Trivia

Hard

Which Computer Technology Derives Its Name From Greek Mythology?

Processors
Daemons
Caches
NAND Gates
Wood Engraving #18 from the Compendium Maleficarum, 1608.
Public Domain/Wikimedia

Answer: Daemons

In computing, a daemon is a background process that handles tasks without the user’s direct input. Print daemons spool up documents to be printed, HTTP daemons return data to the web browser issuing the inquiry, task scheduling daemons fire off tasks when the clock triggers them, and so on.

These daemons derive their name, in a roundabout way, from Greek mythology. During the 1960s, programmers working on Project MAC (Mathematics and Computation) at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory were searching for an appropriate name for the background processes they were creating that carried out functions with no input from the user.

They decided to call the background processes “demons” after Maxwell’s demon—an imaginary being from James Clerk Maxwell’s 19th century thought experiment that was responsible for the sorting of molecules in Maxwell’s theoretical chamber. Maxwell had, in turn, called his little thought experiment helper a demon as a nod to the daemons of Greek mythology—supernatural beings (helpers) who carried out tasks for the gods.

Although the spelling reverted from demon to the more traditional daemon over the years, the term stuck. Just like the Greek daemons helped carry out tasks quietly in the background, modern computer daemons continue the tradition of quiet and invisible assistance.

More Trivia Questions

Trivia

Easy

One Of The Plot Lines Of Which Of These Animated Films Was Based On A Real Conspiracy?

Trivia

Easy

Lincoln Logs Were Invented By?

Trivia

Hard

What Off-The-Shelf Addition Did NASA Scientists Add To The Voyager Probes At The Last Minute?

Trivia

Hard

In A Standard Deck Of Cards, The King Of Hearts Lacks A?

Trivia

Hard

The Target Corporation Runs A State-of-the-Art Lab Devoted To What?

Trivia

Hard

In Back To The Future, The Time Machine Was Originally Slated To Be A?

Trivia

Hard

Which Video Game Console Was The Last To Use Cartridges?

Trivia

Hard

Cryptographic Analysis Indicates The Man In The Iron Mask Was?

Trivia

Hard

The First Nuclear Powered Merchant Ship Was The?

Trivia

Hard

In The 2000s, Footage From The Original Lunar Orbiters Was Digitized In A Former?