From: (Michel)
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 1995 23:23:33 UTC
Subject: More about Nostradamus vs In-tell

  A month ago, I posted a quatrain in which Nostradamus predicted the Pentium
scandal. The messages was rather short, and didn't give any details of
the interpretation. During the last month, I discussed about this
prediction with other readers, and we found out plenty of stuff.

For those who missed the original post, here is the relevant quatrain:
C 2,VI:
         Aupres des portes & dedans deux citez
     Seront deux fleaux, & onc n'apperceut VN TEL,
     Faim, dedans peste, de fer hors gens boutez,
         Crier secours au grand Dieu immortel.

and its translation to English:

           Near the gates and inside two cities
   Will be TWO FLAWS, and nobody noticed it [from] INTEL
      Hunger, pest inside, by steel people thrown out
          Cry for help to the great immortal God.

 INTEL's name:
  The spelling is not quite correct: a V instead of an I, and an extra
space between N and T. The word resembles more the french expression
'un tel' (meaning 'such', 'what-s-his-name', 'same' or 'some person')
especially since u's and v's are often substituted. Critics could say
that 'un tel' would be a common French expression, and dismiss the
prediction as pure chance. However, the words 'vn tel' occur only once
in all the quatrains, and that's here!

  The space in VN TEL is maybe a hint at a pun. In could be a prefix
meaning 'not', and in-tel[l] = those who do not tell (Like in
in-correct = not correct, in-divisble = not divisible, im-precise =
not precise). If we consider the v as an u, we keep this meaning:
un-professional = not professional, un-tested = not tested.

  V is also the roman numeral 5, as in 586, PENTium, or 5 missing lookup
fnord table entries (which caused the bug).

 The repetition of INSIDE:
  In this quatrain, the word 'inside' (dedans) occurs twice, which is
remarkable, considering that it only occurs 24 times in total in all
the quatrains. This must have a meaning. You guessed it: The 'In-tell
Inside' advertisement campaign.
  The number 24 itself also has a meaning: It's the mean time between
division errors (in days) for normal spreadsheet usage according to
IBM's analysis. Nostradamus himself believed IBM (24 days) more than
In-tell (27000 years)!

 The Gates
  There are some doubts whether these refer to Bill Gate$, or rather
to the logical gates on the microprocessor.

 The Cities
  Here we have two interpretations too:
 1. The cities mean corporations, as in Micro$oft and In-tell. In-tell
had the pentium bug, and Micro$oft the Windows calculator bug (2.01 -
2.00 = 0!)
 2. The city is the aspect of the microprocessor when looked at under
a microscope. (Remember that In-tell commercial where the 'camera'
flies into the PC and discovers the Pentium?) The different parts of
the processors can be viewed as distinct neighbouring cities: the
floating point unit, the integer unit, the cache memory, ...
 According to this interpretation, another Pentium bug will be found
in one of the other units. It's severity will be comparable to the
FDIV bug.

 Two flaws
  Obvious. The FDIV flaw, and the yet-to-be discovered integer flaw.

  In-tell's _greed_, which made them hide the flaw and minimize it
later. The hunger may also hint at In-tell's bankruptcy after the
second flaw will be discovered by the public. In-tell will lose almost
all its market share, and many employees will lose their jobs.

 Pest inside
  Nostradamus' version of 'In-tell Inside' :-)

 By steel
  Steel = hardware. This is not a SOFTware bug (as most bugs), but a
HARDware bug. (And in the traditional sense, hardware means 'steel

 People thrown out
  Initially In-tell 'threw out' (turned down) people asking for a
replacement chip, because they were not deemed worthy.
  Another interpretation would be that people threw out their chips.
(Re-arrange the words: 'By people steel thrown out')
  Btw, the French word 'bouter' is used nowadays to mean 'to boot [a
computer]'. Yet another hint that Nostradamus is indeed speaking about

 Cry for help to the great immortal God.
 According to Phil, this means:
   They cry for help from the Law

  There will always be the Law, in any civilization -- there's nothing
certain except death and taxes, as they say -- so Law is a great
immortal God of civilization.

   They cry for help from the Federal Government of the U.S.

  Same reasons as Law, plus the Federal Government of the U.S. has
roots in Deism (witness the pyramid fnord with the all-seeing Eye on
the U.S. dollar), and the U.S. Federal Government may indeed last
until the "end of times".
  Usually, computer people have a negative attitude towards
lawyers. Lawyers are considered to be profiteers and to block progress
with idiotic ideas such as 'look & feel' lawsuits and software
  But these same computer people were so upset at In-tell's scam that
some resorted to the hated lawyers to fight against In-tell. Many
people filed suits in small claims courts, some even filed
class-action suits! Finally State Attorneys General's intervened, and
forced In-tell to change its policy!

 Number games:
  This quatrain has exactly 133 letters (I count '&' as 'et' = 2 letters).
133 = hexadecimal 0x85, i.e. x86 with one missing! Maybe a subtle joke at
the arithmetic (in)capabilities of the 585.99912554 ? That would make this
quatrain the oldest Pentium joke around :-)

 The number of the quatrain:
  The number may hide the date, June 2nd, when In-tell discovered the
bug themselves.

 Why did Nostramus speak about this incident?
  Now, why did Nostradamus predict this seemingly insignificant
incident? Usually he speaks about wars, revolutions and catastrophes,
and now he speaks about microprocessor bugs! Well there's more behind
this affair than meets the eye. It was the first time in history that
the consumership forced a megacorporation to change its policy to meet
their true needs. This incidents establishes new rules in the
relationship between consumers and megacorporations. Consumers are no
longer powerless, and megacorporations are no longer allmighty.
  Other corporations have already seen this new trend, and gave up
past arrogant attitudes. For instance, Diamond now supplies
programming information for their video cards. A few month ago,
consumers had to sign non-disclosure agreements in order to learn how
to use their expensive video cards!

  This new relationship will not be limited to the commerce, but
spread to politics too. We'll see more and more net-petitions. The new
communication media will give the people more power. This incident
marks a turning point in the relations of power, the ringing of the
division bell has begun!
  That's why politicians fear this new technology and try to squelch
it while its still weak. Police upload child pornography to bulletin
boards, get a search warrant, and "find" the child pornography on said
bulletin board. This is the pretext to harass and imprison the owner.
  That's why they cut funding to the backbone.
  That's why they try to limit the liberty of speech using ludicrous
pretexts. Fortunately, there are anonymous remailers :-)
  That's why they spread rumors about computer "geeks".
  That's why they raid computer game stores without an apparent
  That's why they pass laws against cryptography and secure

  The whole incident is about more than just a chip which can't
compute 5 / 15 correctly!