I read earlier today about the new upcoming version of Apple’s OS X line of operating systems. And I’ve gotta say: I am laughing my patootie off.1

To be fair, I have no problem whatsoever with product names being formulated in other languages. However, I personally don’t think Apple sufficiently thought this name through. It’s called “El Capitan”, which, although I’ve never learned Español, I’m pretty sure means something along the lines of “The Captain”. And, in any case, I just went on Google Translate and it seems to agree with me.

Why, exactly, did Apple choose to name it this? I can understand the proximity rationale—that Apple, having switched to a more local motif back in 2013, and being situated in California, decided to cater more to their proportionally higher ethnically Méxican populations.

Even if that were the case, I don’t see anything wrong with it; in fact, I think it’d be wonderful. However, that being said, I think it’s fairly obvious Apple had more than just this reasoning in mind, if it even had it as a reason to begin with; they could have just as easily chosen another Spanish word to use.

Regardless, I find it a somewhat silly name, given the OS X version history. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Prior to the first public beta, there were 3 precursory versions:

Name and Version Code Name Release Date
Mac OS X Rhapsody Developer Release Grail1Z4 / Titan1U 1997 August 31
Mac OS X Server 1.0 Hera 1999 March 16
Mac OS X Developer Preview NA 1999 March 16

Then, afterward, we got ten animal-themed OS names—specifically big cats, but still… They’re animal-themed.

Name and Version Code Name Release Date
Public Beta Kodiac 2000 September 13
Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah 2001 March 24
Mac OS X 10.1 Puma 2001 September 25
Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar 2002 August 24
Mac OS X 10.3 Panther 2003 October 24
Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger 2005 April 29
Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard 2007 October 26
Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard 2009 August 28
Mac OS X 10.7 Lion 2011 July 20
OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion 2012 July 25

So we went for 10 versions of cat motifs, and only after 2 versions Apple decides to go to a boat-like theme? (To me, at least, that’s what comes to mind when I think “The Captain”…) And especially even though those 2 versions aren’t even great transitional motifs… Oh, they’re decent, certainly…but they’re not great.

All in all, I think we’ll quickly get used to it, or at least the ones who have Macs (cry…). And to be honest, I don’t even think this is a big deal. But I just wanted to write a bit about how funny I think it sounds, and why.

Happy laptop-ing, fellow Webians.


1 Yes, I did just call my booty my patootie…

… …What? It rhymes.


Image Credit: Image is in the public domain.

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