Letters of Note has posted a funny little tale about Apple's development of the Power Macintosh 7100 — a personal computer carrying a very interesting codename that was strictly internal and never used in Apple's public marketing.
Late-1993, renowned astronomer Carl Sagan learnt that Apple’s forthcoming computer, the Power Macintosh 7100, had been given a codename of “Carl Sagan” — the joke being that they would sell “billions and billions.” This was mentioned in a MacWEEK article some time later, to which Sagan sent the following letter in response.
"I was profoundly distressed to see your lead front-page story "Trio of Power PC 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." Sagan wrote to MacWEEK on January 10, 1994.
Apple soon changed the codename to “BHA.” Upon learning that it stood for “Butt-Head Astronomer,” Sagan filed a lawsuit for defamation of character, and lost. He then sued Apple again, for the original codename, and lost again. So he appealed. Late-1995, the two parties settled out of court, and Apple apologised for any unintended distress caused by the situation.
The 7100′s final codename was “LAW.” It stood for “Lawyers Are Wimps.”
Carl Edward Sagan died on December 20, 1996 at the age of 62. Sagan is best known for his books on popular science and for the 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which Sagan also narrated and co-wrote.