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4 October, 1999 5.04pm pdt
Itanium Announced After Fierce Vowel Battle

BE DOPE NEWS (BDN) After what insiders dubbed a fierce "battle of the trendy vowels," Intel Corporation today announced it has selected "Itanium" as the official name for the IA-64 processor, formerly code-named Merced. "Itanium" barely beat out "Etanium" in a selection process marked by flaring tempers as the debate over which vowel to use sometimes reached dangerous levels.

"Everything started out well," said Jami Dover, vice president of Intel's Sales and Marketing Group. "Well all liked the '-ium' suffix - there was no doubt about that."

Due to Job's Law (It is economically infeasable for any new technology product to succeed without an "E" or "I" prefix), the field of candidates was quickly narrowed down to "Itanium" and "Etanium". That's when the trouble began.

According to Dover, all the eBusiness folks started arguing with the 'iFaction' (as it came to be known). The arguments quickly spilled out into the rest of the company.

"There was widespread grafiti - all the e's in "eBusiness" logos being replaced with i's, company memos being rewritten so all the i's were replaced with e's - it was a nightmare," recalled Dover.

Unable to reach a compromise, the decision was eventually left up to upper management. Itanium was finally chosen, due to the board of directors' affection for words that rhyme well.

Several weeks later, after the iTanium vs. Itanium debate was settled, Intel made its the decision public.

Outside the marketing group, engineers now refer to the chip as "Btanium", in reference to the OS that best performs on the chip.

"We're talking several million teapot-frames per second, man," added one engineer.


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