Yoyodyne

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Yoyodyne is the name of a number of companies, both fictional and real.

Yoyodyne was introduced as a fictional defense contractor in Thomas Pynchon's V. (1963) and featured prominently in his novel The Crying of Lot 49 (1966). Described in the latter book as "a giant of the aerospace industry," Yoyodyne was founded by World War II veteran Clayton "Bloody" Chiclitz. The company has a large manufacturing plant in the fictional town of San Narciso, California. The name is reminiscent of several real high-tech companies, including the Gyrodyne Company of America, Teledyne and Teradyne, all of which were founded a few years before Pynchon wrote The Crying of Lot 49, and Rocketdyne, an aerospace company that manufactured, among other things, propulsion systems.

The "dyne" is the standard unit of force in the centimeter-gram-second system of units, derived from the Greek word dynamis meaning "power" or "force".

Other fictional uses[edit]

  • The 1984 film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension used the name Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems for a defense contractor whose corporate offices feature the sign, "The future begins tomorrow". Yoyodyne is a front for a group of red Lectroid aliens, all with the first name John, that landed in New Jersey in 1938, using the panic created by Orson Welles' War of the Worlds radio play as cover.
  • Numerous references in the Star Trek series, such as control panels and dedication plaques, indicate that parts of Federation starships were manufactured by Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems or YPS. Often, these notices are too small to be visible on a television screen, or can only be observed by freeze-framing. The creators of Star Trek: The Next Generation were noted fans of Buckaroo Banzai and featured many references to the film in the series.
  • Yoyodyne is a client of the law firm Wolfram and Hart on the television series Angel at the beginning in the 9th episode of the 5th season titled "Harm's Way".
  • The central bus station on the television series The John Larroquette Show was constructed by Yoyodyne, one of the many Pynchon references on the series.
  • Yoyodyne is mentioned as a company in the Los Angeles area that "manufactures ... stuff" in Tim Powers' fantasy novel Last Call.
  • Many technical works, such as Cricket Liu's DNS and BIND (O'Reilly), Per Cederqvist's Version Management with CVS, Jesse Vincent's RT Essentials (O'Reilly), and the GNU General Public License version 2 use Yoyodyne as a company name in their examples. The Internet domain name yoyodyne.com was allocated by internet software designer TGV Inc. as a "fake" domain name for use in DNS configuration examples.
  • In the German miniature wargame Spacelords, House Yoyodyne is a faction with a culture almost identical to that of feudal Japan.
  • In Clifford Stoll's The Cuckoo's Egg, a fictional tape drive manufactured by Yoyodyne Systems is mentioned in passing as an example ("a Foobar model 37 computer, and we're trying to hook up a Yoyodyne tape to it").
  • A company named Yoyodyne is briefly mentioned in the HBO series Silicon Valley. It appears to be a technology enterprise of some sort located in San Francisco.
  • In a browser game called Hero Zero the Yoyodyne is an evil company located in Switzerland.

In real life[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]