History of Famous Technological Icons


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This deck outlines the brief history of some famous technological icons.

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History of Famous Technological Icons

  1. 1. History of Famous Technology Icons Praveen Verma
  2. 2. Wikipedia: A symbol is an object that represents, stands for, or suggests an idea, visual image, belief, action, or material entity. Merriam Webster 1: a usually pictorial representation : IMAGE 2: [Late Greek eikōn, from Greek] : a conventional religious image typically painted on a small wooden panel and used in the devotions of Eastern Christians 3: an object of uncritical devotion : IDOL 4: EMBLEM, SYMBOL <the house became an icon of 1960's residential architecture — Paul Goldberger> 5a: a sign (as a word or graphic symbol) whose form suggests its meaning 5b: a graphic symbol on a computer display screen that usually suggests the type of object represented or the purpose of an available function What is an Icon?
  3. 3. praveenkvma • It is known as a ―snail‖ in Italy and a ―monkey tail‖ in the Netherlands. For lack of better term Spanish and Portuguese used ―asperand‖ or ―ampersand‖ but did not achieve widespread use. • As far back as the sixth century, @ was used as a ligature to combine the letters of the Latin preposition ad into one pen stroke. • It was used in Venetian and Spanish trade dealings as a unit of measure. Eventually it came to mean ―at the rate of,‖ as in ―12 peaches @ $1.50—for a total of $18.‖ • By 1885 the symbol appeared on the American Underwood typewriter, though it was used less and less over time. • In1971 Ray Tomlinson, charged by the tech R&D company Bolt, Beranek and Newman with developing a way to send messages between computers on the ARPAnet. • Ray decided to use the symbol in an early e-mail because it naturally implied location—and was already on keyboards. @ symbol used as the initial "a" for the "amin" (amen) formula in the Bulgarian translation of the Manasses Chronicle (c. 1345). @ used to signify French "à" ("at") from a 1674 protocol from a Swedish court The Aragonese @ symbol used in the 1448 "taula de Ariza" registry to denote a wheat shipment from Castile to the Kingdom of Aragon. "Tomlinson performed a powerful act of design that not only changed the @ sign's significance, but enabled it to become an important part of our identity in relationship and communication with others.” – Sr. Curator MOMA @ is the only icon to be included in the MoMa’s architecture and design collection.
  4. 4. Switch Off Your Phones • During World War II, engineers started using a binary system to label power buttons: 1 meant ―on,‖ and 0 meant ―off.‖ That system evolved into this icon. • It was created by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which combined both numerals. The IEC intended it to mean ―stand by.‖ • Electronics Engineers later put forward a different definition: ―power.‖ Mac Air Keyboard Windows 8.1 Mac Mini
  5. 5. Copy – Paste • Apple Key, Open-Apple Key, Pretzel Key, Squiggly Button, Meta Key, etc. • Steve Jobs in 1983 made the Apple logo less ubiquitous. Until then, the key was marked by the Macintosh fruit. • Andy Hertzfeld from Mac development team, along with designer Susan Kare, wound up choosing this looped square after leafing through a dictionary of symbols. • In ancient times it was put on homes and utensils to ward off bad luck, and it’s still used as a ―local attraction‖ sign across Northern Europe. • The symbol is also known as St. John’s Arms or Saint Hannes cross, related to Swedish sankthanskors and Finnish hannunvaakuna. Cheese moulds with Saint John’s Arms motif, seen in the Finnish National Museum, Helsinki.
  6. 6. Send Me The Song! • The symbol for a short-distance wireless connection is derived from two runes representing the initials of King Harald Bluetooth, who ruled areas of Denmark and Norway in the 10th century. • The Bluetooth logo is a bind rune merging the Younger Futhark runes Runic letter (Hagall) (ᚼ) and Runic letter (Bjarkan) (ᚼ), King Harald's initials. • King Bluetooth was famous for uniting the Danish tribes; his technological counterpart is a way to unite devices through the exchange of signals. • The name was suggested by Intel’s Jim Kardach, who was part of a multi-company working group, and was intended to be temporary. • The technology had to launch quickly, the group decided to go with ―Bluetooth‖ until the marketing folks could come up with something better, which they never did. Hagall Bjarkan Apple iOS
  7. 7. Where is my USB? • This icon is based on Neptune’s trident, the mighty Dreizack. • The circle, triangle, and square on the icon indicate different types of electronic devices that can be connected.
  8. 8. • The FireWire symbol was designed by Apple in 1995. • It is used to indicate a way to rapidly transfer data between devices – faster than USB. • The three icon prongs represent video, audio, and data. • Initially, the symbol was red, but was later altered to yellow for unknown reasons – but not all devices use it in color. No FireWire slot? External Hard Drive
  9. 9. • Ethernet icon was designed by IBM’s David Hill. • The icon resembles three connected computers. • It was intended to depict a network of multiple devices. Seriously? No WiFi! Dell Studio Hybrid Gizmodo points out, the symbol looks a lot like Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe’s early sketches of the system.
  10. 10. Thanks!