.sosumi

“sosumi” lives on in Apple’s source code.

After heavily drooling over iPhone 5 and iOS 6, I was reading the HTML for Apple.com‘s homepage, and I came across something that made me smile.

Here’s the snippet:

The division of code that details their legal info has a class of “sosumi”, which intentionally sounds and looks Japanese but is really a reference to a famous Apple sound and trademark dispute.

The short story is that Apple Computer had been fighting against Apple Corps for the right to use the name “Apple”. Apple Corps (owned The Beatles) gave them that right if they stayed out of music. Things got tricky, however, when it came down to anything even slightly musical, including system alert sounds.

When Jim Reekes was designing sound for System 7, the now-famous sosumi alert was thought, by Apple’s legal team, to be too musical. “So sue me” was Jim’s reply, which he then used as the name for the sound. Written as “sosumi”, he convinced the lawyers that it was Japanese, and they allowed it.

It seems someone on Apple’s web team remembers that story and still has a sense of humor about it. You can read (slightly) more on the sosumi Wikipedia page.

Author: Miles Rausch

I've made a smart playlist of all the songs with 0 plays. I listen to them because I feel bad for them not because I like the music. I'm THAT guy.