Apple releases new operating system

July 21, 2011 • 7:10 am

A few days ago Apple announced the release of its latest operating system, Lion.  As Mac users know, for a long while new operating systems have been given the names of felids:  Jaguar, Panther, Snow Leopard, and so on.  They’re going to run out of cat species soon, and, recognizing the wide appeal of domestic cats on the internet, Apple quietly announced the name of its next system, and also released the box logo:

38 thoughts on “Apple releases new operating system

  1. Some evolution trivia to be found in the Wiki on ‘Darwin’ ~ the open source OS released by Apple Inc. in 2000 which forms the core set of components upon which Mac OS X, Apple TV, and iOS are based:

    The Darwin developers decided to adopt a mascot in 2000, and chose Hexley the Platypus, over other contenders, such as an Aqua Darwin fish, Clarus the Dogcow, and an orca. Hexley is a cartoon platypus who usually wears a cap resembling a demon’s horns. He carries a trident, similar to the BSD Daemon, to symbolize the daemon’s forking of processes.

    Hexley’s name was a mistake: it was originally supposed to be named after Thomas Henry Huxley, a 19th century English biologist who was a well-known champion of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution (nicknamed “Darwin’s bulldog”). However, ignorance led not only to a mistake in Huxley’s name, but who he was thought to be. The developers apparently thought he was simply Darwin’s assistant, when in fact he was a prominent biologist in his own right. By the time the mistake had been discovered, it was deemed too late to change, and the incorrect name “Hexley” was kept

  2. But poor Maru — Apple has gone to online distribution only. No more boxes!



    P.S. So far, I’m impressed with Lion, though there’re a few different ways of doing things that’ll take some getting used to. b&

    1. Wow, an early adopter. I’m looking to replace my recently deceased Macbook Pro with the new Macbook Air (or an iPad). I wish the MB Air came with a larger screen. But I’ll adapt. We have one previous generation MB Air and it is amazing.

      My decision is between an iPad and MB Air. I’d like the ability to read books on the iPad, but I like the way you can sit a laptop on your lap to watch videos. Decisions, decisions.

      1. I think, if you’re seriously considering the iPad, that’s almost certainly the way to go. The Macbook makes the most sense if you need to run OS X. The iPad wins the form factor game hands down.

        If you need to do a lot of typing, that might alter the dynamics a bit. You can use any Bluetooth keyboard with the iPad, but then you have to lug two things around that, combined, are bulkier than the Macbook. But if you only ever do your extensive typing in one or two places, you can get a keyboard that you leave behind when you’re on the go.

        The iPad is on my list of toys to save up for, but there’s some more important and expensive stuff ahead of it.


        1. Great response (as usual). I do lots of typing of posts on sites like this, and I like to have the device sit on my lap while I type. So that pushes toward another laptop. But I am in love with the iPad for intangible reasons. Time to buy a lottery ticket so I can afford both (*_*)

          1. Sometime in the future, I’m sure Apple will come out with a device that merges the form factors. Think of folding the keyboard on a laptop all the way backwards, for example, so you can use it just like a tablet without the keyboard getting in the way; fold it all the way closed to turn it off. Maybe even pull the keyboard half off completely. And maybe the keyboard half is itself a display with a virtual keyboard (with tactile feedback?); turn it sideways and hold and read it like a book with facing pages.

            Or they might come up with some other radical-yet-simple design that addresses exactly the problems you describe. They’re obvious and common.

            But I’m sure it’ll be at least a few more years before engineering and manufacturing techniques get to the point where something like that is doable. Regardless, I’d expect Apple to be the one to come out with a design like that first…nobody else is putting as much thought into electronics design.



          2. Hmmm…neat gadget, but I’ll bet you a beer that that’s not quite the direction that Apple will go. It’s “just” a laptop with the top and bottom separable. I can certainly see Apple riffing on that theme, but there’ll be some sort of a twist…probably a simplification of some kind that will only be obvious in retrospect.


          3. I read this comment with amused amazement. Why? Because I was reading it on my laptop which has the display turned towards me and the keyboard turned away. If I wanted to, I could close the display onto the keyboard faceup, and have a tablet form factor. Or I could turn the display around and close it on keyboard, which would put the laptop to sleep just like a regular laptop. Right now, though, I have the keyboard turned towards me so I can type.

            My laptop is called a tabletPC and this formfactor has been available in the Windows world for years. In addition to being a touch screen, my display also takes pen input so I could handwrite this post if I wanted to–or I could draw, annotate PDFs by hand, and do a variety of stuff by hand.

            Yet, if Apple ever comes out with a similar form factor, everybody will praise Apple for its amazing innovation.

