The Anachronistic Labelling of ‘Macintosh HD’

Adam Engst, TidBits:

My search confirmed my initial hunch that there is only one official remaining use of the word “Macintosh” by today’s Apple: the default “Macintosh HD” name of the internal drive on a new Mac. Many Mac users personalize that name immediately, although less experienced Mac users often don’t realize they’re allowed to change it. (If you’ve never done it, just click the name once to select it and a second time to start editing it, just like a file or folder.)


What’s most curious about this vestigial naming is that everything about it is wrong. Besides the anachronistic use of “Macintosh,” the “HD” abbreviation for “hard disk” or “hard drive” refers to a spinning disk drive, whereas most Macs rely on SSDs (solid-state drives). Even the case-less hard drive icon in the Quick Look preview window incorrectly uses an image of a spinning disk to represent an SSD.

As Engst illustrates, the CoreTypes bundle in MacOS contains icons for all kinds of drives: different external drive types, shared drives, and even fossils like ZIP drives. But MacOS stubbornly names the built-in drive “Macintosh HD” by default and still assigns it a spinning disk icon — which, by the way, has been redrawn twice since Apple launched Macs with default SSD options.

I kind of like it. Also, I still keep hard drive icons on my desktop, so maybe this is more indicative of the kind of person I am.