RIP dogcow (moof)

The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) posts that Apple Technote #31, describing Clarus, the Dogcow, seems to have gone missing on the Apple Developer Website. The dogcow is a bit of apple lore that turned up again and again in various places in Apple software over the years. Removing technote 31 does not bode well for the corporatization of Apple. Fortunately, as someone in the TUAW comments pointed out, you can still find technote 31 at I note that wikipedia has a big page about the dogcow as well (although it is sadly quite factual and dry).

I’m remembering a dust-up a long time ago when I was at Stupid Company when an unknown writer edited out a line from the tunefs(8) man page that said “You can tune a file system, but you can’t tune a fish.” Presumably it was removed because it was funny. Can’t have that. But back then greater minds prevailed and it was put back with great fanfare and a big comment added to the source that said this joke was a Unix tradition and should not be removed.

Alas I just checked the tunefs man page from a recent Stupid Company OS release and it’s gone again. Wah.

(I got it from

2 thoughts on “RIP dogcow (moof)

  1. Yup, that’s the story and the comment that I’m thinking of. My take on it is slightly different because I saw it happen from the inside.

    Good to know it was SVr4 and not another humorless writer that removed it the second time, though. (SVr4, being from AT&T, is naturally humorless)

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