I am running out of names for computers

Somewhere in 2010/11 I decided to clean up mess of naming machines at home and decided to go with character names from “Winnie the Pooh” books (Polish edition). Today I got new developer board and had to spend a moment to get a name for it.

So “klapouchy” (Eyeore) will be new name for DragonBoard. Maybe not best one but most of the names are already taken:

  • krzys (Christopher Robin) is my router (because Chris decides who can enter Hundred Acre Wood which is the name of my WiFi network)
  • puchatek (Winnie the Pooh) is main desktop
  • lumpek (Lumpy) is conference laptop (it was lucek before because it got Ubuntu Lucid as first system)
  • gofer (Gopher) is Efika MX Smartbook
  • krolik (Rabbit) is Samsung Chromebook
  • malenstwo (Roo) is Pandaboard (there were malenstwo-a1 and malenstwo-ea1 when I had two boards)
  • prosiaczek (Piglet) was MX53 Quickstart
  • kangurzyca (Kanga) is my wife laptop (she chosen the name)
  • sowa (Owl) is another router
  • tygrysek (Tigger) is my VPS (at beginning it was up/down/up/down all the time)

So most of the names from books are already taken. There are also Disney movies which adds few new ones (like Gopher and Lumpy) and cartoons (which I am not fan of). In worst case one day I will start re-using names or add names from other story.

What I used before? Desktop was “home” or “hrw”, Dell laptop (now “kangurzyca”) was “maluch” (small) due to 12″ size, “lumpek” was “lucek” due to Ubuntu Lucid installed and rest was named by hardware name (which is a default in OpenEmbedded).

How you are naming your machines?

31 thoughts on “I am running out of names for computers

  1. Xerxes Rånby

    I use pretty easy names: My pandaboard is named panda-armhf My ac100 is now named ac100-armhf , some month ago it was named ac100-armel My Raspberry pi is named pi-armhf My OpenRD is named openrd-armel perhaps boring but it help during documentation of bugs.

      1. Marcin Juszkiewicz Post author

        R/Pi can handle Debian/armel fine. There is Debian/armhf port named rasbipian (or sth like that).

        It is not able to handle Ubuntu at all — neither armel nor armhf.

  2. Peder Madsen

    I have for a long time used city names, london, berlin, madrid etc. Unfortunately, I forget which city belongs to which computer, so at some point I’ll have to create a list, where I can associate a name with a description.

  3. skjebne

    I personnaly tend to go for a very logical approach. I have laptopx-y and desktopx-y where x marks which computer according to its age and y indicates the operating system. So my 17” 5 year old Asus notebook running Ubuntu is called laptop1-u since it’s the first laptop I ever owned.

    It helps me keep things simple and know at a glance what I’m dealing with

    1. Marcin Juszkiewicz Post author

      But how do you serve dualboot then? laptop1-d boots Windows and became laptop1-w? What if you go back from conference with 2 new devices? And I forgot which board was first which second etc quite fast.

      1. skjebne

        Yes, my laptop2-u is the same machine as my laptop2-w. But I “only” own 2 laptops and 2 desktops, so I can remember quite easily which is which ;) But I can see how you would have a problem when lots of other pieces of equipment and VM’s come into play

  4. Per B

    Funny incident… I have been using charcter names from Winnie the Pooh for the last 15+ years — just in Danish instead of Polish.

    One challenge is that some of the names contain national characters (like Æ in Æseldyret), and not all systems seem to like that, so they get changed to something else (like AE for Æ).

    Another is that there are still not enough names, so there has to be some reuse with upgraded computers etc and also some “tweaked” names or names derived from the proper ones…

    1. Marcin Juszkiewicz Post author

      ;))

      I just replaced Polish national characters to Latin one. So “Krzyś” became “krzys” etc.

      So far I still have some names from movies available. But once will got to cartoons I will start reuse or add other ones.

  5. Janne

    I use random inspiration, based on my impression of the machine. That way it’s easy to remember.

    So, for instance, my previous all-black Panasonic laptop was called mocha (like the coffee). My current latop, a Lenovo, is named bast, only because bast fibers were on my mind at the time. My desktop is Tiamat since it has multiple cores; the rather rotund workstation at the office is named Babben after a Swedish stand-up comedian with simular physique.

