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Sedentarian
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25 Jan 2014, 2:46 pm

Which would be masculine and which would be feminine?


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Fogman
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27 Jan 2014, 10:34 am

localhost$ We cannot find any 'Gender' with the 'Operating System'. Press any key to continue, ALT+F4 to abort this process, or CTRL+ALT+DEL to reboot this machine.

If you are running a Linux/UNIX based system, open a terminal and enter this in the terminal:

job -blow


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ibookfan92
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01 Feb 2014, 1:26 am

This has got to be one of the most INTERESTING questions to be on this forum or anywhere on Earth for that matter... but... I shall taketh the challenge!! !

To answer this the best I can and do it scientifically, here are some clues to what "gender" each OS would be, mostly by looking at the mascot for evidence. But, this is ONLY meant to be a hypothesis/guess--and so, it's not the most reliable work on the subject, and now... let's have some fun! If you're a serious computer enthusiast interested in this (which, to be completely honest, you must be if you clicked this article), read on... :)

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=--=

A few mobile guesses

- The iOS must be female, as the Siri voice assistant defaults to a female voice since introduction. But, no other clues are given. I do know the iPod nano 3G with the song "1234" definitely gives this hint; otherwise, iPods aren't named as much after "names" as some of the Macs were, so this is left an inconclusive mystery otherwise--you decide, (although as an extra tidbit, the design of Eve (the WALL-E character) was influenced by the white iPod according to one source, and was a female character.)

- I think Android would vary by device, as the Galaxy, for example, has a lot of curvature (classically a feminine characteristic in Western culture)... but the green character/mascot does look reminiscent of the character "Zog" from Astro Boy, is generally described as a "he" and android itself generally denotes a male robot by strict definition, while "gynoid" denotes a female, though android can also be loosely and/or universally defined for human-like robots as well; without asking an Android developer and with nearly *each* release named after desserts, could you really tell? :) From the English word android, it is male; otherwise, as with the iPod OS, I would say it is scientifically inconclusive.

- Zune is male--the codename was "Janus". One odd theory is that if Zune is looked at backwards in a mirror, you might see Janus, though this is completely unconfirmed and probably not applicable or reliable at all. Windows CE -> Mobile was mainly named after trees and elements (i.e. Birch, Ozone)--so, for this, see Windows...

Classic Macintosh guesses

- The classic Macintosh OS and Macintosh series of computers are definitively male without doubt (no guess)--Steve Jobs himself both administered the fall 1983 presentation where "Macintosh" spoke in a male voice, and throughout development Macintosh was male. He also referred to Mac OS 9 at its mock funeral as "he" repeatedly. I would state confidently, due to several journalists calling it a "he", the Happy Mac by Susan Kare, and Macintosh itself being a "he" from the moment of unveiling that the vintage Macintosh is male. Apple is the only company that has given computers names, and this further proves my conjecture: Aladdin, Apollo, Mr. T (Plus), Bob W (the PB Duo 210), Reno (Mac II), and Spartacus (Roman; for the TAM), Spock (the second main ST character; for the Mac IIx), Tim (PB 170), were names of computers. This is perhaps the easiest, as far as gender is concerned, to conclude.

- Remember, though, names like "Bride of Buster" and "Veronica" for Mac OS 8 were also *occasionally* in Mac OS development, so at least in the beta builds and some early Mac desktop and notebook models, there was a bit of change from the usual male names or place names to feminine ones, but not enough for a reasonable conjecture.

OS X guesses

- OS X definitely had a *very* strong female suggestion in the early versions before Tiger. The UI itself is "Aqua" after water, which in Latin (and derivatives) is feminine, unlike its predecessor "Platinum", although for serious theory, this is irrelevant and probably isn't a deciding factor. 10.0-10.2 default to Victoria, and 10.3-10.4 default to the next-generation version of Victoria, "Vicki". During the G3/G4 era, the iBook G3 clamshell had codenames such as "Lanai" (female), and we can't forget the Power Macintosh G3 Blue&White introduction (love meets power) and one particular iBook G3 "love" commerical, where the narrator says: "Is it possible to fall in love with a computer? Oh... yes, oh, yes, it sure is." (this can be found on YouTube; it was perhaps the weirdest Apple commercial I'd ever heard!) Plus, "Ruby" and "she comes in colors" for the iMac G3 were yet more "love" commericals. While there were the Power Mac G4 commericals, songs by Kermit, etc. that were also used in advertising, it was clear that after 1997, there was a shift in "gender" in the line of products. Also, I've taken apart an iMac G3 2nd generation (Indigo SE) slot-loading computer: 'eve' was printed on one of the boards (but this could have been an illusion and said something else). I always thought it interesting, though, even though the 1st generation iMac G3 tray-loading "Bondi Blue" was codenamed "Elroy" (male).

