… by any other name


If you’ve downloaded pfSense 2.1, you might have noticed that the footer has changed.  What used to say “BSD Perimeter” now says “ESF”.   In early Spring it became apparent that we should consider a reorganization of the company.  BSD Perimeter is still incorporated in Kentucky, but all of the directors and owners live in Texas.   Re-incorporating gave us chance to clean up a few issues, and to change the name, signaling a break with the past.

Selecting names is never easy, as “all the good ones are taken”.   We all wanted a name with both meaning and a bit of fun.  There was also an opportunity to make the company name more flexible.  Apple did this a few years ago when it changed its name from Apple Computer to simply Apple.  Many names were floated, all were dismissed by one of us.   We finally settled on Electric Sheep Fencing, (abbreviated ESF).   The fantastic 1984 film Blade Runner was based on the novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick, and this served as the catalyst.  We had, at one point, considered an even deeper reference, Shimata-Dominguez Corporation.  (Wait until about the 2:51 mark.)   We even registered a domain, but decided in the end that this reference is just too obscure.

Anyway,  “fencing”, or protection for “electric sheep” (computers).  It seems apt.  And hey, thematic elevator music.


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7 Responses to “… by any other name”

  1. NimaMHD Says:

    The name is very good meaning 🙂

    with best wishes
    Good Job.

  2. Chia Says:

    Hi, I think “Electric Sheeps” are bits of informations, and the fence is not to protect them, more to prevent diservication …
    and, by the way, how’s the sheperds dog?

  3. pfSense 2.1, pfSense Gold Subscription and ESF | FreeBSD News Says:

    […] The company behind pfSense has changed its name from BSD Perimeter to ESF. You will never guess what ESF stands for….. Electric Sheep Fencing. […]

  4. Nick Says:

    Electric Sheep is my favorite screensaver of all time, too. Can I Electric Sheep on my Electric Sheep now?

  5. Klaws Says:

    This still does not tell if Deckard was a replicant.

    Whatever. I hust hope hope that my pfSense box doesnÄt start dreaming of unicorns…

  6. Adam Thompson Says:

    That’s one MIDI (or MP3) file I wouldn’t mind terribly if it started auto-playing when I visit your website 🙂

  7. e}{o Says:

    Perfect Name 🙂

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