TweetFollow Us on Twitter

March 94 - HISTORY OF THE DOGCOW PART 1

HISTORY OF THE DOGCOW PART 1

MARK ("THE RED") HARLAN

[IMAGE 135-136_Dogcow_column_re1.GIF]

I'm going to tell you a few things that have never been put in print before about the dogcow. If you don't know what or who the dogcow is, or you don't care for Apple cultural minutiae, you should just flip past this column.

This is only part 1 of the story, to be followed by more in a future issue of develop . We didn't want to hit you with it all at once, for fear of what the shock (or the boredom) might do.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN
The dogcow was originally a character in the Cairo font that used to ship with the Macintosh; it was designed by Susan Kare. I had always been interested in this critter ever since I first saw it in the LaserWriter Page Setup Options dialog, sometime during my stint in Apple's Developer Technical Support (DTS) group in 1987. To me it showed perfection in human interface design. With one picture it was very easy to explain concepts like an inverted image or larger print area that otherwise would be nearly impossible to communicate.

Interest became an obsession when one day I was talking to Scott ("Zz") Zimmerman about the dialog and suddenly thought, "Just what is that animal supposed to be, anyway?" Since Zz was the Printing Guy in DTS (now in the Newton group), and my favorite pastime was to bother him endlessly anyway, I started pressing him on whether the animal was a dog or a cow.

In an act of desperation he said, "It's both, OK? It's called a 'dogcow.' Now will you get out of my office?" The date was October 15, 1987, and I consider this to be the first use of the term. It should be noted that since then a few people (including Ginger herself) have told me that actually the phrase was coined by Ginger Jernigan (ex-DTS, now ROM software) at a meeting of Apple's Print Shop sometime shortly before that, which very well could be the case. Nevertheless it was Zz who pressed it into common usage, and he certainly was the first person I ever heard use the term.

Zz's ploy to get me out of his office was futile, however, because then I stood around and postulated that the dogcow's genes would have a radical effect on its behavior, and it must not bark or moo, but rather utter a combination like "Boo-woo!" or "Moof!"

We both thought it was funny enough that we decided to press it into everyday usage, and I started circulating the dogcow with "Moof!" on internal memos. The idea caught on, and at the 1988 Worldwide Developers Conference we gave away dogcow buttons in the debugging lab. Louella Pizzuti (ex-DTS, ex-develop editor, now citizen of the world) came up with the great idea of making the background Mountain Dew green. Response to the buttons was huge, and no one was smiling more than the DTS folks when John Sculley wore one for his keynote speech. It was a major-league coup.

THE ORIGIN OF TECH NOTE #31
Then things started to spin out of control. Various groups internally started picking up the dogcow logo and doing things that didn't seem, well, DTS-like. The final straw was when the dogcow pin appeared in a Microsoft advertisement. Mark Johnson (ex-DTS, now in Apple Europe) approached me and suggested that we throw down the gauntlet and write a Technical Note on the subject. I balked out of nothing more than sheer laziness.

Some time passed and we were getting ready to go with the April 1989 batch of Tech Notes when Mark approached me again, saying that he thought having an April Fool's edition describing the dogcow would be perfect. I said yes but then stalled and stalled, missing two deadlines, and I thought the Tech Note wasn't going to happen.

Mark marched in my office one day in March of 1989 at 11:30A. M. announcing that Tech Notes were shipping at noon and implied that my manliness was in question if I didn't get that Note in the batch. My macho instincts just couldn't allow that to happen, so Tech Note #31, "The Dogcow," was written in literally 40 minutes in one pass. I'd been thinking about it for quite some time, so I knew pretty much how it would go; I just sat down and typed it out. Given more time I definitely would have churned out something a bit more polished, and part of its quirkiness, I'm sure, is due to the time pressure I was under.

One thing was certain: it had to be something original in concept. I've always had a deep disdain for people who rip off comedic stuff. You know, the same people who used to have to tell all their jokes with an English accent because of Monty Python are now those who say "Not!  " behind phrases. Once is funny, but after a while it gets really old. I definitely wanted it out of the mainstream.

For numbering I wanted to use e , but Mark pointed out that there had been confusion early on in the Tech Note numbering scheme and that a few numbers had been left out for various reasons. He showed me some conversations from the net that went on and on about Tech Note #31 and people's guesses as to why it was missing. (People were really, really out there with their guessing; anyone who's a believer in conspiracy theories would have enjoyed this blatant gibberish.) The number 31 had the right feel; it would blend into the regular batch better thane , and I've always had a soft spot for prime numbers, so we picked it.

