I could be wrong here but it seems like an amazing co-incidence to me. I am happy to stand corrected but have not been able to find anything that indicates how the name was created.
In November 1965 an episode of Get Smart called “The Two Chiefs featured a Kaos agent who was a master of disguises dresses up and looks identical to the Chief and impersonates his way into Max’s apartment.
The dialogue goes like this:
Max “Chief, what is the countersign?”
Chief “The new countersign or the old countersign?”
Max “I didn’t know there was a new countersign! What is the new countersign?”
Chief “I say Apples, you say MacIntosh. Ready?”
So, there you have it – another case successfully wrapped up. The old “name the product from a password in the spy sitcom trick”.
The Mac was launched in January 1984, 19 years later. And, no coincidence I’m sure, in the magazine that launched the Mac a Tandy TRS80 Computer with 80186 chip was on the back cover….
The back cover contains an ad for the Tandy TRS-80 Model 2000, perhaps the only PC ever designed around the 80186 processor. Tandy claimed the 8 MHz true 16-bit CPU was a big improvement over the 4.77 MHz 8088 (with an 8-bit bus) that IBM used. And for just $1,500 extra, you could buy the Model 2000 with a 10 MB hard drive (See http://lowendmac.com/history/1984dk.shtml or Wikipedia for more Mac history)
My father bought a TRS 80 – so when it comes to the earliest Mac, you could say we “missed it by that much!”