11 Mysterious Origins of the most common tech terms
Have you ever wondered by the founders of Google named their company Google after all, or why Bluetooth is called so? Well if you have and are short of any answers then you have come to right place. It took some digging but finally I came up with some interesting tech stories to tell you guys.
So here are 11 mysterious origins of the most common tech terms
Well the Bluetooth is really named after a blue tooth and that too of a 10th Century king. Surprising, isn’t it?
King Harald Gormsson has his place in history as the person who united all of Scandinavia and also as one who had an utterly rotten tooth so much so that it looked blue. Hence, he earned the nickname of Bluetooth.
This inspired a software developer from Intel, Jim Kardach, to name his single wireless standard which Intel, Ericsson, Nokia and IBM were developing together in 1997. Initially, the name was not a huge hit but as it was better than the other names like FLIRT, it was used as the code name for the project. All four companies finally agreed on using PAN (Personal Area Networking) which was later shrugged off due to web optimization reasons, and Bluetooth was released out of sheer desperation. Today it is one of the most common tech terms used all across the globe.
Many a times, things or terms get popular because they merely rhymed or were similar to another hot product or name which was commonly used. Podcast is one such tech term. It is a hybrid of the words “IPod” and “Broadcast”.
The term was merely suggested for the new technology in an article written by The Guardian’s Ben Hammersley in 2004, along with the other contenders like “audioblogging” and “GuerillaMedia”. But as the IPod was hugely popular at the time, podcast had much appeal and the name stuck and is one the most commonly used tech terms used today and almost every internet user knows the meaning of the terms.
Every once in a while you delete your history and cookies, to keep your systems running smooth. Ever wondered why these information stored files are called by the name of delicious baked dough which goes wonderfully with milk? Well the programmes may or may not have loved cookies but they surely loved Fortune Cookies, which is the inspiration behind the name. The comparison was that Fortune Cookies stored and saved fortunes within its stale walls and that was it.
Cookies almost go synonymously with internet usage and are one of the most common tech terms with a mysterious history behind tis name.
Well, no one can argue that this is the most commonly used and implemented tech terms used today. Well was not there from the start when Twitter was officially launched in 2006. Back then, “twittering” was used to describe the action of posting on twitter. Developer Craig Hockenberry was frustrated with this term as it was long and tedious to say which led him to the invention of Twitterific, an app that offered a different user experience. The word Twitterific then became twit and it didn’t take much time to transform to tweet, one of our favourite tech terms today.
This word, which is a household signal of cyber threat to any system with internet access, has been in use across the tech arena since 1955. In 1975, the word hacker appeared in the Jargon File, a glossary for computer programmers with eight definitions.
The last of those eight definitions was the only negative one and described a hacker as a malicious meddler who tries to discover sensitive information by poking around. This became hugely popular in the 90s and is one the most common tech terms used today.
Everybody with a system has used a mouse which was invented by Douglas C. Engelbart who became frustrated with how bulky, large and convoluted the computer systems. The mouse was then introduced at the 1968 Computing Conference in San Francisco and then later went main-stream with the famous Macintosh PC.
The name came into existence because the term CAT was used to describe the cursor on the screen and it seemed that the cursor was chasing the tailed desktop device. Crazy Story, isn’t it?
In 1947, Grace Hopper, a pioneer of computer programming, was working on the Harvard Mark II computer when work was suspended due to the presence of a moth stuck in the relay. When she remarked that they were “Debugging” the system to get started again, the term “Bug” in regards to computer glitches was born.
The moth she found can still be seen on display in the Smithsonian Museum. This is one mystery revealed of one the most common tech terms used by developers and users alike in the modern world.
When we used to think of a stream we thought of a narrow river or a continuous flow. But today when we think of stream we think “Netflix”, which allows transmitting or receiving data over a steady, continuous flow, hence the name. The first use of streaming as a verb was in the 1920s when a system of distribution and transmission of signals over electrical lines became the basis for what later evolved into elevator music, which would stream a continuous soundtrack to commercial customers without the use of radio.
This is another common tech term used by almost all of us when we are trying to find some genuine information on the internet. Well ‘wiki wiki’ in Hawaiian means quick. The creator, Ward Cunningham decided that a wiki would be a quick, simple way to access multiple sites and get information.
Spam for years was known as a canned mystery meat worthy of mockery. So much so, that British surreal comedy group Monty Python did a sketch about it in which the word spam was repeated over and over by a waitress, customers and even a group of Vikings. Many Monty Python fans were also early MUD, Prodigy and AOL chat-room frequenters who used the word spam to refer to people who created macros to say the same thing over and over again, clogging up chat-rooms.
So, when repetitive masses of unwanted email began circulating in the early 90s, people familiar with the interwebs began dubbing it as spam and hence came into existence another of the most common tech terms we use every day.
If you find Google to be a calculating corporation, you’re not far off. The word is actually a play on the mathematical word from ancient Indian text which is the “Googol” which essentially means 1 followed by a 100 zeros. The name acts as a metaphor behind Google’s mission to organise a seemingly infinite amount of information on the web.
Hence, the most opened site in the world and obviously the most common tech term in the history of computing till now too has an interesting story behind it. What are the odds of that?
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