(Answer) (Category) distributed.net Faq-O-Matic : (Category) General background information : (Answer) What's with all the cows?
Early on in distributed.net's formation, Jeff Lawson decided that it was necessary to associate an easily recognizable figurehead with the effort in order to gain support and a wide following. Because Jeff's webserving computer at the time of distributed.net's formation had the hostname of bovine.st.hmc.edu, the term "bovine" (meaning "of cowlike qualities") quickly became associated with the organization.

The Cow! Throughout distributed.net's history, the cheerful smiling cow icon was found to have a high appeal among participants, and attempts to change the icon to something else incited panic and riots among our users. The cow icon was quickly returned.

Although in the past, distributed.net had planned to associate distinct animals for each new project ("Project Bovine: RC5", "Project Monarch: DES", "Project Kangaroo: OGR", "Project Polarbear: CSC"), many of our users indicated that they much preferred seeing a greater role given to the easygoing cow. Therefore the friendly bovine cow has now been chosen to be the official mascot for all distributed.net projects.

High-resolution images (in several vector formats) of the cow logo can be obtained from http://www.distributed.net/logos/
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