Geek Trivia

The Kindle’s Codename Was Drawn From What Work Of Fiction?

The Diamond Age
Fahrenheit 451
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Coffee Was Originally Decaffeinated Using What Toxic Chemical?

Answer: The Diamond Age

It’s only fitting that Amazon engineers would select a literary-based codename for the Kindle, and a clever one at that. Long before the world knew of Amazon’s influential e-reader, insiders were already referring to the device as Fiona.

Why Fiona? Fiona Hackworth is a character in Neal Stephenson’s Sci-Fi novel The Diamond Age. The novel hinges on the theft of a technologically-advanced book that is networked, interactive, contains the sum of human knowledge, and has pages that shift and change right in front of you. The image and idea of such a book was a very strong influence on the designers of the Kindle; Amazon’s engineers treated the capacity of the book in the novel as their endgame goal: a portable electronic book that the reader could interact with and call upon vast amounts of knowledge.

Despite the rebranding of the device as the Amazon Kindle, the codename lives on in a little Easter Egg tucked away on the Amazon servers. When you go to manage your Kindle, the URL for the management page is:¬† If you’ve ever wondered how a woman’s name found itself inserted in that unassuming URL, wonder no more (and pick up a copy of The Diamond Age for your Kindle to meet her).

Image courtesy of Bantam Spectra.