Names

There’s an ancient tradition in computing which says that computers should be named according to a theme. For example, long ago when I was in college, the NeXT workstations in the computer music department were named dobro, lucille, lespaul, and silvertone (brands of guitars, or in Lucille’s case, specifically B.B. King’s guitar). The computer science department had a room full of Sun workstations with names like rise, beam, burn, dae, dial, and dry; and another room full of NeXT workstations named week, door, inline, ofkin, and so forth. At one of my first jobs in the 1990s all of the testing computers were named after Marvel superheroes.

My first computer after college, a (woefully underpowered) Mac IIvx, I named foxtrot. My next computer could run both Mac and Windows 95, so I named it tango (because it takes two to). At this point I had to decide what theme I was going with, and I decided that the NATO phonetic alphabet was kind of boring, so I decided on kinds of music and dance. Later computers in my collection (each with its own personality) included:

  • bolero, a Mac IIfx which had a lot of swagger
  • bossanova, a big heavy G3 tower
  • swing, a server whose name didn’t really mean anything, I just liked it
  • twist, my Windows tablet, because I can change the orientation by rotating it
  • waltz, the laptop I bought after I started working for Disney … paid for with Walt’s money!
  • lindyhop, my Mac mini made of metal that reminds me of Lindburgh’s plane

Today I assembled my next gaming PC, which is going to replace my previous gaming PC from ten years ago whose GeekBench score says it’s less powerful than last year’s iPhone. The new one is based on a Ryzen 5600X with enough specs and upgradability to last another decade. In particular I’m using the experience to learn hands-on what’s changed in the PC-hardware world in the past ten years. For example, people now put animated lights inside their PCs. I am going to use animated lights, too.

Therefore I’m naming this new computer rave.

2 thoughts on “Names

  1. I like these little insights into your mind. I often name my tech after characters in fiction I love. Current machine is called Anathema, for example, after the character in “Good Omens.”. I named my Kindle “Lucien” after the librarian of the Dreaming. My old laptop before I switched back a desktop I named Yori, after the main female role in Tron.

Leave a Reply