- But... with Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard", the era of the curved, glossy Macs was over: OS X returned to the male Mac "roots". The system voice defaulted to "Alex" and the mascot (Mac vs. PC) was male. The original curves of the iBook Clamshell, the iMac G3 & G4, and the vintage iPods had long been lost, and I think that the modern-day OS X (after 10.4) is male. The shorthand "Leo" for "Leopard", and 10.7 "Lion" and not "Lioness", for example, prove my point. Mountain Lion completed this cycle.

- So, what will happen with the third generation of OS X (the California-named series)? Mavericks has no gender assigned, but the trend from Lion continues so far. "Syrah", however, though yet another town, the town name itself is feminine in one Western name search; checked through Bing). But, as Android is, Mac OS X is right now inconclusive in its present state... and with Jobs gone, it's doubtful the original fun of names will be as before.

Windows guesses

- The classic Windows, at least, could be defined as male with a little extra guessing on the subject. While the codenames are after places, cities, events, and ski resorts in Windows, and not generally "names" as Apple does (which shows the difference in approach and taste, really), there are other clues we can use. Even when looking at the codenames, we get names such as "Janus", "Odyssey" (the word, though probably not the codename, derives from Odysseus), and "Neptune" (god of the sea). The early versions of Windows really weren't full "operating systems" but were rather a shell on DOS, so let's start with Windows 95. The taskbar and other elements of the system were deep gray-hued, completely square, and devoid of aesthetic beauty we would find in a "feminine" artwork or object by classical definition, and therefore, were most likely masculine. Microsoft Sam is the default voice, and cannot be changed, on Windows 2000 and XP, where he is included. We do have "Gina" as a name within the OS for the Graphical ID and Authentication service, but "Sam" and "Watson" are names used elsewhere, as well as a male teddy bear, and though Windows XP finally included "Luna" (traditionally the moon, regarded as feminine) as a theme that featured more curved elements, it still featured Sam as the default voice, and continued the trend of an unrefined and aesthetically undesigned Windows, in comparison to Aqua on Mac OS X at the time.

- In Vista (and 7, which is really 6.2), this dramatically changed. The system was redefined with Aero to use glass described by some at the time as "sexy", flowing auroras, clean, curved corners and buttons, and was designed to be "gentle" in its sound set (listen to XP sounds vs. Vista). Microsoft Anna not only became, but *replaced* Sam, as the default system voice. The default font changed to the gentle Segoe UI and wizards were made simpler. Vista itself could essentially be defined as trying to "capture" the early OS X experience I was describing earlier, and after "Plex", "Jade" (a feminine name) was used as the development name for the rebooted UI. And although Vista's UI was 'aero' as an initialism for "authentic, energetic, reflective, (and) open", it still retains Jade's characteristics strongly. Therefore, with the above hypotheses, I believe Vista (and probably 7, as it's off the same codebase) are characteristically female.

- Windows 8 could be either--for male attributes, the default voice is now "David", again following Apple, as "Alex" replaced their lower-quality voice as well (though Vicki wasn't that bad at all, imho). The entire system lost it's curved, flowing UI and was replaced with squares from the Start screen down to the dialog buttons, which are now completely squared without a pulse, as well as the entire system in general. 8.1 was nicknamed "Blue"--which is not only a color, but a male name, such as how Red or Redd is (while maybe not applicable, Blu is the male bird in Rio). For female attributes, a "makeup" commercial was done where "8" was one of the female contestants (whether this was official or not, I don't know), and as an official one, Windows 8 competes against an iPad with Siri to show off features. The system does retain the gentle Segoe font. However, it is clearly *not* Vista, but without better evidence, I don't know--it is probably inconclusive as Android would be, since it runs on an array of devices.

