Ygor, Igor - Selection of a System Name

In show business and software development, the name chosen is almost is important as the person or product.

The GBT (Green Bank Telescope, AKA the Robert Byrd GB Telescope) control system is based upon a more general framework for distributed control. Years ago we needed a name, and many possibilities were considered:
  • Maestro - My personal favorite, but already taken at the time.
  • Symphony - Another musical one, but again taken by other projects.
  • Komrades - Mark championed this one (a least for a little while).
  • Amy - Named after one of the few (or only at the time) team members. We immediately rejected this one due to the number of offensive hits on websites when searching for "Amy". Almost all personal names were rejected due to this.
  • M5 - Too Star-Trek-y
  • Colossus - Sounded like an overweight, bloated set of code. Not consistent with the framework.
  • HAL - A computer/software system which thinks it is smarter than you. "Open the door HAL". "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that".

The last entry got us thinking. Our system does want the astronomer tells it to, aiding when needed. We needed a lab assistant.

Shelly's "Frankenstein" had the perfect character - Ygor. Not too smart, but always helpful (Dr. Frankenstein may not agree with that statement however).

In the 1939 movie "Son of Frankenstein" the third in the Frankenstein series, Béla Lugosi played the role of Dr. Franenstein's assistent 'Ygor'. Ygor had been a demented blacksmith, who had survived hanging, causing the deformed neck or hump.

But it was the 1974 movie "Young Frankenstein" with Marty Feldman playing Igor which was a favorite. We wanting something unique, so we retained the name 'Ygor'.

So Ygor being a slavic name, how is Ygor (Игорь) pronouced? - We pronounce it eee-gor, rather than iii-gor. Corrections welcome.

-- JoeBrandt - 2013-07-14
Topic revision: r2 - 2013-07-14, JoeBrandt
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