Our last blog talked about hardware, and most specifically, hard drives. Sometimes some really strange, improbable and not quite verifiable stories come to light after a full inventory of computer hardware is made. Consider the case of BROKDLEG.
My office workstation is a modest Hewlett-Packard box with nothing unusual about it…or so I thought until recently.
First, some background. As a contractor on a number of large Federal and commercial projects, I develped a healthy respect for consistent conventions for naming all manner of objects on a network. Furthermore, you don’t name a product or a version with a name that is disrespectful or spiteful—unless, of course, you want to have your career suddenly cut short. So imagine my surprise to discover that the model name my workstation was sporting suggested a broken leg! Was there a setting somewhere that could be changed? How did my computer get a model name like that in the first place? There were a number of articles on the Internet that included the model name BROKDLEG. But not one that questioned the model name. It seemed a very odd model name for HP, for which a far more typical name is Z400.
So we called HP and heard an amazing story that left me scratching my head. It seems that back when HP was merging with Compaq, a disgruntled technician named a number of workstations of a particular model as BROKDLEG. And no, it could not be changed. Whether that technician was already slated for an exit is an open question. We were simply told that the technician was fired when that particular stunt was discovered.