Apple and Mac 68k Forum Forum Index Apple and Mac 68k Forum - since January, 24. 2005
  Home    FAQFAQ    SearchSearch    MemberlistMemberlist    UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
Apple Facts - About The Dogcow Clarus... Moof!

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Apple and Mac 68k Forum Forum Index -> 68K Mac - E
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Site Admin

Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Posts: 304
Location: Berlin, Germany

PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 11:29 pm    Post subject: Apple Facts - About The Dogcow Clarus... Moof! Reply with quote

The Dogcow says moof!

The famous Dogcow Clarus has become a legend within the Apple community.
It was originally created by Susan Kare and was included in the Cairo font, which shipped with the original Macintosh. At this time, neither the Dogcow nor Clarus have been recognised. No one notices this little dog in the Cairo symbol zoo... No-one except a few developers working on some printing software.

Susan Kare's original Clarus

When the Cairo font was discontinued soon thereafter, the Dogcow moved to the LaserWriter driver 4.0 and became the Apple Developer Technical Support's (DTS) mascot.

Susan Kare's original Clarus in Cairo font and in the LaserWriter driver panel

The Dogcow's name is Clarus, she is a female and her cry is Moof!

Before October 1987, it was unclear what exactly the Dogcow was. However, when asked whether it was a dog or a cow, Scott Zimmerman spontaneously replied that it was both - a Dogcow, "a special genetic hybrid."

The Dogcow could be found in all versions of the Macintosh operating system until MacOS X. It was used in the Print Setup options panel. The usage of the Dogcow there was not just a joke by some developer, but was rather ingenious, because with just one picture, options like inverted image or larger printing area could be explained.

In late 1980s, the Dogcow became more and more popular and was used by other developer groups. It went even that far, that Microsoft used the Dogcow in one of their advertisements.

In order to stop the misuse of the Dogcow, Mark Johnson and Mark Harlan of the DTS came up with the idea to write a Technial Note about the Dogcow: the famous Technical Note #31. Originally, this technical note was intended to be an April Fool's joke and was included in the April issue of Apple's monthly developer mailing list. The response to this technical note was overwhelmingly positive. Later, the Technical Note #31 was also included on the first few Apple Developer CDs as an easter-egg (only accessible with a special key combination).

Apple later registered a trademark for Dogcow and Moof!.

Following the Technial Note about the Dogcow:
the famous Technical Note #31.


#31: The Dogcow

Written by: Mark "The Red" Harlan April 1989

Recently we've been getting a lot of questions about the dogcow in DTS. The purpose of this Technical Note is to clear up any confusion that you may have, and more importantly, to get you to quit bugging me about it.
What is a Dogcow?

I wish I had a nickel for every time I've heard this question--by now I'd have enough money to buy a "Changing the world, one person at a time" bumper sticker. Dogcows, by their nature, are not all dog, nor are they all cow, but they are a special genetic hybrid. They are rarely seen in the wild. Since dogcows are two dimensional, they will stand facing a viewer "on edge" to avoid being seen.

The dogcow has no natural enemies, but the meager population manages to keep itself in check through its own stupidity. They have a nasty tendency to graze off cliffs (in fact, there are no known "cliff-dwelling dogcows" left in existence) and to get lost in the weeds. You've probably noticed that when you cut very high grass, you tend to get a lot of "paper" in the grass clippings; closer examination would show that much of it is actually dogcow. When a mower approaches, dogcows often actually change their hide to resemble newspaper as a final line of defense--hence the famous expression, "black and white and read all over."

But What Does This Have to do With the Macintosh?

There is a life-size picture of a dogcow conveniently located in the Finder. Look under "Page Setup..." Now look under "Options." Walla [sic], there is the dogcow in all it's raging glory. Like any talented dog, it can do flips. Like any talented cow, it can do precision bitmap alignment. The reason that the dogcow can invert has to do with the fact that it's genes have about as much order as the crowd at a *** Pistols concert.

The dogcow has a name, and it's not Myria. The dogcow's name is Clarus. Several people have said to me, "Mark, you handsome devil, I think I've heard that name, or something similar, somewhere before." I always tell them, "No, you're hallucinating again. You never remember anything." The dogcow's name is Clarus for the same reason you call a table a "table." Make sure to note that Miss Manners says:

Gentle Reader,

You should only address a dogcow by name, and then only after it has spoken to you. Miss Manners would not consider "Moof!"a term of affection.

Whether or not the animal in the Macintosh dialog is just a picture of a dogcow or an actual dogcow has been widely debated, mostly by people who were procrastinating getting their real work done. I personally would argue that it is just a picture, but I'm sure a large sum of money could change my mind.

A Little History Perhaps?

A picture of the dogcow first appeared in the Cairo font in the original Macintosh. As the font became, dare I say, endangered, the dogcow has moved over into LaserWriter driver 4.0, and no one's been able to get rid of it yet.

