German armored vehicles and Apple Mac OS X
I started using OSX this summer, and there has been some strange familiarity to the naming policies of that operating system. It suddenly struck me while watching Discovery Channel the other day: Both OSX and the german military’s armored vehicles are named after big cats. Just watch:
Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah shares it’s name with the German tank destroyer (armoured self-propelled anti-tank cannon) named Gepard, which is German for “cheetah”. The OS is like the tank quite slow and has very few applications. The main application of the tank is to kill other tanks, while the OS Cheetah was designed to kill off OS9. Quite appropriate.
The next incarnation of OSX was 10.1 Puma, with it’s German armoured fighting vehicle sibling – the, well, Puma. Which is not a real tank since it does not have belts, but then again OSX 10.1 was not an real OS either, it was just an upgrade to Cheetah.
Enter Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar. Like the German multiple missile-armed tank destroyers Jaguar 1 and Jaguar 2 OSX Jaguar features the possibility to accomplish many goals in one go, OSX Jaguar being a very feature-packed release.
As it’s German namesake the OSX 10.3 Panther was quite an upgrade. Both featured huge improvements in performance, firepower and had an updated, modernized look and feel. However, while OSX Panther came with FileVault protecting the user, the tank had a flawed design where a shot-trap made it easy to blow up the driver compartment.. Not unlike the OS, the tank was bugfixed and the G version resolved the previous problems.
And now on to the big guns. The Tiger I and the Tiger II does, exactly like OSX 10.4 Tiger, pretty much sweeps its competitive peers off the battlefield. Being the strongest and slickest of the bunch helps a lot against attackers, be it Shermans, M-26 Pershings, IS-2s, Linux or Windows XP. The Tiger revisions are also quite versatile, the tank served as both main battle tank, tank destroyer and self-propelled machine gun – while the OS runs both on PPC and Intel-powered machines.
All great designs eventually turn old enough to be reused and made subject to added features. So is the case with both OSX 10.5 Leopard and the modern-day German tank Leopard. The main features remain the same, but there is more weight, more advanced operation modes and more stability to be it gun turrets or the need for incremental backups.
But why does Mac OS X and german tank models share the same naming convention and other similarities? Could it be something having to do with the shared, well deserved, feeling of beeing the best in engineering on the respective fields? Maybe the tendency of both parties to respond well to strong leadership? The desire for total control over the different territories and the need to enforce this with great tanks, well organized armies, DRM and operating systems locked to run on specific hardware? I am not really sure, and there may be no connection at all. But like the naming of the Grundig stereo amplifiers V1, V2 and V3 compares easilly to the WWII rockets V1 and V2, the OSX and tank names may of course just be twisted coincidences