Introducing the New Vista iPod

Finally, after almost 9 months of pre-production she's finally arrived. Here she is:

Vista Avalon Simser, ready for duty!

Vista Avalon Simser was born May 18th at 18:10 MST, weighing in at 5 pounds and 11 ounces (well, 10.6 ounces but the hospital seems to round it up).

Okay, first I know that most of you are reading this on the bus, at home, at work, and you're laughing. Some people are shocked and probably scratching your head why a nerd would potentially put their child through the slings and arrows of naming their spawn after an operating system. Hopefully by the time she's old enough for someone to make fun of her name, nobody will remember where it came from.

Her name came as a discussion about what her name should be, as they always do. At first we didn't know what sex the baby was going to be so we started with a boys name. We rummaged around the Internet, baby name books, and our brains finally to arrive at Dev. Yeah, geek origins but it had meaning to us. Dev (as in short for Developer) sounded like a good boys name; had it's origins in Sanskrit, it was unique and interesting and we liked the sound of it. Then came the process of finding a good middle name and again after some time, we liked Orion (as in the constellation).

We stared at the piece of paper with his name written out:



There it was, plain as day. Our son's initials would be DOS. We laughed and laughed and then came the afterthought. Well, if our son's initials are DOS, a daughter would have be an upgrade. And thus the name Vista was born.

Vista (the operating system) hadn't been released yet, but we looked at it on paper. Vista. I liked the sound of it. True, it was spawned from the name of Microsoft's next operating system but it was also a word seeded in the Italian language (from visto) meaning a sight. Well, a daughter who is a sight. That works for us. Besides, above all (other than the glares we'll get from geeks and this blog entry) Vista is a pretty name for a girl. As for the middle name, it was not driven by the fact that Avalon was the codename for Windows Presentation Foundation. Again we turned to unique names and needed something that fit. Something that sounded right to match Vista. Avalon being the paradise where Arthur was carried to after his death; Avalon the peninsula in Canada in Newfoundland; Avalon the Druidic site in Glastonbury, England. This just became the name we wanted for our daughter and it stuck.

There are two reactions we get from her name. Probably everyone reading this blog, is the first reaction. "You named your daughter after an operating system?". The other is "Oh that's such a pretty name". We can separate the nerds from the norms with the reaction.

Of course there are some advantages to being named after one of the most expensive operating systems in history (notice that I didn't say popular, good, or fast; let's not get into that holy war):

  • Her blog will contain the largest number of search hits with people looking for information about Vista
  • She has her very own carrying case (a laptop bag) and other personalized "logoware", most of which I can buy from the Microsoft store or any geek conference for the next 10 years
  • She'll be the only one at her school with a service pack (or two, or three, ...) named after her
  • If she's cute when she's older (and she will be) boys will make many crazy jokes about "starting her up" and "rebooting her" to which I will pummel them upside the head with an XPS laptop that I'll carry around to "interview" any potential suitors.

Bottom line, we think it's a pretty name and it's hers for life. We like it, and she's our daughter not yours so deal.

Not every entry into this world is perfect and there were complications. Needless to say, we were disappointed at the process (but not the result, not in the least). We had gone through obtaining a midwife. We're true believers of the natural way and were convinced having a midwife and a home birth was what we wanted. No drug induced delivery. No machines that go ping. No drip, drip, drip of some bag attached to the baby that's hooked up to a monitor. It was going to be natural, fun, and without stress.

The best laid plans.

As a result of a lot of factors (incompatible blood types between momma and poppa, go figure) it was difficult and we ended up doing everything we didn't want to happen. It was a hospital birth, we had machines that went ping, drugs were used to induce, an emergency C-Section was needed, etc. Like I said, the best laid plans.

Vista spent a week in the hospital, mostly for jaundice. However she seemed to enjoy her personal suntan studio as you can see below.

Everyone is home now. Mommy and Baby are doing great. Vista's two weeks old now and is thriving. This was a life changing experience for me. It will be long remembered, not only for the birth of my daughter; the changes we went through; and the journey ahead. I hope you've enjoyed the sharing of the experience and this is something that I'll someday show to her, so feel free to leave comments for her to read when she's old enough. So welcome Vista to the world as she'll be a big part of it.

Here's Vista's entire Flickr set which of course grows every day with new images.


  • Congrats, Bil and fam -- welcome to the club!

    The memories of the best laid plans will quickly fade, fear not! As you two have figured out, what matters is that she's here now.