At this point, it should be noted that dogcows are notorious for brainwashing people, and it's likely that a dogcow would make someone "think" that they added its picture to a dialog of their own free will, when the dogcow actually had complete control. Moofo the "psychic dogcow" is the best example of dogcows and mind control.[1] This mind control explains behavior like dogcow buttons appearing and disappearing in different copies of the same ad. The weaker a subject's mind, the more power a dogcow will have over that subject.

Scott "ZZ" Zimmerman of MacDTS was the person who actually coined the term "dogcow," on October 15, 1987. Prior to that, it was referred to scientifically by biologists as, "that weird looking thing," and by computer geeks as "the doggie dialog." Just like the space program gave you the advanced technology for teflon, Apple has fathered the research in dogcow biology.

Upon closer examination, I discovered that dogcows actually "speak." In a very excited condition, like being near an open can of Mountain Dew[2], dogcows will say "Boo Woo! Moof!" But it is much more common to hear them just say, "Moof!" [3]

The dogcow is the mascot ("icon" for you gear heads) of DTS. It was not created here, but it was turned loose on the world for us to support. The dogcow was kicked around, laughed at, and virtually orphaned from everyone's memory. We decided that we should take it under our roof. It's a monument to every developer who's ever gone running off through the weeds with an idea or seen their program grazing off the cliff. It represents every member of Developer Technical Support because it has roughly the same IQ.

Of course, now the dogcow is very popular, you may see someone outside of DTS with a dogcow button or shirt .

Okay, So How Do I Draw a Dogcow?

There is actually a mathematical way to do it. Any cycloid in the intersection of the Bovine and Canine coordinate systems will give you a dogcow. As you would suspect, the bigger the cycloid, the more personality the dogcow. For those of you that don't have a Ph.D. in mathematics, it's probably better if I give you a picture so you can trace lines.

I Was Told There Would be No Math!

Too bad.

Aanal, Enacku Naiimadu Kaanali!

The reason that you can't see the dogcow is probably due to the fact that you are running an Arabic System. The Options dialog in Arabic Systems has a horse instead, sorry.

Are You Finished Yet?

Almost. Really I'm surprised that you've made it this far in life without knowing more about dogcows. I'm even surprised that you've made it this far in the Technical Note without throwing it away. I think it's only appropriate to close with a quote from the Poetry Muse:

A dogcow is what I want to be.

Pictured in dialogs,
Running through the weeds,
In and out of advertisements,
Loving my naughty deeds.

Feeling in black and white.

Over the edge of cliffs,
Out with the tide in the sea.
Living life to the fullest,
Sweet survival in 2 D.

[1] Apologies to Penn and Teller.

[2] Mountain Dew is a registered trademark of Pepsico, Inc.

[3] See the Technical Note Stack for an example.

Found at

MacOS aka Oliver

Last edited by MacOS on Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:59 am; edited 11 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Site Admin

Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Posts: 304
Location: Berlin, Germany

PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Dogcow is a bitmapped image first introduced by Apple Computer. It is the shape of a dog with nose and spots that look like a cow, originally created in 1983 as part of the Cairo font by Susan Kare as the glyph for 'z'.

The image of the dogcow was used to show the orientation and color of the paper in the Mac OS page setup dialog box in versions prior to Mac OS X. HCI engineer Annette Wagner made the decision to use the dog from the Cairo font as a starting point for the page graphic. Annette edited the original font and created a larger version with spots more suitable for demonstrating various printing options. The new dog graphic had a more bovine look, and after the print dialog was released the name "dogcow" came into use.

When the dogcow was removed in Mac OS X, many people requested that Apple bring it back. The dogcow image had virtually reached cult status. Third party developers have since worked to fill this gap.

It is an Apple Worldwide Developer Tech Support group mascot. The original dogcow was named Clarus by Apple employees. The sound she makes is "Moof!"

Microsoft used their own variant of the dogcow in their PowerPoint presentation software, with a bell, and a fatter body.

Facts about the Dogcow

* In the mid 1990s, when Apple installed an Icon Garden, Clarus the Dogcow was one of the icons featured between two of the R&D buildings. There is even a QuickTime VR movie of the Icon Garden.


by Tom Clark (Apple Inc.)

Seeing as how I exist in the world of the DogCow on a daily basis, I feel
compelled to relate this amusing anectdote:

Here at the Apple R&D Campus (1-6 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA, 95014).
We have what we like to refer to as the "Icon Garden". It's essentially
a sculpture garden containing huge representations of many familiar
Macintosh icons: PaintBucket, Arrow Cursor, etc...
Well, there is also a giant Clarus the DogCow in the garden,
approximately 6' high by 12' long. A few April Fool's Day's ago, some
enterprising soul added an additional icon to the garden - a giant turd
icon right under Clarus' butt! It stayed there a remarkable three or
four days before THE AUTHORITIES "caught wind" and removed it.

btw, if anyone is interested in DogCow paraphernalia, they've got
T-shirts and stuff down in the Apple Company Store. Let me know if you're
interested, or better yet, stop by when you're in the area. Tell them
employee #18729 sent 'ya!!


