Bark or byte?

An old-timer gets into a tizzy when he realises that a computer has stolen his pet's name.

BC: Can you imagine people naming their pets after computer jargon? I read about this guy who named his guinea pigs Qwerty and Wysiwyg (What you see is what you get).

AD: Not surprising, I have a friend who named his dog Floppy because he had long ears.

BC: Can you imagine a cat being named Laptop and a Chihuahua being called a Widget?

AD: Going by your logic, a mule can be named ASCII and…

BC: But my neighbour's dog can surely be named GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out). That's exactly what he does all day.

AD: But why can't animals be named after computer terminology when computer parts are named after animals?

BC: What do you mean?

AD: One of the reasons why the mouse was named so was because the cord that connected it to the computer resembled a tail.

BC: But now you've also got Mouse NT.

AD: NT as in New Technology, like Windows NT?

BC: No, NT as in No Tail — the cordless infrared mouse.

AD: And then, you have software glitches that are called bugs. Can you believe that they once found a real bug — a moth — that caused the malfunction of the computer?

BC: That must have been terribly bugging, right?

AD: But the bug didn't stop there. Technology dug its way underground as well and unleashed the worm, a destructive, self-replicating programme that ‘worms' its way into computer networks. There are different kinds of worms — Sadmind, Sasser, Santy, Klez, Blaster, Sober, Witty…

BC: Sounds like the seven dwarves with Snow White…

AD: Snow White incidentally, is a virus that appeared a decade ago.

BC: A virus and seven worms causing millions of computers to lie still and lifeless — that doesn't make for a pretty fairy tale.

AD: Then there's GNU, an operating system that's…

BC: Gnu's an African antelope, right?

AD: Yes, but it stands for Gnu's Not Unix — hence GNU!

BC: Who would go for a name like that?

AD: ‘Go for' reminds me of gopher, an Internet application. You'll be surprised at the number of animals that are called gopher — a species of rodent, a large burrowing snake, a prairie squirrel, a large land tortoise…

BC: I can understand technology being named after an antelope — but a tortoise?

AD: In that case, what would you say to a programming language named python? Did you know that it was developed for an open source operating system called Amoeba?

BC: Can you imagine calling helpline and complaining that there's a virus in your amoeba?

AD: How about Tomcat, a java-based web server from Apache? They also created Ant — an acronym for Another Neat Tool — a software tool for Java projects.

BC: Worms, viruses and ants. Think I'll just go back to conventional names like Coco for my dog.

AD: Sorry, the Tandy TRS-80 Color Computer was called Coco, short for Color Computer.

BC: Ok, Lassie then? That's common enough, right?

AD: Not really. LASsie (Light Application Security) is a library of Microsoft Access objects…

BC: Is there anything at all that I can call my pet?

AD: How about ‘dog'? It's not yet computer jargon.

BC: Oh c'mon…

AD: It could have been worse. Imagine if your pet was a mouse…

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