    By the way: the potential embarrassment of being named Vista will be eclipsed by your predictions that she'll be "hot". ;)

    But seriously, I'm happy for you two! Enjoy being a dad!

  • Dude, that's awesome...congrats!!!


  • Good thing she was released on schedule ;).
    Congrats Bil :)

  • Wow! Congrats on the newborn! I hope the best for your family (I hope your laptop has a webcam built in so we can see videos of you hitting potential suitors)

  • @Wessam: Actually she beat the real Vista by a month. She was ahead of schedule by about 3 weeks.

  • @Dave: Thanks. Yeah, watch for "Live Nerd Beatings" on YouTube in about 17 years from now.

  • She will probably have problems with other drivers, and will crash......

  • Congrats, Bil and Jen. Welcome to the world, Vista! As you said, the best laid plans don't always turn out the way you expect. We too tried (both times) to go the natural route (second time with midwives), but ended up with Cesareans both times. Life's sometimes like that. The important thing is that everyone came through with flying colours. Looking forward to meeting the new addition...

  • Will she be 25% S L O W E R than the other kids?

    Will she be plagued by the "114,000 Microsoft Virus Malware Definitions" and sudden events such as turning blue without any notice?

    We're taking bets. Should have named her for a successful thing, perhaps Kubuntu, Ubuntu, Mepis...

  • Bil, with kids I have found that the bad memories go away and only the good memories stay. I am positive that you'll look back on the birth of Vista and only remember the joy you felt when you first saw and held her.

    BTW...did she happen to come with a user manual or a tutorial of some sort?

  • @Nav: No user manual or tutorial. I wish. However she's pretty intuitive, I just wish she had less output ports as it's a real mess to clean.

  • Bil, congrats, glad to hear that it is well with the birth. And on the topic of the name "Vista Avalon" excellent choice, alternate definition is "A view of paradise" If she lives up to her name you will be busy with the laptop!


  • Bil, there are three things about this post that deserve congratulations.

    1) Your decision to name your child "Vista" is actually pretty awesome.
    2) The birth of your scion
    3) Most importantly, your rocking the whole "George Michael from 'Faith'" look! Scratchy stubble? Earring? I'm surprised there's not some recording of you busting out "Freedom '90" here!!! Nice job!!!

  • I'll say the same thing I told my brother (a land surveyor) when he named his daughter Prism North: Dude, you can rationalize all you want. That's still a geeky name.

    But I don't say that disparagingly. It's an awesome name. Congrats to you both.

  • @Justice: Yeah, it is pretty awesome isn't it? (too you frickin' long enough to post dude). As for the George Michael comment, it was really a matter of not sleeping for a week. I don't care for the stubble as it's too itchy but maybe I'll keep it and take it on the road when I do the Edmonton UG presentation.

    @Kyle: Prism? Seriously. Man, the children of tommorow sure are going to be screwed up with people like us breeding.

  • Congrats Bil and Jen, I know there had to be a story and what kid doesn't like a good story about their name, she will tell it hundreds if not thousands of times in her life(I myself have told it at least a few times by now). SHe might on the other hand start by saying let me tell you about my parents first, but most will be the norm and think it a beautiful, artisitc and very creative name.

    Best of luck and thanks for sharing.

  • Wow...We definitely haven't spoken in some time....Hope all is well. Take care.


    p.s. Jen - Can you teach me that "share drive" thingy again??? ;)

  • I think Vista Avalon is a great name for a girl. Life provides many great experiences but none compare to watching a baby grow into a walking, talking person with their own opinions. Many of which teach us (the parents) a thing or two.


  • I'm an asshole for naming my child? Guess your parents were idiots, "ba".

  • "Hopefully by the time she's old enough for someone to make fun of her name, nobody will remember where it came from."

    But she will. and she'll hate you for it.

  • Congrats Bill. All the best to the entire family.

  • Vista is asking your permission to see her boyfriend. Allow or Disallow :)

    Seriously though - congratulations :)

  • Congrat's on the birth of your daugther. I'd admire you for going with something completely different for her name. The next Operating System (Windows 7) code name is being labeled as Vienna. If you plan on having another baby you can go with that name. Again congrat's.

  • We named our baby girl Vista (born 4/13/09). Wife and I are both avid Mac users. Name had nothing to do with MS although that is by far the most common question people ask.

  • I just like the name for its Italian origins. It actually means a beautiful breathtaking captivating sight, one that leaves you pleasantly speechless. Like it speaks for itself, no words are needed. Wow! :)

Comments have been disabled for this content.