Sunday, October 31, 2004

Thoughts on NetBSD's New Logo

In other BSD news, NetBSD announced their new logo, pictured at left. Slashdot discussed the new logo, with the consensus being it is "uninspired," "corporate," and not "fun." I am not surprised that a tech crowd would think this way. One post broke from this trend by saying:

"If you're trying to get people interested in your product, the first rule is don't offend people. Like it or not, there are folks out there who don't understand the difference between daemon and demon."

I agree with this. I also found it fairly juvenile that Slashdot's moderators rated a complaint about the NetBSD daemons as being "funny." I get plenty of odd looks by airport security when I show them my laptop covered with FreeBSD daemon sticks.

Most importantly, the old NetBSD "logo" doesn't qualify as a logo at all. It's a piece of computer-inspired art that doesn't meet the conditions necessary for a logo. To get an idea of what a good logo looks like, visit Look at their Top 250 Logos as rated by visitors page for ideas of good logos.

All of these logos are simple, clean, and portable across various "platforms" -- T-shirts, mugs, stickers, etc. This sounds like NetBSD, doesn't it? I bet you could also name most or all of the organizations they depict, although the Sun logo is the only one to contain the designated company name.

I would like to see a real logo for FreeBSD as well, preferably one without a daemon. I believe in separation between a logo and a mascot. The FreeBSD mascot is "Beastie," a "daemon." The OpenBSD mascot is the puffer fish. Similarly, Tux the penguin is the Linux mascot, and not its "logo." All three operating systems would do well to follow NetBSD's lead. Maybe DragonFly BSD is ahead of the game?


Anonymous said...

Uhmm Richard.... DragonflyBSD's logo is modeled after it's mascot. Go figure...;-)

I've been using FBSD since late 2.x and OBSD since early 2.x. OBSD used to use various incantations of the Daemon, but also took a lot of liberty to express the humourus side of things, (e.g. mad cow disease). It wasn't until circa 2.6, IIRC, that they switched to "puffy the blowfish", which I think was a reference to replacing unix hash with blowfish in /etc/password. Could be wrong though, it's been a few years.

As a long time *BSD user, it chaps my hide to see the recent push from the religious right to do away with these "satanical daemons" that "possess" their servers, "promote satanism", etc. It's gotten to the point of ridiculousness that some of them refuse to host at places like Pair after learning they're FBSD based. The problem is not with the *BSD daemons, but rather a certain small, but extermely vocal, subpopulation of ingnorant folks who stubbornly choose to remain uninformed, but yet wish to set policy on what others may or may not do.

While your general comments on what makes a good logo are accurate, your position of needing to ditch Darby in favor of something more corporate is, in my opinion, just plain wrong (to put it politely). I used to have some FBSD boxes running in an HP data center. When the screensaver would come on a particular religious nut would unplug the monitor, cycle the kvm to a different machine, etc. I just found it amusing, as my little FBSD machine had 3 times the uptime of the big iron. Then they started pulling drives out of the raid array and other silly, immature games.

So my question is, with a mentalitly like this, why do we care if they use FBSD or not? They don't like it, they can take a hike over to Linux, or whatever. Supposed to be a free country, at least hopefully for a while longer. If someone doesn't like Darby, they're free to look elsewhere. But don't impinge upon MY freedom in the process.

btw-- Tao of NSM was excellent.

Richard Bejtlich said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Richard Bejtlich said...

I'm glad you like my book.

People who have religious views that cause them to be uncomfortable with a demon mascot are not "ingnorant" [sic] or "uninformed." It is possible to be highly religious and highly intelligent simultaneously.

I am disappointed that a subject like a mascot continues to keep people from seeing FreeBSD in the most positive light possible.

I stand by my original posting.