Computer Symbol Madness

Where did all those weird and strange computer symbols come from?  This may be one of the questions that continues to nag at your brain.  Just WTF do they mean and where did they come from?  Well…

The Power Button:

During World War II engineers used binary to label individual power buttons.  1 meant on and 0 meant off.  Simple enough.  The symbol to the left became the “standby power state” symbol in 1973, labeled by the International Electro-technical Commissions.  The symbol was though too vague, and the interpetition of the symbol simply became know as “power”.

The “At” Symbol

Also called the Snail in France and Italy and the Little Mouse in China.  In 1971 a programmer Raymond Tomlinson thought it would be a good idea to insert the “at” symbol between computer network addresses in order to create a clear separation between the user and their respective terminal.  Even before the 20th Century @ was used in in the 1880’s by accountants meaning “at the rate of”.


The USB Symbol was made to represent Neptune’s Trident, the all powerful Dreizack (basically a pitchfork).  Promoters of the USB decided to alter the shapes to a triangle, circle and a square to give idea that the USB had many potential applications.


Well, the 1st Bluetooth device had teeth like shapes and was…….blue.

I feel as though we all learned something here today, don’t you?Peace out.

Airborne Gamer
Airborne Gamer
Gaming is my medicine and writing is my drug. Is it making sense now? "WELCOME TO WARP ZONE!"


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