One of my favorite anecdotes from Apple lore is the story of the system sound called “Sosumi.”
I’ve tossed it into a few posts, but I never offered any explanation – in case you don’t already know this important piece of American corporate history.
First, the all important backstory: Apple (the computer maker) and Apple Corps (the music company founded by the Beatles) have a lot of bad blood between them. Apple (the computer maker bestowed on mankind by the almighty Steves*) could have avoided it all by picking a different name when they started. Of course, then they wouldn’t be Apple (that’s not supposed to be funny, by the way). Their disputes go deeper than names though. Apple’s computers kept making too much noise (the kind that sounds suspiciously like music), and Apple Corps cried foul (perhaps rightly so).
Anyway, here’s the story about sosumi – on the off chance you haven’t figured it out already (from Wikipedia):
When new sounds for System 7 were created, the sounds were reviewed through Apple’s legal department and they objected that one of the new system sound alerts as having a name that was “too musical”, as per the recent settlement. The creator of the new sound alerts for System 7 and the Macintosh Startup Sound, Jim Reekes, had grown frustrated with the legal scrutiny and first quipped it should be named “Let It Beep”, a pun on The Beatles’ “Let It Be”. When someone remarked that that wouldn’t pass legal’s approval, he remarked “so sue me.”
Sosumi was born.
*… in the name of Jobs, the Woz, and the holy Mac… amen.