Computerstuff: What’s in a name?

As I mentioned recently I name my computers after characters played by George Peppard; my Windows XP box is Hannibal, after Hannibal Smith in The A-Team and my Ubuntu Linux box is Banacek, after the title character in the television show of the same name. Gerall Kahla calls this The George Peppard Paradigm and correctly observes that “hardware jocks” often give their rigs names that follow a certain theme.

In the past, I’ve used a Star Wars naming theme; before Hannibal was Hannibal it was Vader and another Linux box was Fett. ((The same Linux box was also YTBN at one point: Yet To Be Named.)) My HP 48SX calculator—arguably the first “computer” I owned—is named Torquemada, but I’ve never established an actual Spanish Inquisition theme.

Laura’s desktop, which she’s had about five years, is named Eeyore, after the donkey in A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories. When we bought her laptop in January I expected that she would name it Piglet or perhaps even Pooh (but certainly not Tigger). Instead, she named it Emily, after poet Emily Dickinson. The theme is a little more abstract than those I choose; Gerall might call it The Stuff Laura Likes Paradigm.

Do you name your computer(s)? If so, what inspires you to choose the names you do?

15 thoughts on “Computerstuff: What’s in a name?”

  1. My webserver was dubbed “Frankenbox” due to its hacked-together nature There is at least one part from 4 separate machines in him, plus a couple new parts I had to buy along the way. It’s a LAMP server without the beef to run MySQL, so I suppose it’s more of a LAP server.
    When we got the Windows XP machine (the machine before it was Windows 95 and I don’t recall having a need to name it) I followed the theme set down by Frankenbox (Which had morphed to Frankenstein and then, because I was getting sick of typing it, to Frank) and named it Hyde. A laptop I got a couple years later was dubbed Moreau. What is my theme? Mad Scientists whose predilections were their doom.
    When Lisa got her laptop, she would have none of this, and chose the name “Lisa’s Laptop” which, while functional, isn’t at all fun. And lucky, because I was scraping the bottom of the name barrel with Moreau.

  2. I have taken Gerall’s Greek Pantheon Paradigm to a different level.

    Each machine is a pantheon of its own. Prometheus was the first box. He had drive volumes named Prometheus and Epimetheus. This is how I came to have the gamer handle Prometheus.

    Then came Wodin, who had drives named Freya and Thor.

    Next was Mercury, the laptop. He’s my only Roman ’cause he’s only got room for one drive.

    We then got Quetzalcoatl. I subsequently added a second drive to it, but I can’t recall which other Aztec god I named it for. Incidentally, Quetzalcoatl isn’t as hard to type as it looks, once you’ve done it a few thousand times.

    Prometheus was reincarnated as Ra, fitting as he became the gateway to the internet (as well as a LAMP server [where M=PostgreSQL {And it’s a P133 with 32MB RAM}]), or as we like to call it, the sun, giver of all life.

    Our latest gaming rig recycled the name Prometheus.

    At work, since we’re in shipping, I name the boxes after explorers. I’m glad I chose such a scheme with a lot of options, ’cause we’ve doubled the number of boxen since I arrived. I won’t give you the whole list, but servers are DeLeon, Cortez, Pizarro, and Coronado. And my beloved workstation is Gagarin.

  3. Our naming conventions at home are a splattering of fantasy names. The two desktops are named after Miyazaki film characters – Kamaji and Kodama. Then there is the firewall called Mithril and some other server that I don’t recall what it does, Halfling. Then there is the all mighty file and web server, called Colossus.
    I think the convention was, what were we “into” at the time of naming.

  4. A name?!? My computer needs a name? Also, should I be taking my un named computer out of its box and putting it in another one? And adding fans?

    I’ve just been coming home and switching it on. That way the internets appear.

  5. I have taken Gerall’s Greek Pantheon Paradigm to a different level…

    Thanks to attending a number of LAN gaming parties at blob’s house, I’m familiar his naming convention. However, I didn’t realize that he’d carried the paradigm to individual hard drives. Perhaps on Hannibal I should name drive containing the OS “Baracus”, the applications drive “Face” and the failing data drive “Murdoch”.

    Blob also scores points for naming the machines at his workplace after explorers; I really like that idea.

  6. My machines are named GregPC and Server. I should really be more interesting.

    Oh, dear. Greg, you can’t see us doing it, but there are a number of geeks shaking their heads in sad disbelief right now.

  7. … What is my theme? Mad Scientists whose predilections were their doom.

    When Lisa got her laptop, she would have none of this, and chose the name “Lisa’s Laptop” which, while functional, isn’t at all fun. And lucky, because I was scraping the bottom of the name barrel with Moreau.

    The Re-Animator would fit nicely in your theme, but he’s got a boring last name: West. Ditto with Jeffrey Combs’ character in Hammerhead: Shark Frenzy; his name was Dr. Preston King.

    Perhaps Raines? Certainly The Invisible Man would work with your theme?

    And suddenly I want to switch to The Jeff Goldblum Paradigm: Brundle, Malcolm, Raines…

  8. A name?!? My computer needs a name? Also, should I be taking my un named computer out of its box and putting it in another one? And adding fans?

    I’ve just been coming home and switching it on. That way the internets appear.

    Well, there’s nothing at all wrong with giving your computer a name (as you might have guessed from the excellent comments I’ve received so far), but the name itself does not require that you remove your computer from its box or add fans or anything of the sort.

    Come home, switch it on, and join us on the internets. That will suffice.

  9. Our naming conventions at home are a splattering of fantasy names. The two desktops are named after Miyazaki film characters – Kamaji and Kodama. Then there is the firewall called Mithril and some other server that I don’t recall what it does, Halfling. Then there is the all mighty file and web server, called Colossus.
    I think the convention was, what were we “into” at the time of naming.

    Okay, the fact that you have a named computer in your house whose purpose has been lost to the mists of history is nothing short of Supremely Geeky. Well done.

    I appreciate the firewall named Mithril, too. When I was running a Smoothwall box, it was just called Smoothwall, which is not terribly exciting. Perhaps I should have named it Cerberus or Fluffy.

  10. As noted in my previous comment, this trend is completely (as far as I can tell) a serious computer-geek fetish / predilection.

    Now, to be fair, it would appear to be the accumulation of machines which causes the need to differentiate between them. So, unless you’ve got two or more computers churning away at the house, there isn’t a lot of need to give them names.

    Personally, I use the Creatures of Myth Paradigm: the OpenBSD firewall machine (eagle-eyed and fierce) is called ‘griffon’, my XP box (which I’m typing this on at the moment) is called ‘fae’. The Linux From Scratch machine is called ‘sphinx’ – it runs a client which hunts for Mersenne Primes.

    My Lovely Wife’s computer is called ‘dragon’; an apt name if there ever was one. Its XP Home operating system gives her fits and starts.

    Thanks for reading!

  11. My current desktop is named “Desilu Private Investigators,” which derived from an old joke, plus the idea that I would do a lot of “looking at things” on here.

    I’ve also named my external hardware. The flash drive is called “Resonate” becaue I like the sound of the word. the first ipod was called “Life Support” since I was always plugged in from destination to destination. That one died, so I had to get another, which is aptly (I think) named “Returned to Life.”

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