mac os x

hoof and mouth?

pile o' sheep


April 1, 2001: Apple computer licenses tiexp.com technology for os x
In an agreement brokered within minutes of midnight, apple computer, inc. (nasdaq: aapl) was granted exclusive license to proprietary technology developed by the treasure island experiment (www.tiexp.com). The agreement included a limited technology swap as well as other components that were not disclosed.

Apple pursued the agreement with the treasure island experiment in an effort to boost sales of their recently released mac os x software (pronounced "mak oh ess ten as inn roh mahn nu mahr er al ten"), the rewritten operating system used by apple's macintosh (pronounced "mak inn tosh") series of personal computers (pronounced "com peu tir").

The new software release has, in most of the computer maker's markets, been a great success. Its release was met with eager anticipation; so much so, in fact, that 100,000 users paid in advance to buy a beta version of the release last fall. The final release version was officially put up for sale march 24, 2001.

Despite the general success of the software launch in the americas, japan and france, shortly after the launch last month it became clear that a key missing feature of the new software would hold up sales and create general embarrassment if not corrected immediately.

That feature, once included in previous versions of the macintosh operating system software but removed shortly after the return of current ceo steve jobs, was also a favorite of many macintosh users: os themes. Similar to the technology behind 'skins' or 'interior decoration', themes allow users to choose a customized, comprehensive look and feel for the operating system. A theme includes the operating system's wallpaper backdrop graphics, system feedback sounds and display colors as well as the shape, features and behavior for various human interface representations.

Jobs was opposed to the technology because of fears that it would serve to water down the clear branding and look and feel of the product. But after hearing first reaction reports of new mac os x users in the united kingdom, the congo, nepal and parts of madagascar, jobs sent designers back to the drawing board for a last minute inclusion of the technology.

In the united kingdom, the wild and fruity reds and greens of mac os x associated it with hoof and mouth disease, known in britain as foot and mouth disease, but not to be confused with hand, foot and mouth disease, which only affects humans. The direct correlation between the red and green used in mac os x and the pestilential pall over that country's livestock was not clearly articulated, but the abstract association was enough to bar shipments of the new product from all computer stores within a few miles of any farms or any english livestock concentration camps.

Since there are smoldering remains of cows, sheep and chickens (just to be safe) located throughout the country, this limited the distribution of os x to a few locations within the city of london. Even buyers there were wary of the new software.

In the congo, nepal and parts of madagascar, the pulsing indicator glow of the default button found on many response panels was considered to be an inflammatory cultural taboo. This resulted in the product being largely shunned in the marketplace. Some imacs found to be running os x in the congo had their mice cut off and nailed to the wall.

In response, apple sought out the most drab, unanimated and least offensive color scheme possible for inclusion as a tamer theme in these select markets. Extensive research found grey on grey with a muted yellow accent to be the perfect match. This look and feel had been developed as part of the treasure island experiment just months earlier.

Within weeks, apple and the treasure island experiment were able to hammer out a deal that allowed the tiexp access to an old newton pda, and provided mac os x a regional variant color scheme. Now, alongside the traditional aqua theme, apple has: moutard. Moutard means mustard in several latin based languages, particularly french. Spanish and portuguese words for mustard are similar.

More information about os x, software, picking colors, foot and mouth:

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Mac os x clearly explained
Mastering mac os x
Mac os x black book
Mac os x: the complete reference
Guide to software export
Choosing a color scheme
Green day: foot in mouth
Olivia newton john: greatest hits
2001 the treasure island experiment. All rights reserved.