* Currently, Apple owns the trademarks "dogcow" and "Moof!", but not "Clarus".
* Apple's classic "Disk Copy" application features the dogcow wagging her tail and doing flips at the busy cursor.
* Technote 31 was the famous Apple technote describing Clarus and what she was. In numerous Technotes after that, Apple developers thanked Clarus, used the name in some of the code, used the "moof" sound in applications and inserted little tidbits about who she was. Another major technote describing more about Clarus and the dogcow was Technote 1031.
* Apple DTS engineer Brian Bechtel created and maintained a webpage at the ADC site, but the website has not been updated since the ADC site overhaul and cannot be found, although many of the pages from that site regarding the dogcow are available on Jory's Dogcow Shrine.
* According to Technote 31, when mowing tall grass, paper ends up in the grass clippings. Much of this is said to be shredded dogcow, when the dogcow turns itself to newspaper as a last resort.
* The dogcow appears in SimLife.
* Jamie Marshall has created a Dashboard widget of Clarus named, appropriately enough, Moof! This widget made a brief appearance at WWDC 06 during section 9 of the Mac OS X "Leopard" (10.5) presentation.
* ClarusX2005 is a Mac OS X Tiger haxie that returns the dogcow to her proper place as a printer page setup dialog icon.
* Clarus currently appears as a sample Address Book entry in Apple's Mac 101 support site.

External Links:
Technical Note TN1031
Freak A Nest of Dogcattle (
Freak The Clarus Museum
Freak ClarusX2005 is a Mac OS X Tiger haxie to replace the page setup dialog icons
Freak Story Bytes ó Moof! in Mind!
Freak The Story behind Clarus, The Apple Dogcow
Freak A Footnote on the History of the Dogcow - April Fool's at Apple
Freak Myths, legends and reality: the story of Clarus at Moof Museum
MacOS aka Oliver

Last edited by MacOS on Sun Dec 17, 2006 2:22 am; edited 3 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Site Admin

Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Posts: 304
Location: Berlin, Germany

PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 3:24 am    Post subject: A brief Dogcow timeline Reply with quote

A brief Dogcow timeline:

    Susan Kare designs the z letter for Cairo font, a little dog.

    The printing development team at Apple uses this icon in LaserWriter 4, she flip and do precision alignment "according to the user settings".

    Scott Zimmerman refers to it as a Dogcow. Others claim that the word "Dogcow" was first uttered by Ginger Jernigan during an internal meeting at Apple.


    On October 15th 1987, the animal's species was first identified as a Dogcow, and she first cried "Moof!" to the world under the direction of Mark Harlan and Scott Zimmerman. Then Mark Harlan appropriated her image for his internal mail.

    Whatever the case may be, the Dogcow made her first public appearance during the 1988 WWDC (WorldWide Developer Conference) on badges worn at the "Debugging Labs" sessions. CEO John Sculley also wore this badge during his keynote speech.

    The DTS team used the Dogcow in their internal mail and made several different "Moof!" badges, stickers, bags and mouse pads. All these articles were made in small numbers and not distributed outside Apple.

    Clarus is the WWDC mascot.

    Mark Harlan writes TechNote 31 and calls the Dogcow "Clarus".

    First appearance in QuickTime by Guillermo Ortiz and Scott Zimmerman.

    Cairo font last distributed with System 7.1. Original representation disappear.

    A sculpture of Clarus appears in Apple's garden in Cupertino CA.

    First QuickTime VR appearance by George Warner and Joe Cannon.

    Clarus disappears from Apple's garden.

    Clarus disappears from its original nest : LaserWriter dialog box in MacOS X : read more about ths story.

    Clarus disappears from the Apple Web site : "Nest of the DogCattle" page was closed.
    The page is still availabla at

    Clarus appears at¥s User Forum LOL

MacOS aka Oliver

Last edited by MacOS on Sun Dec 17, 2006 2:48 am; edited 3 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Site Admin

Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Posts: 304
Location: Berlin, Germany

PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After an image search for Clarus the Dogcow:

Found at

Moof! The T-Shirt

Moof! The Desktop at

Clarus in a Japanese PowerBook 100 System 7.1 - Moof!


A Footnote on the History of the Dogcow

April Fool's at Apple - As told by Matthew Lewis Carroll Smith

Meanwhile, Matthew and his friends at Light Software decided to play a little April Fool's joke at Apple's R&D campus. In the dark of night they diligently constructed an amazingly realistic pile of offal which they placed appropriately behind the DowCow sculpture. They dubbed it "Power Feces" and came back the next morning to see people's reactions.

Apple wasn't happy with it at all. Actually Apple didn't give a flying flip one way or the other. Come on, this is the west coast! Who would notice?

Read the complete story at

MacOS aka Oliver
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Apple and Mac 68k Forum Forum Index -> 68K Mac - E All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

1-bit Theme by