• 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. 1The 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?

    1 The same Linux box was also YTBN at one point: Yet To Be Named.