Sports Illustrated had run a great fake story about a Zen baseball pitcher sometime earlier and we borrowed the idea of having the words "April Fool's" spelled out within the article from them -- in our case using the first letter of every line of the poem at the closing. No one has ever mentioned this to me, so few people must have caught it.

There's a picture of the wrong way to draw the dogcow that several people thought was a scanned image of Zz. Actually, completely independently of the Tech Note, I'd been using a program called Mac-a-Mug, designed to make mug shots, and came across a set of hair that looked frighteningly like Zz's. After fiddling around with the program a bit I was able to come up with a good rendition of Zz's head, and I shoved it into the Tech Note without his ever knowing about it. The expression (and color) of his face when he learned about the picture is a memory I'll always cherish.

The Note also contains the expression "Aanal, Enacku Naiimadu, Kaanali!" People came up with very unusual anagrams or unusual explanations for what it meant, the best being that it was an obscure reference to a clip ofThe Day the Earth Stood Still that had been cut from the film. But the truth is that it's phoneticized Tamil that was supplied by Sriram Subramanian (Networking Guy, ex- DTS, ex-Taligent, now in Apple Japan) meaning "But I can't see the dogcow!"

Ironically, there's also a mistake in that the "correct" way to draw the dogcow is actually wrong. We ended up being so pressured for time in getting the Note out the door that we just jammed it into a weird PostScript file that ended up mutating the shape. Shortly after the release of that Note, Chris Derossi (ex-DTS, now at General Magic) convinced me that a better solution was to have the correct way to draw the dogcow be pixelated, to avoid these idiosyncracies in the future -- which is what's now done.

NEXT TIME
There will be more history of the dogcow in a future issue ofdevelop . Have you ever wondered if you have the entire set of dogcow pins? Is that dogcow T-shirt of your cubemate's bootlegged? Is there any way things can get more meaningless? Some, but not all, of these questions will be answered the next time we have a little extra space to fill.

MARK ("THE RED") HARLAN started life in Rawlins, Wyoming, and has led about exactly the kind of life you'd expect as a result. He spends most of his time at Apple finding employees who were hired by Steve Jobs and asking them, "So how does it feel knowing that the way you changed the world is by putting Windows on all PCs?" *

Our friend in the LaserWriter Page Setup Options dialog, normal and with Invert Image and Larger Print Area:

[IMAGE 135-136_Dogcow_column_re2.GIF]

[IMAGE 135-136_Dogcow_column_re3.GIF]

Tech Note #31 is not on this issue's CD and hasn't been on the CD for quite some time now; it's no longer available. It used to be hidden in the Technical Notes Stack on the early versions of develop 's CD. It appeared on paper only once, as part of the monthly mailing to Apple Partners and Associates in April of 1989. The continued secrecy has a little bit to do with history and a lot to do with tradition. For more on the distribution of the Tech Note, stay tuned for History of the Dogcow: Part 2.*

Thanks to Gary Robinson, whose letter asking for the story of the dogcow inspired this column. *