Other guesses

- The Palm never has had a gender throughout it's existence; this anthropomorphism is entirely the user's intuitive choice based on the item, I suppose, though I would probably say the Tungsten and Pilot have the most masculine qualities, whereas the m series and Zire series have a more curved, feminine appearance (again, by classical definition of aesthetics, if one wanted to get technical on the subject).

- The commodore generally was a male figure in both fiction and in the marine world, and thus, the Commodore was most likely a male machine. The Amiga, however, was most likely female, as the derived Spanish word is a female friend, just as 'amigo' would denote a male friend.

- Haiku/BeOS really do not have applicable information, though CodyCam (Cody is a male name) is the name of the webcam software. Without going further, this is inconclusive, unless there is an original developer here. :)

- BSD is harder to describe--Hexley the Platypus (mascot for the FreeBSD fork Apple Darwin) is male, and "Beastie" the BSD daemon is male... *but* devilettes (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devilette) also denote BSD as mascots, who are obviously female. No other information is given within the BSD series itself, so this is entirely up to the BSD user for interpretation as there are two sets of mascots (though Beastie is the pre-dominant, primary, and traditional mascot for this system; a bulldog and fish are rarely used, but do make appearances as well).

- FreeDOS is male--as it's fish mascot is male ("RayeR created an image about FreeDOS and Linux. He said he needed a FreeDOS mascot, so he just put the FreeDOS logo on a blue ball-guy." See source: http://freedos.gds.tuwien.ac.at/freedos/images/logos/) but no other evidence exists for this in the OS whatsoever. Really, this *might* be just as DOS for the IBM compatibles was (on Time's Man of the Year cover, an IBM computer was "man of the year" and IBMs throughout history have been male--while this obviously does *nothing* to answer or prove the gender of DOS, would it not at least somewhat match what gender it's original computer was, before calling this a logical fallacy?)

- "Linux" as the kernel is most certainly male! Named for "Linus' Unix" (or Minix, depending on the source), Linux was started by Linus Torvalds, and Tux the Penguin (male as well) is its mascot. And the gnu by the Gnu Project (Gnu software is usually the second half of an average Linux distribution) is also a male character.

But does that mean the operating system in front of you is male, after it has been distributed as essentially a different/new operating system? Debian, for example, is a name combination of Debbie + Ian, and some Debian packages are prefixed with "deb", along with the "deb" extension for *all* Debian packages. Quite possibly, though Debian uses Gnu/Linux or Gnu/Hurd for a complete Gnu system as its core, Debian predominately shows the 'deb' side of 'debian', though during it's Toy Story codename cycle, both male ("Lenny") and female ("Jessie" for Jessica, not the male variant) names have been used. Thus, while Linux is male, it really depends on what distribution you are running--and thus, this is in its full analysis, inconclusive, and really can only be determined per distribution by the user.

- The default login for OpenSolaris was "jack" if I remember right, and the sun (Sol, hence SunOS/Solaris) has always been regarded as a male deity. Therefore, I believe Solaris' gender is without doubt male, though no other clues exist, and while it is named after the sun, even this could be considered by some to be inconclusive.

- And finally, though this really should have went in the Windows category, ReactOS has an atom for its mascot, and thus by default, has no gender--yet. Perhaps a codename will help clarify this if the developers so choose to do so, as it is neither the first or second generation of Windows, but an evolving clone of it.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=--=

I put quite an amount of time and research into this, whether it is apparent or not (as most is opinion), but in any case, please feel free to post it wherever you'd like for others to read!

Note that I don't think that computers or their software/firmware were designed to have a gender, really--and with this, I really think this can get quite weird when it goes beyond naming convention. It is anthropomorphism at best, though I do admit there was something special about Macintosh. All these are guesses based on what I can gather, so these may not be totally accurate.

In any case, I hope this helps answer your question as you wanted WELL!

Thanks for reading!



bigbadbeast2007
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02 Feb 2014, 4:25 am

windows is about predictable as a women anyway



GivePeaceAChance
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09 Feb 2014, 6:12 am

neither gender can understand the other - to state outright one is less predicable than the other makes no logical sense


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Roisin
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10 Feb 2014, 9:53 pm

Windows would be a man - looks all nice and sexy, but will slow down and stop working for no reason, not very dependable, hideously expensive, and almost dies everytime it catches a virus.

Linux would be the woman - stable, reliable, gets the job done.



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10 Feb 2014, 10:08 pm

:D I just about died laughing when I read this, I love it!


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