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The Names of the Tools of the Trade

As usual the web is lit up like an indignant christmas tree with discussions about the latest developments in what is usually (and somewhat laughably) called the console war. The big news is Nintendo’s unhinged decision to call their new great gaming hope The Nintendo Wii. The Wii! Pronounced ‘wee’! Oh, the hilarity!

This made me think about names. We routinely talk a load of old rubbish in IT, forced to do so by the strange names of the programs we use. Let’s have a look at some of the big names:

Internet Explorer – good, solid, boring name. Does what it says on the tin. My only issue would be that it really only explores the web, not the whole net. And using its initials makes you sound like you’ve just been stabbed with a protractor. Iiieeeee!

Firefox – much more romantic, mythical sounding. Foxs are… kind of quick. Fire is… sort of fast. OK, so it sounds like a rebranding of the word hotdog, and has nothing to do with the web. Still it does sound cool.

Flash – a great name, as with Firefox it tries to intimate speed, plus the technology is all about adding flashy stuff to websites. Makes me think of the Queen song and the film, which can’t be a bad thing. Perhaps a slight hint of self-exposure is in there, but it’s well hidden.

Dreamweaver – hilariously unconnected to what it does. A great program (and this is coming from an avowed hand-coder), but sitting there with your tables and CSS palettes does not feel particularly dreamlike. Also makes me think of spoof horror writer Garth Marenghi, who describes himself as ‘Author, Dreamweaver, Visionary’.

Photoshop – it is, basically, the modern version of a photoshop. Sounds definitive, and is.

The Gimp – everything I feel about this program is summed up in that name. Except I’m more inclined to leave it sleeping than ever decide to ‘bring out the gimp’

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