Mac Nostalgia: A Look Back at Clarus the Dogcow Mac Nostalgia: A Look Again at Clarus the Dogcow In a brand new video shared this week by 512 Pixels, Stephen Hackett appears into the historical past of Clarus the Dogcow, a bitmapped picture designed as a part of the Cairo font to be used on the Macintosh. Whereas beginning as a part of a easy font language, Clarus grew to prominence on Mac through the years, turning into a well-liked a part of Apple iconography all through the 1980s and 1990s.

As Hackett explains in his video, Clarus was designed by graphic designer Susan Kare in 1983. Kare created the assorted fonts for the Macintosh’s consumer interface, and one font particularly had a novel set of glyphs and pictures to symbolize the alphabet, known as a dingbat font. The letter “z” was represented by a small creature that appeared to merge a canine along with a cow.

Clarus grew to become so endearing to Apple engineers that the Dogcow appeared in varied printing packages on Macintosh computer systems, indicating to customers which orientation the paper could be in when it was printed. Finally, Scott Zimmerman coined the time period “Dogcow” in 1987 and Apple worker Mark Harlan named the character Clarus in Technote 31 within the Developer Technical Help paperwork, to make clear the small animal folks have been seeing within the printing software program.

Photos through 512 Pixels

Within the entry referred to as “The Dogcow,” Harlan said, “Dogcows, by their nature, usually are not all canine, nor are all of them cow, however they’re a particular genetic hybrid. They’re hardly ever seen within the wild. Since dogcows are two dimensional, they are going to stand going through a viewer “on edge” to keep away from being seen.”

Hackett: “Apple was nonetheless performing properly at this level, with the darkish days of the mid-90s nonetheless a number of years off, and the corporate had a humorousness about itself.”

Clarus the Dogcow rose to prominence within the early and mid 1990s, thanks to some movies of the character in early variations of QuickTime. One video exhibits Clarus driving a merry-go-round, whereas one other has the character spinning in varied instructions.

Right now, the looks of Clarus as an Apple icon actually started to take off, with the Dogcow displaying up in official Apple documentation about rendering on-screen graphics, mousepads, t-shirts, a model of beer referred to as “Moof Bräu”, and even within the Icon Backyard on Apple’s Infinite Loop campus.

Because the 1990s ended, so did the peak of Clarus the Dogcow. In response to Hackett, “Whereas it is laborious to pin the Dogcow’s decline immediately on Steve Jobs, Clarus grew to become more durable and more durable to identify after his return to Apple. The Icon Backyard got here down, and Mac OS X used a less-fun picture on the Web page Setup display screen. Whereas Clarus made a short look with OS X’s Handle E-book, it was hardly a comeback. The get together, as they are saying, was over.”

Clarus has made occasional appearances in recent times, with WWDC builders final 12 months receiving a Clarus the Dogcow pin as a part of their swag baggage.

These within the historical past of Clarus the Dogcow ought to take a look at the 512 Pixels video and Hackett’s Historical past of Clarus the Dogcow.

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