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Computer Naming Conundrums

Ever since I had my own computers, they have had names. The original, a Pentium Pro 180 in a full tower, was named oasis, after one of my favorite bands at the time, and also I liked the idea of a desert oasis. My next computer was an Athlon 600; it became the new oasis and the old oasis became wadi, an Arabic word for a normally dry stream (ie, the opposite of an oasis). I owe that name to my brother. Wadi became the first server behind; it was the computer that was hacked due to a vulnerability in the Linux kernel and another vulnerability in some photo album software I was using at the time. was then replaced by sf2 (“silverfir #2), a 500-MHz Pentium III.

About that same time, I inherited my Dad’s very old IBM Thinkpad, equipped with a Pentium 90 and 16 megabytes of RAM. The computer had only a small screen (12”), but it was heavy and black, so it became named blackbrick. With Bobby’s help, that computer became my introduction to Linux, wireless networking, war driving, and mobile computing in general. It was no surprise then that the next computer to come my way was a laptop that I purchased in 2003 during Fry’s grand opening sale. It was an HP with a AMD Athlon 2400+. I planned on having that computer last a long time, and it was my first modern mobile computer, so I named it mobius, after the Mobius strip — I thought that the name evoked the mobile nature of the computer as well as the eternal nature of the Mobius strip.

Then came an unexpected bump — in early January, 2004, I won another laptop, a Compaq desktop replacement with a Pentium 4 2.8 GHz processor. It was heavy, but I couldn’t justify passing up the faster processor speed, so it became my new primary computer and I ended up giving mobius to my mom. The new laptop earned itself the name of kleinoscope, evoking the idea of the Klein bottle, a three-dimmensional analogue of the mobius strip.

Oasis, in the mean time, lasted me through my first stint at college and a good ways in to 2004. However, in anticipation of the imminent release of Half Life 2, I purchased a new desktop machine. Its colorful case, along with the name of my most recent laptop, led to the obvious naming choice of kaleidoscope. Oasis was then recommissioned in place of sf2 as the primary server. Today, oasis remains’s mail server. Dan’s monstrosity Frankenputen, meanwhile, has taken over web and file serving duties.

Kleinoscope and I had been through a lot in three-and-a-half years, and the laptop finally died somewhat spectacularly not too long ago. It was time for me to get a new laptop. Enter the brand-spanking-new Dell D630. However, no name that seems appropriate has come to mind for this computer yet. Right now, it is named a rather terrible TBD and I don’t intend to let it stay that way for much longer. But I need help. Please leave your suggestions!

10 Responses to “Computer Naming Conundrums”

  1. Stickman Says:

    It’s Dell, right? Name it Moo.

    You’ve been giving your computers horribly complicated and meaningful names. It’s time for a break.

  2. Stickman Says:

    No wait. Gateway’s the cow. *Doesn’t pay attention* I’m sure you’ll figure something out.

  3. Bernie Zimmermann Says:

    I’d suggest you name it “Han,” and not just because I have a penchant for naming computers after Star Wars characters.

    Han is an abbreviation for “here and now,” which seems perfect knowing that you might post another blog entry a few years from now that is similar to this one, only with this “new” computer somewhere in the middle of the entry.

  4. Ben Says:

    +D6 Modifier! Its geeky as all get out with hints to hardware modifications as well as the nod to D&D (or other roleplaying games). You could shorten it to +D6.

  5. Ryan Says:

    My mom suggested “Black Orchid” and my dad suggested “Graphite.” So far I like these two the best. Maybe “Graphite Orchid?” Hm.

  6. Stickman Says:

    “Graphite Orchid” sounds like something I’d name a computer I built for art purposes. Let me know if you don’t use it so I can.

  7. Ryan Says:

    Haha, another idea… since it is a Dell, how about “Indellible” (misspelling is intentional).

  8. Signs of unintelligent life Says:

    The words “chaotic pendulum” sorta swing into my mind; it goes along with the mathematical/physics nature of your recent naming conventions; that and PCs are quite prone to seemingly random up and downswings of good and bad performance

  9. Jim McElroy Says:


    Dell – a small, usually wooded valley; vale.

    Or, try place-names:
    Si (Mt. Si)
    Blue (Blue Ridge Mountains)
    Orinoco (River, in Colombia-Venezuela)
    Tioga (Tioga Pass, in or near Yosemite National Park)


  10. Shai Says:

    So far I’ve been naming my computers after vessels from Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis.

    Prometheus (first laptop after the first Human built warship)
    Daedalus (second laptop after the second Human-Asgard built warship)
    Puddlejumper (first desktop after the gateships the Atlantis expedition finds stored in the city of Atlantis (that’s what the team originally called the now Gateship))

    Yeah, though I dunno a well fitting sequel to your problems.

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