  6. Henry

    For my personal computers, I’ve been using names from Orson Scott Card’s /Ender/ saga since 2004. All my machines have been named after his family or jeesh. To date, I have not yet named a machine “Ender”… That machine would need to be the be-all and end-all of all machines. I /did/ once name my ex-wife’s Windows machine “Achilles” (pronounced Ah-sheel), who was a nemesis in one of the books… She wasn’t happy. :/

    For my work machines, the names have come of a joke concerning the project I run. My workstation is named “Superman”. The work laptop I carried was named “Superboy”. I’ve named various windows VM’s I’ve run as “Bizarro”, “Mxyzptlk”, “Generalzod”, and other such names.

  7. rjc

    Now I’m going to look like a bore ;^)

    I used to pick names from various mythologies: be it Norse, Egyptian, Greek, etc. However, since I like names to have meaning and sometimes it had taken me a while to choose an appropriate name for a machine, i.e. somewhat linked to its function, but also due to the fact that at work we have a standardised naming convention; I stopped doing that and currently I simply name the device by using… yes, you’ve guessed it, the device’s name, i.e. CuBox -> cubox, SheevaPlug -> sheeva, etc.

    For devices which I have more than one of, I simply use their function or location as the name, i.e. two Jogglers are simply named “kitchen” and “bedroom”.

  8. Aaron Toponce

    I have a theatrical theme I do with my computers using Greek gods and goddesses. First, I am Hyperion, one of the first Titans (I used to be Zeus, but that got boring). Second, I own the domain name ‘cocyt.us’ for the Cocytus river, which means “the river of wailing”; a river in the underworld. Thus, when I name my computers after Greek gods and goddesses, I am quite literally throwing them into hell (as a Titan would love to do to the Olympians). Thus, my names are as follows:

    • hades.cocyt.us- 2.4 Ghz wireless access point
    • pluto.cocyt.us- 5 Ghz wireless access point
    • kratos.cocyt.us- My laptop
    • hermes.cocyt.us- My netbook
    • apollo.cocyt.us- My phone
    • hercules.cocyt.us- A retired laptop
    • athena.cocyt.us- My wife’s iMac
    • hera.cocyt.us- My wife’s iBook
    • hestia.cocyt.us- My wife’s iPhone
    • demeter.cocyt.us- My wife’s iPad

    As you can see, my wife’s computers get goddesses, and I get the gods. This list will make sure I don’t run out any time soon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Greek_mythological_figures.

    I also have a colocate at my place of employment, where my blog is, and other things. I purchased the ‘ae7.st’ domain, as my ham radio callsign is AE7ST. For subdomains, I’ve been picking terms from taoism. I use this for my list: http://taoism.about.com/od/glossaryoftaoistterm1/a/Glossary-Of-Common-Daoist-Taoist-Terms.htm. So far, I have:

    • wu-wei.ae7.st
    • yin.ae7.st
    • yang.ae7.st
    • hundun.ae7.st
    • tao.ae7.st
    • te.ae7.st
    • pinyin.ae7.st
    • yu.ae7.st
  9. dRbiG

    Interesting :)

    I usually name my mobile computers after space vessels (from any media), so I have swordfish, hammerhead, bebop, voyager, serenity etc. But for stationary stuff I usually go for names for places, again quite assorted and I try to make them somehow relevant to the machine itself (for me that is), so I have kaer, lore, dosbox etc. For more unique stuff I just use the unique name, so my tv is simply samsung, raspberry pi is rpi etc.

    I would actually never think of naming a computer after a character.

  10. Graham Lyon

    I know your pain – my family has always gone for names of Australian animals. It was easy at first, we had “Kangaroo” which was my father’s desktop then “Joey” which was the “kids machine” for me and my brother. Later on we had “Koala” and “Wombat” – it was all quite straightforward. Now 20 years down the line we are really stretched for names and have had to resort to things such as “Wobbegong” and even more exotic names… strict naming schemes are a pain :P

  11. Andreas Lorensen

    For servers and I use names that describe the primary function follow by a number. vshX – virtual server srvX – server backX – backupserver nasX – fileserver desktopX – normal desktop (dont have any anymore thoug) thinkpadX or notebookX or ultrabookX – laptop computers

    For mobile deviceses I use brandname – username iphone4S-username, ipad2-username, and so on.

    Mediacenters and Airport experess I use brandname-location so it is easy to stream sound and vide to these and choose the right one. xbmc-location airport-location

  12. TheWalt

    I have been using actor names and associated lore from Doctor Who.

