 (when the Centris 610 was renamed the
Quadra 610,
its speed was increased from 20 MHz to 25 MHz)
Quadra 650: Speedbump 650 (when the Centris 650 was renamed the
Quadra 650,
its speed was increased from 25 MHz to 33 MHz)
Quadra 660AV: Tempest
Quadra 700: Shadow (shadow of 900), Spike (gonna spike NeXT), IIce,
Evo 200
Quadra 840AV: Quadra 1000, Cyclone
Quadra 900: Darwin, Eclipse (going to eclipse the NeXT), IIex,
Premise 500
Quadra 950: Amazon
Quattro Pro 1.0: Buddha (because they were going to assume the Lotus
Quattro Pro 2.0: Splash (because one million units sold would pay
for the
new campus swimming pool)
QuickDraw 3D: Escher
QuickDraw GX: Serrano
QuickTime 1.5: Dali
QuickTime Conferencing: MovieTalk
QuickTime: Warhol (an early version, the Warhol extension, had the
icon of a
Campbell's soup can)
Radius flat-panel pivoting color LCD: Ptolemy
RasterOps ColorBoard264: Cheapskate
Sound Manager: DJ, Party Line
StyleWriter: Mighty Mouse, Tabasco, Salsa
Sun Microsystems Mac emulator: Cat-in-the-Hat
SuperMac 8=A524 PDQ: Snap
SuperMac Thunder/24: Pop (the Rice Krispies series; Milk never saw
the light
of day)
SuperMac Thunder/8: Crackle
SyQuest EZ135: RoadRunner
System 6.0.4: Antares
System 6.0.5: Big Deal
System 6.0.6: SixPack
System 6.0.8: Terminator
System 7 Finder: Furnishings 2000 (a defunct San Francisco Bay Area
furniture store)
System 7 Tune-Up: 7-Up
System 7.0.1: Road Warrior, Beta Cheese
System 7: Blue, Big Bang, M80 (a powerful firecracker), Pleiades
System 7.5: Capone (Apple hopes that like the famous gangster,
Capone will
strike fear into the hearts of Chicago, Microsoft's code name for
Taligent OS: Defiant, Pink
TrueType: Bass (as in Saturday Night Live's Bass-O-Matic), Royal

The following are the code names culled from various sources that
have yet
to be positively identified. If you know the product name that goes
with any
of the following code names, please pass this information on to me
at the
address listed at the end of this file.

4-pound dockable: Companion
16-ppm, 300-dpi printer: Clydesdale
19" gray-scale card: Barney
19" gray-scale monitor: Fred
Apple/IBM Visual Basic-like programming environment: Denali
AV TV: LD50 (The recent description of Apple's upcoming AV Mac TV
box, code-named LD50, brought howls from the medical crowd. Every
pharmacologist recognizes LD50 as the abbreviation for Lethal Dose 50
percent, the dose at which half the group that gets it doesn't live
to get
it another day.)
CD-ROM computer: Sweet Pea, Playstation, Fast Eddie
color flatbed scanner w/ 300 by 600 dpi and 27-bit resolution: Rio
color flatbed scanner w/ 600 by 1200 dpi and 30-bit resolution: New
Common Hardware Reference Platform (CHRP) Mac OS: Orient Express
Common Hardware Reference Platform (CHRP) Mac: Moccasin
Copland interface project: MUSE
M2-design PowerBook w/ 68040: Omega
multifunction (fax, copy, print, telephony) Mac: Paladin
Newton 2.0 print-only handwriting recognizer: Rosetta
PCI DOS Compatibility cards: Grand Illusion
PCI MPEG-1 video card: San Francisco
Performa w/ 1 PCI slot, 100-120 MHz 603e PowerPC, modular: Elixir
Performa w/ 1 PCI slot, 100-120 MHz 603e PowerPC, all-in-one: Chimera
Power Macintosh 5200 in graphite w/ TV, MPEG hardware: Phoenix
Power Macintosh Unix (IBM AIX 4.1) tower w/ 6 PCI slots: Shiner
Power Macintosh w/ 1 PCI slot, adaptable to multiple designs: Alchemy
PowerBook manufactured by Quanta w/ two front-loading bays: Epic
PowerBook subnotebook: Nautilus
PowerBook w/ floppy and docking ability: Argonaut
PowerBook w/ PowerPC 603+: M2 (the model of a mountain bike from
PowerPC 603+ upgrade for PowerBook 500 series: Malcom
RISC machine: Roman, Zorro
System 8: Copland (named after Aaron Copland, 20th century American
System 9: Gershwin (named after George Gershwin, 20th century
American jazz
TK Unix: Tylenol
TK: Big Mac, 3M (because it would have a million pixel display, a
bytes of memory, and run a million instructions per second)
TK: Blue Jade
TK: Chuck E. Cheese
TK: Chuck Yeager, Charles E. Yeager
TK: Gold Jade
TK: Jonathan
TK: Modern Victorian (original tower design case), Columbo, CS
TK: Pomona, Spartacus (vertical designer Mac with touchpad)
TK: Red Jade

The following are detailed stories about code names that appear as
in The Mac Bathroom Reader.