          4. I will soon be enjoying my second Dell Latitude tablet PC. Being able to draw on the screen makes art creation in Illustrator so, so much faster. Only problem–without academic grant funding, I’d never be able to get these! If apple comes out with one for a quarter of the price it will indeed be worthy of praise.

          5. There are iPad cases with built-in keyboards. I even saw an aluminum bluetooth keyboard for iPad with a case to hold both, looks just like an Air.

            Sometimes, you can have your cake and eat it too.

          6. ZAGGmate w/keyboard for…

            Apple iPad 1 & for iPad 2

            “Aircraft-grade aluminium with a bead-blasted, anodized finish that matches the iPad… stand holds iPad in either profile or landscape…Military grade high-density padding…Embedded wireless Bluetooth physical keyboard
            Special function keys for music control, volume control, slideshow, home, search, etc”

          7. Neat! A little too heavy on the sharp corners for my design tastes, but I can definitely see that working quite nicely as a laptop replacement.

            I’m not anticipating wanting a keyboard for what I think I’ll use an iPad for, but that’ll be high on my list if reality turns out otherwise.


          8. Mmmm, shiney …

            I want one too but have no real use for one since I am typing this on a brand new Macbook Pro. Trying valiantly to think of excuse for getting iPad, failing dismally. 🙁

      2. A Kindle (or any other brand of e-ink reader) is a far superior reading medium to backlit LED ~ better for the eyes

        I’ve tried both

        The drawback currently is it’s monochrome pages only

        1. E-ink is awesome for book-style reading, but it sucks for pretty much every other porpoise people use gadgets for these days. Video isn’t even an option — no reading a Harry Potter book and then watching the movie afterwards.

          The LED / LCD / etc. styles of displays all the other gadgets are using are usually quite acceptable for reading books and they’re amazing for all that “other stuff.”

          If all you plan on doing is reading books, get an e-ink device, no question. But if you have plans for much of anything else, it’l be quite the disappointment.

          Check back in a few years and everything is up for grabs, of course….


          1. ###
            TrumpetPower Quote: “The LED / LCD / etc. styles of displays all the other gadgets are using are usually quite acceptable for reading books…”

            Not in my book 🙂

            The Kindle matte screen with e-ink (that as you know depends on reflected light) is vastly better for conventional book reading. Try it Ben !

            I am looking forward to colour e-ink though ~ especially if the response is rapid enough to run video. But, on the other hand, an advantage to me of my simple Kindle is I CAN’T get email or video distractions ~ I can immerse myself in WORDS

            The publishers of ebooks are rather lazy/unimaginative. The ebook version of say WEIT should contain embedded video & live link footnotes to sources & further reading. Also there should be subscriptions to edition updates as new research in the subject appears.


          2. Oh, I agree that e-ink is better for book reading.

            It’s just that, if book reading is only a secondary use for the device, LCD is “good enough” considering that e-ink isn’t “good enough” for the device’s primary use.

            Absolutely, if you want something that does books well and aren’t interested in anything else, get an e-ink device. But if you want a portable electronic device that “oh-by-the-way” you can also read books on, e-ink won’t cut the mustard.



          3. Interestingly, I owned a Kindle 2 for a while but sold it (for full price, believe it or not!) because the price of new e-books went from the advertised 9.95 to 14.95 and higher, sometimes more than the new hardback book. And Selection of some obscure books I like were not available.

            Maybe I should have kept it, but I can always get a new one. I checked out the color nook the other day and it looked intriguing. But how many gadgets does a person need??? Rhetorical question.

            Some good info on this thread. Thanks to Ben and others.

  3. On the box it reads ‘Finely tuned’, is there some irony implied there or I’m reading too much?

  4. If they run out of names of existing Felidae species, maybe they’ll have to turn to fossil ones? “Sabertooth” would sound… cutting edge.

  5. I heard they were going to call their next OS ‘Universe’. And were going to use that strapline on the box above. Apparently, they wanted William Lane Craig on the Apple board on the grounds that anyone that could sell bullshit like he does, could sell anything.

  6. It strikes me that Apple could do far worse than to license that very image from whoever has the rights and name the next release of OSX “Maru”.

    “Maru” means (approximately) “precious thing” in Japanese, as in the name of the Japanese oil tanker “Oil Spill Maru”.

    I suspect it has other meanings as well. Any fluent Japanophones at hand?

    [What is the word corresponding to Francophone?]

    1. When I lived in Japan, most ships had Maru in the name, like Nippon Maru. Maru can mean circle, but I’m not sure even the Japanese know how Maru being part of ship-naming tradition.

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