Apple uses cat names to represent versions of OS X. It is important to know both the cat name and the version number of OS X that you are using. Sometimes you will hear or read the cat name, and sometimes the version number. So knowing which ones match which is important.
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today’s episode let’s take a look at Mac OS X Cat Names.
If you have a new Mac you may know that you have Mac OS 10.8 Mountain Lion. Some people refer to it by just the cat name, Mountain Lion. Other’s refer to it by just its number, 10.8. They are one and the same thing.
Now it is important if you have a Mac to be able to identify your operating system and also know the cat name and the number. So no matter which way you hear it you know if they are referring to your version or an older one or a newer one.
If you go can choose Apple and About This Mac you will get a window like this that identifies your operating system by the numbers. In this case 10.8. It won’t tell you that it is Mountain Lion. The name isn’t used here.
But if we go to the Mac AppStore you will see that it is used. It is called OS X Mountain Lion. Its used as the name, not the number. So it is important to know that they are one and the same thing.
So let’s look at the history of the cat names. Of course we are at Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Before that we had Lion and before that was Snow Leopard. It is important not to read too much into the names because each version of Mac OS X is very different than the previous one. It is a full version different.
For instance between 10.6 and 10.5 you had Leopard and Snow Leopard. But they are very different versions. There was a big leap between the two of them. So there is really no relation because they have a similar name like Leopard and Snow Leopard or Lion and Mountain Lion. There is no relation between the versions and any indication of how big the jump is.
Now before Leopard we had Tiger and before that was Panther and before that was Mac OS X 10.2 which was Jaguar. This was the first time that Apple actually used the tiger name. Originally the tiger names were just these names that the software developers used inside of Apple. They weren’t something that was used outside. But they became so popular in the press that Apple decided to go with them as part of their marketing.
So before Jaguar there was Puma, but Puma was never actually used as a name for Mac OS X at all. Actually the original version of Mac OS X was Cheetah and that was also something that was just used internally. As a matter of fact the version before Cheetah, the beta version of Mac OS X was known as Kodiak referring to a bear, not a tiger.
It is also interesting to note that Apple has already repeated cats because of course some of these names refer to the same animal. For instance a puma, cougar and mountain lion are technically the same animal and a leopard and a panther are technically as well. It is also important to note that tiger names are kind of weird. For instance leopard and snow leopard are not related.
If you really want to know more you can go to Wikipedia’s page on big cats and there you can see how all of the different big cats are related. For instance tigers, lions and jaguars are all under the same genus but cheetahs have their own and snow leopards have their own whereas cougars are technically pumas.
We don’t yet know what Mac OS 10.9 will use as a name. It could use another repeated name like cougar which technically is the same as mountain lion or it could go and recycle one of the earlier names that wasn’t officially used, say like cheetah. Or Apple could just completely get away from the cat names and use something completely different.
Hope you found this interesting. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.