Killer Rabbits on the Rampage

AppleShare 3.0 was code-named Killer Rabbit, after the blood-sucking
character from the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Although
it was
renamed before release, vestiges of its former incarnation can be
found in
the shipping version. If you have ever had File Sharing activated under
System 7, look inside the File Sharing folder in the Preferences
folder in
the System folder. Normally, the Mac writes an invisible PDS
(Parallel Data
Structure) file to each volume that is mounted while file sharing is
However, in the cases of write-protected or read-only volumes (such as
CD-ROMs), the Mac writes visible PDF files to the startup disk.
These files
are used to help manage file sharing and they have an icon of a Killer
Rabbit. Incidentally, the Killer Rabbit is stored as ICN resource
20002 in
the File Sharing Extension file (this file's creator code is hhgg,
some say stands for Douglas Adams' book, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the

Microsoft's Excellent Name

Microsoft Excel was developed under the code name Odyssey (no
relation to
John Sculley's book, I'm sure), and when it came time to sell the
spreadsheet, Microsoft considered calling it Number Buddy, Mr.
Sigma, and Plansheet, but ultimately it was a district manager who
Excel. Immediately upon Excel's release, Microsoft was sued by
Hanover Trust because it owned the rights to the Excel name for its
computerized banking service. The two firms eventually settled out
of court,
with Manufacturers Hanover Trust allowing the use of the word Excel
as long
as it is always preceded by the name Microsoft. (Gates, pp. 276-277)

Cosmos Carl Code Name Complaints

The November 29, 1993 issue of MacWEEK featured a cover story on three
computers Apple would later introduce on March 14, 1994, as the Power
Macintosh 6100/60, 7100/66, and 8100/80. The story mentioned in
passing that
the computers went by the code names PDM, Carl Sagan, and Cold Fusion,
respectively. Upon reading this tidbit of information, the real Carl
fired off the following letter to MacWEEK:

"I have been approached many times over the past two decades by
and corporations seeking to use my name and/or likeness for commercial
purpose. I have always declined, no matter how lucrative the offer
of how
important the corporation. My endorsement is not for sale. For this
I was profoundly distressed to see your lead front-page story 'Trio of
PowerPC Macs spring toward March release date' proclaiming Apple's
announcement of a new Mac bearing my name. That this was done
without my
authorization or knowledge is especially disturbing. Through my
attorneys, I
have repeatedly requested Apple to make a public clarification that
I knew
nothing of its intention to capitalize on my reputation in
introducing this
product, that I derived no benefit, financial or otherwise, from its
so. Apple has refused. I would appreciate it if you would so apprise

Carl Sagan
Director, Laboratory for Planetary Studies
Center for Radiophysics and Space Research
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY

Sagan's letter appeared in the January 10, 1994 issue of MacWEEK and
elicited howls of derision from the Macintosh community. Most people
wondered why Sagan was complaining; he should have been honored to
have a
computer named after him, they felt. Besides, it was never meant to
be the
final product name, so lighten up. It has been suggested that what
Sagan the most was being grouped with two discredited scientific
discoveries/hoaxes, Piltdown Man and Cold Fusion.

In deference to the noted star-gazer, Apple changed the Power Macintosh
7100/66 code name to BHA. Things were beginning to return to normal
Sagan learned that BHA supposedly stood for Butt-head Astronomer. He
pressure on Apple's lawyers, who insisted the project engineers come
up with
a new code. They settled on LAW, which stands for Lawyers Are Wimps.
Nonetheless, in the third week of April, 1994, Sagan sued Apple in U.S.
District Court in Los Angeles, charging it with defamation of
character. He
sought unspecified damages, probably hoping to reap "billions and
of dollars.

Fortunately for Apple, judge J. Baird dismissed the suit, finding that
"Plantiff's libel action is based on the allegation that Defendant
the 'code name' on its personal computer from 'Carl Sagan' to
Astronomer' after plaintiff had request that Defendant cease use of
Plaintiff's name....There can be no question that the use of the
term 'Butt-Head' negates the impression that Defendant was seriously
implying an assertion of fact. It strains reason to conclude that
was attempting to criticize Plaintiff's reputation or competency as an
astronomer. One does not seriously attack the expertise of a
scientist using
the undefined phrase 'butt-head.' Thus, the figurative language
against implying an assertion of fact....Furthermore, the tenor of any
communication of the information, especially the phrase 'Butt-Head
Astronomer,' would negate the impression that Defendant was implying an
assertion of fact."

Can This Bird Fly?

Apple's top-of-the-line, 68040-based PowerBook 540/540c project was
code-named Blackbird, after the high-flying SR-71 reconnaissance plane
because both feature dark colors, curves, and speed. However, it's
informally inside Apple as the Spruce Goose because some people feel
introducing a 7-pound laptop in 1994 is as ill-fated an idea as Howard
Hughes' huge aircraft which flew only once. On a related note, the
Blackbird's innovative new Trackpad was code-named Midas, after the
king who had the power of turning whatever he touched into gold.

This list originally appeared in The Mac Bathroom Reader, published
and available in better bookstores for $12.99. If your local bookstore
doesn't carry it, ask them to place a special order for ISBN
Or you can order an autographed copy direct from the author at a
discount. To get more information on this, send email to Owen



from the PowerBook of...

"Tell me if this hurts... " Marquis deSade

-=3D =3D-