Blue Meanies (Apple Computer)
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The name, a reference to the evil characters of Pepperland in the movie Yellow Submarine, originated with the "Pink"/"Blue" split in Apple's operating system planning, where "Pink" was to be the further-out project that ultimately became Taligent, while "Blue" designated incremental improvements to the shipping Mac OS. The "Meanie" part of the name derived from the group's architectural role, which frequently entailed telling engineers in other groups what to do.
While the Meanies have sometimes been characterized as the "coders of System 7", the Mac OS was by then sufficiently large that major subsystems such as QuickDraw and QuickTime were developed and maintained by specialized groups, and the Meanies primarily focused on getting the pieces to work together.
The name appeared outside of Apple as an Easter egg starting in System 7.0.1, where the text "Help! Help! We're being held prisoner in a system software factory!" and "The Blue Meanies:" was followed by a list of names. Subsequent releases were updated to track the comings and goings of people in the group.
Since many of the Meanies were also the senior engineers interacting with developers at the Worldwide Developers Conference (especially on the Stump the Experts panel), MacHack, and in other venues, the group came to be well known by its nickname.
A number of notables of the Macintosh world were in the Blue Meanies at one time or another, including these:
- Pogue, David, and Joseph Schorr. "Macintosh Secret: The Secret Message in the System File." Macworld Mac & Power Mac Secrets. Ed. Mary Bednarek. 2nd ed. San Mateo: IDG, 1994. 162. Print. Secrets.