Why are supercomputers named "Depp so-and-so"?

We have the fictional Deep Thought presented to us by the immortal Douglas Adams, but we also had IBM’s Deep Blue and Deeper Blue. I know blue was choses because that’s the color IBM is identified with, but why “Deep”?

This is shrouded by the fog of my crappy memory, but I believe that before the IBM team that’s responsible for Deep Blue and Deeper Blue built those computers, they built one called Deep Thought that was in fact named after the computer in Hitchhikers’. Then, when they built a better one (Deep Blue), they came up with a name based off the earlier model.


Because they were actually named after the fictional “Deep Thought”.

The early prototype of the IBM machine was named “ChipTest”, when it started as a grad student project actually dealing more with chip testing than chess playing. (The chess was just an easy test to compare the different chips.)

Then, as they moved more toward chess playing as a goal, they named it “Deep Thought”, after Douglas Adams fictional computer.

Three years later, now as an IBM corporate research project, they decided it needed a more appropriate name. So a company in-house naming contest was held, and the winning name was “Deep Blue Prototype”. The “blue” in homage to the IBM color, and the common reference to IBM as “Big Blue” in the computer industry. (The “Prototype” was later dropped.)

Then the later, more powerful version was called “Deeper Blue”, since it was considered an enhanced version of the same machine.

See http://www.research.ibm.com/deepblue/meet/html/d.3.1.html for details.

According to Wikipedia, the first of the series of computers that led to Deep Blue was called Deep Thought, after Douglas Adams’ fictional computer:

This is from the article on Deep Blue.

The article on the chess computer Deep Thought also says that the word comes from ‘the way the various algorithms look at a large number of possible moves and potential outcomes’.

Finally, Deep Thought is, according to another article, named as a parody of the film Deep Throat.

In preview it looks like t-bonham and Cliffy beat me to it.

Am I the only one who opened this thread to find out why computers were being named after Johnny Depp?

No. No, you are not, FatBaldGuy :smiley:

To copy the name “Keanu so-and-so”, which was used by mechanical engineers for their prototypes.

I named my home server Deep 13

I was gonna answer that it is in homage to Johnny’s well-known genius. Kinda like naming your computer Einstein or Newton or something.

All these posts and no one has noted that the name probably came from “Deep Throat”? It’s quite clear that Adams, at least, was referring to the movie.

I apologize for my most miserable spelling in both the title and the post itself.

'Sokay; it let us make the predictable lame jokes. We have to do something around here to keep ourselves entertained.

In 2001 A Space Odyssey, the computer known as HAL is one ‘letter step’ away from IBM.

I don’t know if Arthur C. Clarke ever confirmed he meant to do this.

No, in a past thread, I pointed out an interview in which he confirmed it was unintentional. I can’t find the link now, though.

My old computer was nicknamed Deep 6 because it was a piece of garbage.

Arthur C. Clarke denies doing this intentionally in one of the later books in the “2001” series.
I am thinking 2061 or 3001. The denial was in the after-book notes that Clarke puts in his books.
The issue of whether or not Clarke did this subconsciously is, and perhaps will always be, open to debate.

The latest supercomputer isn’t Deep-anything. Actually, none of the top five supercomputers are “deep”

IBM’s BlueGene/L is now the world’s most powerful computer, with a speed of 136.8 teraflops.

After that is IBM’s BlueGene/W at 91.2 Tflops, SGI’s Columbia, NEC’s Earth Simulator and IBM’s MareNostrum.

Currently, IBM has a stranglehold on the supercomputer marketplace, with six in the top ten, and nearly 52% overall in the top 500. HP is a distant second with 26%

Interestingly, the #7 supercomputer (as of November, 2004) is from Apple.

For more details, have a look at www.top500.org

That’s interesting; I thought that the famous Japanese Earth Simulator about which there was so much talk - probably due to its funky name - was #1, but apparently it has already been outdone.