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What does "Vanilla" Mean?

Just feel like a dummy

     
4:26 am on Mar 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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My brother is a great computer buff, website designer, de-bugger...the funny thing (well, not literally) is that he is self taught, never went to college for it, learned as he went, and he can fix anything. Anyway, I recently had a complete breakdown of my system (it's 5 years old) resulting from a serious invasion of various trojans and viruses which eventually led me to ask my gifted brother for help. He made me a new machine out of various parts that he had in storage and all is fine. I remember seeing a reference to "vanilla" something in a post here, which prompted this post, which he named a port or some other such thing which he did not know what to call it, so he named it "vanilla" blahblahblah, I don't remember. What the hay does vanilla mean to a programmer?
JPell
4:30 am on Mar 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The term typically applies to an unedited "out of the box" product.

Something that has never been edited and is exactly as it was intended to be by the software programmers.

5:31 am on Mar 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Thanks,
What a term. Now what I wonder is who coined it?
Jpell
6:19 am on Mar 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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plain. unmodified. default.
5:53 pm on Mar 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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It's from ice cream. Vanilla ice cream, in Britain and the USA, is plain ice cream. As opposed to strawberry, chocolate, etc flavours.
5:55 pm on Mar 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Oh well, TheDoctor beat me to it...

It comes from "plain vanilla", at least down here in South Texas. Add something to "plain vanilla" ice cream, like strawberries or peanut butter, and you don't have "plain vanilla" ice cream anymore, now do ya?

Now, as for "plain Jane", I'm not sure how that one originated...

6:05 pm on Mar 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Doc,
LOL. I knew it was from vanilla ice cream. I didn't know why, never heard the expression before. :)
JPell
6:07 pm on Mar 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Lets see if we can track down the first use next ;-)

I remember first coming across it in the late 80s with "vanilla amiga" meaning an out-the-box one with no extra memory etc. (yes, it was used for hardware too ;-)

Robin

6:42 pm on Mar 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'm sure the vanilla producers of the world take great exception to their flavor being considered "plain". I'll bet they feel that vanilla is no less a flavor than chocolate, strawberry, or even New York Super Fudge Chunk. ;)
6:49 pm on Mar 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Looks more like a Foo thread. If you get a chance to find a place with premium ice cream in plain and vanilla, taste both. Vanilla isn't plain.

White bread, on the other hand....

6:59 pm on Mar 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Vanilla is a spice and it does have a flavour 'of sorts' although its subtle which is why most refer to vanilla ice cream as plain, back on subject I think your question was answered 'out of the box' just thought I'd contribute to the hijacked thread.
7:25 pm on Mar 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The common meaning:

[bartleby.com...]

[edited by: oilman at 8:12 pm (utc) on Mar. 22, 2004]

1:56 am on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Lets see if we can track down the first use next ;-)

I remember first coming across it in the late 80s with "vanilla amiga" meaning an out-the-box one with no extra memory etc. (yes, it was used for hardware too ;-)

Robin

Hmmm. Well, I'm 56. I've been using "it's a vanilla *whatever's the thing under discussion*" since I was about 14 or so.... which would be 1961. Besides old, what does that make me - the originator of the usage? Not likely....

6:30 am on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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A long time computer-geek?
(note: I'm not trying to use geek as on offensive term)

[riverdeep.net...]

Says that ice cream was invented some time after 1553 (I know it talks about Marco Polo, but alot suggests he was lying about his journeys) so, that gives us a rough estimate of the time.

After 1700 it seemed to raise in popularity, but in 1800 is when other flavors started coming out.

So we know it's younger than 204 years old.

6:34 am on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Well, if we want to be really pedantic (and banish this thread to foo) we should point out that it is older than 204 years old. The vanilla ice cream in question is named after its corresponding flower; the vanilla flower.

And I actually managed to find this page on vanilla etymology (I only spent two minutes on this - it was the first query I entered!):
[bartleby.com...] ;)

12:54 pm on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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My goodness... My find isn't nearly as exotic.

[healthy.net...]

I vote Foo.

My brother is a great computer buff

Nothing vanilla about this fella.
 

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