If you take the letters in HAL, the primary antagonist of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and one-letter shift them (ie. H becomes I) it spells out IBM. Coincidence? Actually, it probably is.
No, it isn’t – that was intentional. It was going to be an IBM machine (Because at that point, no one could imagine anyone else making supercomputers), but IBM objected to having their brand on a computer that kills everyone, so it was modified to HAL instead.
Actually, it just stands for Heuristic ALgorithmic computer, and was primarily chosen because it can be used like a name for the character. One of Arthur C. Clarke’s friends made the IBM comparison as a joke and he decided to write it in as a comment a character makes in the book, while using the character of Dr. Chandra to disprove it repeatedly in the series.
It’s been known, as a fact, for DECADES that it was intentional. You can see the reverse image on the guy’s face when he’s working on HAL: http://i.crackedcdn.com/phpimages/article/4/2/5/115425.jpg?v=1
Those three letters are not H, A, and L.
The Lost Worlds of 2001
“As is clearly stated in the novel (Chapter 16), HAL stands for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer. However, about once a week some character spots the fact that HAL is one letter ahead of IBM, and promptly assumes that Stanley and I were taking a crack at the estimable institution … As it happened, IBM had given us a good deal of help, so we were quite embarrassed by this, and would have changed the name had we spotted the coincidence.”
Clarke, Arthur C, The Lost Worlds of 2001, pp. 78, Signet, 1972
Similarly, I believe HAL laboratories named themselves that to say that they were ‘one step ahead’ of IBM; My source being Did You Know Gaming.