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

EtreCheck 3.1.5 - For troubleshooting yo...
EtreCheck is an app that displays the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to... Read more
WALTR 2 2.0.8 - $39.95
WALTR 2 helps you wirelessly drag-and-drop any music, ringtones, videos, PDF, and ePub files onto your iPhone, iPad, or iPod without iTunes. It is the second major version of Softorino's critically-... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 4.1.12 - Easy-to-use...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more
Dropbox 16.3.27 - Cloud backup and synch...
Dropbox is an application that creates a special Finder folder that automatically syncs online and between your computers. It allows you to both backup files and keep them up-to-date between systems... Read more
Microsoft OneNote 15.29 - Free digital n...
OneNote is your very own digital notebook. With OneNote, you can capture that flash of genius, that moment of inspiration, or that list of errands that's too important to forget. Whether you're at... Read more
Spotify 1.0.44.100. - Stream music, crea...
Spotify is a streaming music service that gives you on-demand access to millions of songs. Whether you like driving rock, silky R&B, or grandiose classical music, Spotify's massive catalogue puts... Read more
SpamSieve 2.9.27 - Robust spam filter fo...
SpamSieve is a robust spam filter for major email clients that uses powerful Bayesian spam filtering. SpamSieve understands what your spam looks like in order to block it all, but also learns what... Read more
VueScan 9.5.62 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Fantastical 2.3.2 - Create calendar even...
Fantastical 2 is the Mac calendar you'll actually enjoy using. Creating an event with Fantastical is quick, easy, and fun: Open Fantastical with a single click or keystroke Type in your event... Read more
PCalc 4.4.4 - Full-featured scientific c...
PCalc is a full-featured, scriptable scientific calculator with support for hexadecimal, octal, and binary calculations, as well as an RPN mode, programmable functions, and an extensive set of unit... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Track Santa with these three festive app...
Christmas is fast approaching and that means it's time to prepare for Santa's yearly pilgrimage around the globe. Christmas Eve is an exciting time as parents help their kids get ready to welcome Santa. You've got the cookies and milk all planned... | Read more »
Galaxy on Fire 3 and four other fantasti...
Galaxy on Fire 3 - Manticore brings the series back for another round of daring space battles. It's familiar territory for folks who are familiar with the franchise. If you've beaten the game and are looking to broaden your horizons, might we... | Read more »
The best apps for your holiday gift exch...
What's that, you say? You still haven't started your holiday shopping? Don't beat yourself up over it -- a lot of people have been putting it off, too. It's become easier and easier to procrastinate gift shopping thanks to a number of apps that... | Read more »
Toca Hair Salon 3 (Education)
Toca Hair Salon 3 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Winter comes to Darkwood as Seekers Note...
MyTona, based in the chilly Siberian city of Yakutsk, has brought a little festive fun to its hidden object game Seekers Notes: Hidden Mystery. The Christmas update introduces some new inhabitants to players, and with them a chance to win plenty of... | Read more »
Bully: Anniversary Edition (Games)
Bully: Anniversary Edition 1.03.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.03.1 (iTunes) Description: *** PLEASE NOTE: This game is officially supported on the following devices: iPhone 5 and newer, iPod Touch... | Read more »
PINE GROVE (Games)
PINE GROVE 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A pine grove where there are no footsteps of people due to continuous missing cases. The case is still unsolved and nothing has... | Read more »
Niantic teases new Pokémon announcement...
After rumors started swirling yesterday, it turns out there is an official Pokémon GO update on its way. We’ll find out what’s in store for us and our growing Pokémon collections tomorrow during the Starbucks event, but Niantic will be revealing... | Read more »
3 reasons why Nicki Minaj: The Empire is...
Nicki Minaj is as business-savvy as she is musically talented and she’s proved that by launching her own game. Designed by Glu, purveyors of other fine celebrity games like cult favorite Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, Nicki Minaj: The Empire launched... | Read more »
Clash of Clans is getting its own animat...
Riding on its unending wave of fame and success, Clash of Clans is getting an animated web series based on its Clash-A-Rama animated shorts.As opposed to the current shorts' 60 second run time, the new and improved Clash-A-Rama will be comprised of... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Never Settle for Low Performing Wifi With iOS...
AppYogi Software has announced the release of WiFi Signal Strength Status App 1.0, the company’s new utility developed exclusively for macOS. WiFi Signal Strength Status App features a unique, single... Read more
New 2016 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros in st...
B&H Photo has stock of new 2016 Apple 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pro models, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray: $1999 - 13″ 2.... Read more
New 2016 15″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock...
B&H Photo has new 2016 Apple 15″ Touch Bar MacBook Pro models in stock today including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray: $2799 - 15″ 2.7GHz... Read more
DietSensor App Targeting Diabetes and Obesity...
DietSensor, Inc., a developer of smart food and nutrition applications designed to fight diabetes and obesity and help improve overall fitness, has announced the launch of its DietSensor app for... Read more
Holiday 2016 13-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pro sales...
B&H has the non-Touch Bar 13″ MacBook Pros in stock today for $50-$100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (MLL42LL/A): $1449 $... Read more
Holiday sale: Apple TVs for $51-$40 off MSRP,...
Best Buy has dropped their price on the 64GB Apple TV to $159.99 including free shipping. That’s $40 off MSRP. 32GB Apple TVs are on sale right now for $98 on Sams Club’s online store. That’s $51 off... Read more
12-inch Retina MacBooks, Apple refurbished, n...
Apple has restocked a full line of Certified Refurbished 2016 12″ Retina MacBooks, now available for $200-$260 off MSRP. Refurbished 2015 models are available starting at $929. Apple will include a... Read more
Holiday sale: 12-inch Retina MacBook for $100...
B&H has 12″ Retina MacBooks on sale for $100 off MSRP as part of their Holiday sale. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1199 $100... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 13″ 1.6GHz/8GB/128GB MacBook Air: $849 $... Read more
Apple refurbished iMacs available for up to $...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
US- *Apple* Store Leader Program - Apple (Un...
…Summary Learn and grow as you explore the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll master our retail business inside and out through training, hands-on Read more
Automotive Detailer - *Apple* Used Autos -...
We are currently conductinginterviews and will be accepting applications for a part-time detailer. Apple Used Autos is a great place to work andstart a career. We Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Trumbul...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.