Netgate Blog

... 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.