    Hartnell, Troughton, Pertwee, etc for computer names, Tardis workgroup name, K9 my android phone.

  13. Colin Watson

    I use cities from fantasy fiction, with the constraint that I only get to use any given author once. So I have sarantium (Guy Gavriel Kay), cairhien (Robert Jordan), perimadeia (Maggie Furey), cittagazze (Philip Pullman), etc. Arbitrarily extensible by reading more. :-)

  14. Daniel Díaz

    I picked up the custom of naming all my devices with the letter A. For that I use words from any language (usually the one I was studying at the time I had to baptize the computer).

    For instance, an old SparcStation I have is named Abyad, which means white in Arabic (similar to the case color). During the 2004 Olympic Games I chose Athina (transliteration of Αθήνα) for one of the servers. My Pandaboard is named Adnap (“Panda” reversed). My laptop was named Apna, a Hindi reflexive pronoun, because I had a lot of interaction with India back then. My Gumstix is named Arcilla, Spanish for clay. For my Raspberry Pi I went with Ambuesa, which is a part of “frambuesa”, a similar fruit in Spanish.

    And so goes the story for Akva, Ante, Aspra, Arimba, Arbor, Afuera, Aetos, Agones, Ant, Ambuesa, etc.

  15. Paul Eggleton

    My theme is AI characters from computer games: shodan, xerxes, linc, morpheus, daedalus, icarus, helios, …

    Only problem is it’s not a huge list so I’m starting to run out.

  16. Arti

    I have been using planet names, Sun, Mars, Earth, Jupiter.. this was ok for a while and even matched some of the roles well, Sun=domain controller, Jupiter was our large server, but now with virtual machines i find i have more machines than planets i know of.

  17. Tim

    I’ve been using musician names for some time… Mostly on my servers, stevie (SRV), muddy (Muddy Waters), wolf (Howlin’ Wolf) and so forth. Allows me to never run out. Desktops, though are less interesting, they are usually the main user + what laptop it is… e.g. “timthinkpad”.

    Very interesting reading about the location being added into the mix… might have to do that at some point.

  18. Gunnar Wolf

    Ok, so lets play a bit on this :)

    I started by following the policy on my first (serious regarding networking) workplace. They used Aztec words for the servers (except for “campus”, which had its name predating the policy). When I arrived, we had Tlali (“house” – I worked at the Iztacala campus of my university, which means “white house”) and Ollin (“movement”, which makes little sense as it was a bulky and useless RS6000). While I was there we added:

    • Tepancuate (some sort of wall), for the firewall
    • Conetontli (child, infant, baby) was my desktop
    • Tlamantli (thing): I don’t remember why I chose this one :)

    But then, when I had no longer a policy to follow, I started using a very ad-hoc non-scheme. As of today, I have:

    • mosca: My desktop. Means “fly” (the insect).
    • lafa: My main work server. The name given in Israel (where I lived for some time) to a big kind of wheat tortilla from Iran
    • joma: The firewall. Literally means “wall” in Hebrew.
    • baktun: My newest work server (just arrived). The name for the long Maya calendar cycle, the one that’s about to finish in December 21. Not because I believe in any of the current trends, but because you just wait for it forever (took two years to get the server to my office!)
    • malenkaya: My old laptop. It was small when I bought it (11″), so it means “small” in Russian.
    • aikoa: My netbook. An Acer Aspire One. Means “breathe” in Finnish.
    • planita: A very old iMac (still PowerPC), as it is a flat (“plano” in Spanish) computer
    • panzaverde: My wife’s desktop. That’s the name informally given to the people from her province.

    Other computers to which I have less “personal” relation are named according to their function (i.e. video, ap-vc, ap-auditorio, etc.)

  19. Sebastian

    Years ago, I named my devices with my nick and a number. Than I worked for an Service Desk where I learned numbers are crap on phone calls. I changed my mind. So, since this, I named my devices to the girl’s first name a picked up as the wallpaper. The wallpaper can change but the girl’s first name have always to be the same. If I don’t know the name, I look at the desktop wallpaper. If you treat your computer like a sexy girl, it could not be the wrong way! ;-)

  20. Benny

    Well I use characters from the Sherlock Holmes book series.

    My main computer is, ‘holmes’, ‘watson’ as my home server. Just trying to decide on a name for a new machine I’ve received.

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