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German armored vehicles and Apple Mac OS X

January 1st, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

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 :)

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  1. March 10th, 2007 at 21:00 | #1

    Guess it’s true enough to believe it’s not coincidental.

  2. March 10th, 2007 at 23:06 | #2

    Interessant! Wusste nicht, dass die deutsche Panzer und Apple Betriebsysteme aehnliche Namen haetten!

  3. BEDrock
    March 11th, 2007 at 01:56 | #3

    First, if Apple probably doesn’t create codenames after features have been determined, so the idea that the codename would be chosen because of similar tank characteristics is bogus.
    Second, just because two entirely unrelated groups of people come up with using the same category of common names, it shouldn’t be assumed that they’re related. If Apple were taking German tank names as codenames, perhaps the next two releases should be “Bear” and “Elephant”… It shouldn’t be surprising to anyone that names of dominant vicious cats would be used to describe either war vehicles or operating systems thought of as ahead of their time.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s interesting; but I’ll note it for what it is, a coincidence.

  4. March 11th, 2007 at 02:16 | #4

    BEDrock: Of course my comparison is bogus and coincidental. It’s total bullshit from one end to the other – I just had fun writing it. Anyone that thinks different needs to perform a little reality check :)

  5. Guppy
    March 11th, 2007 at 05:31 | #5

    The Puma you listed is an Italian AFV. I suspect you intended to list the German armored car SdKfz. 234/2, also known as “Puma.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwerer_Panzerspähwagen

  6. Meow
    March 11th, 2007 at 14:30 | #6

    ola, you have to know that people are going to run with this. The internet is stupid.

  7. Steiner
    March 11th, 2007 at 14:37 | #7

    Well, Apple is invading the PC market the same way the germans wanted to invade the world. Lets hop that apple actually succeeds and in a more peaceful way. Maybe it is not a coincidence afterall.

  8. Philip
    March 12th, 2007 at 07:59 | #8

    god, you people are retarded.

  9. March 13th, 2007 at 23:10 | #9

    i think it would be : “Various editions originally have with World War II’S German armed force tank many common place”, these words were translated by dictionary.reference.com hehe

  10. sageimac
    March 17th, 2007 at 15:31 | #10

    I thought Steve named them after high school football teams.

  11. Heinz Guderian
    November 1st, 2007 at 01:22 | #11

    “The main application of the tank is to kill other tanks, ”

    The Gepard is an anti-aircraft weapon, it is not designed to kill tanks.

  12. diego
    February 16th, 2008 at 06:51 | #12

    Apple sucks, Linux ftw

  13. June 4th, 2008 at 22:30 | #13

    […] Ok seriously I think Lynx would be the next one. Back to July 2003 Apple has trademarked “Lynx”, “Cougar”, “Leopard” and “Tiger”. Now Tiger and Leopard are already out, so expect “Lynx” or “Cougar” to be released from the cage of Apple in the coming OS X 10.6.
    Update: here’s an interesting article about the uncanny naming resemblance between WWII German tanks and Mac OS X. Here’s a portion of it:[…]

  14. June 4th, 2008 at 22:33 | #14

    Ok seriously I think Lynx would be the next one. Back to July 2003 Apple has trademarked “Lynx”, “Cougar”, “Leopard” and “Tiger”. Now Tiger and Leopard are already out, so expect “Lynx” or “Cougar” to be released from the cage of Apple in the coming OS X 10.6.
    Update: here’s an interesting article about the uncanny naming resemblance between WWII German tanks and Mac OS X. Here’s a portion of it:
    But why does Mac OS X and german tank models share the same naming convention and other similarities? Could it be something

  15. bam
    June 22nd, 2008 at 13:41 | #15

    Hmm .. If it’s for world domination, then the next release should be “Mammoth”.

  16. July 1st, 2009 at 10:08 | #16

    Interesting observation, but I agree with BEDrock that wild cats’ names evoke desirable associations for a wide range of products and therefore I’m pretty sure this is coincidence.

  17. mikeck
    September 8th, 2009 at 15:31 | #17

    Hey, I just got a mac :D There great compared to my old pc. I never would of actually bought one though because there so expencive luckly I won won at muulu.com :p

  18. December 29th, 2009 at 05:33 | #18

    Apple FTW!

  19. Apple-Luvva
    May 26th, 2010 at 04:49 | #19

    diego sucks, Apple ftw!

  20. Apple-Luvva
    May 26th, 2010 at 04:50 | #20

    @diego
    diego sucks, Apple ftw!

  21. prodprof
    March 2nd, 2011 at 17:51 | #21

    @diego – urm, maybe you should look at the origins of the core of OSX before making such a juvenile, under-aged little comment.

    Steve Jobs did his usual intensive research with Jonathan Ives, (who incidently also designed Eva in Wall-E),into a naming schema for the OS’s – and like the happy cutesy smiley macintosh start up icon of old – saw that the happy cutesy fluffy kitten approach really works – and it really does work !

    And macs are as different to PC’s, as cats are to dogs ,-)

  22. evert
    March 5th, 2011 at 17:04 | #22

    And then the T34 came.. and destroyed every german tank.. ;)
    Simple, versatile, quick and cheap..

  23. Pedro Sousa
    March 9th, 2011 at 00:40 | #23

    Ah ah ah! Brilliant debate! Let us wait for the T34… And hope that Steve Jobs doesn’t come up with some Enola Gay ;-)

  24. amarcelyclene
    July 16th, 2011 at 08:41 | #24

    just gonna reveal hello…