Bubble Gum <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

>> I just want to ask (i'm sorry if it's a silly question),why freebsd
>> logo use "devil" character?

Answered by Paul A. Hoadley and Peter Ulrich Kruppa:
>It's not a devil.  It's a daemon.
> 1) It isn't a devil but a small daemon, ... programs called daemons,  ... 
> 2) [It's] name is beastie, ... a quasihomophone to BSD ... 
> 3) On http://www.freebsdmall.com you can buy Tee-shirts, ...

As a recent member of OOOF (The Organization of Obsolete Old Fogies) I was
there (well, nearby) when it happened.

Back in the early days of UNIX (as then it was typset), when the mists
of the Big Iron Age were yet to clear, and v5 and v6 were new and Lions
had not yet written, there was called a moot or assembly, and the practice
of distributing tee shirts to commemorate a moot was also young.  And
someone commissioned a tee shirt, and someone drew it (and their names
may be found elsewhere), and it showed a PDP-11 to which heavy galvanized
plumbing was added.  Beneath one leaky pipe fitting was a large wooden
barrel named `/dev/null', and on the plumbing there sat some number of
small horn'd figures, red, with arrow-pointed tails and tridents (which
the uneducated describe as pitchforks), and one of these daemons has just
prodded another to leap from his perch, who might be said to be forking off.

Backstory on `demon/daemon': In pre-Christian (ie. Greek) thinking, a
daemon was a spirit, neither angelic nor diabolical, which took care of
something, someone, or someplace.  (This was education by osmosis, so feel
free to correct me.)  In Plato's _The Death of Socrates_ (or _Last Days of
Socrates_, or ...) you can read Socrates speculation on the hereafter, and
of a guide spirit that he expects will be there to greet him.

As to the name: it's my speculation that, when Christianity came along, the
world got divided into the divine and angelic .vs. the diabolical, with us in
the middle, and anything that was neither divine nor angelic nor human had to
be diabolical.  So over time, and probably through forgetting and rediscovery
of the word, the helpful or friendly or simply neutral daemon became the demon.

I don't know if Ritchie or Thompson were the first to use the name for a
computer service.  It seems likely that at least one of them was overeducated.

So no, there is nothing diabolical about FreeBSD, unlike a certain `32 bit
extension to a 16 bit kluge on an eight-bit operating system for a four-bit
microprocessor written by a two-bit company that can't stand one bit of

May we never forget the ``story'' in History.

         Mark Terribile

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