There's a thread going on at reddit regarding an old FYI RFC about computer naming conventions. This made me think a bit about how I name my machines, and realize I don't really have a convention at all. Or, rather, I've had several over the years ranging from places/characters from books (from the traditional Lord of the Rings lore to science fiction) to famous scientists.

The machines I'm currently using are named like this:

  • My main Windows laptop is currently named arcano.
  • My other laptop running ubuntu is named isengard.
  • My main development virtual machine, running WinServer2k3, is named newton (after Sir Isaac Newton, of course).

Some other names I've used previously include kepler (in honor of Johannes Kepler), caladan (from Frank Herbert's dune), copernico (the Spanish spelling for Nicolaus Copernicus), radiant, arrakis (again, a dune reference), lothlorien, and colossus (a reference to the computer, not the comic superhero). There are probably plenty others I've forgotten over the years :-).

Another common choice seems to be using letters from the Greek alphabet. That was the convention at my college. I still remember our first account used to be in delta, which turned out to be an old Sun workstation hosting email, web and shell access to the CS department (and later decomissioned).

What do you name your computers?

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Tomas Restrepo

Software developer located in Colombia. Sr. PFE at Microsoft.