Naming Network Machines
July 26, 2004 2:16 PM   Subscribe

Having just set up a home network, I was wondering what cute names everyone gave to the machines on their networks.

My desktops are called Tyler and Jack and the laptop is Marla...
posted by etc to Computers & Internet (92 answers total)
Well, there are several, but two of them are Jake and Elwood. A third is simply BluesBros.
posted by MrAnonymous at 2:21 PM on July 26, 2004

Enough. In [what seems like] the past month we've had dog's name, cat's name, kitten's name, childhood nickname, father's job, favorite local band, and countless other such "what's your favorite..." threads. Surveys like this belong on LiveJournal, not AskMe.
posted by ChasFile at 2:21 PM on July 26, 2004

Monet, Space Station, Pocahontas, Marlon Brando... Once I accidentally renamed the C: to a 50+ character string of jibberish, but I liked that so I left it.
posted by crazy finger at 2:25 PM on July 26, 2004

Next up: "Do you know who I am?" and "Who do you think you are?"

(uh, my computer's named coelacanth.)
posted by kenko at 2:31 PM on July 26, 2004

The Mac lab I ran in college was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Seven student machines, one server (Snow White, as it always was sleeping) and the instructor station: Wicked Witch.

FWIW, at a time most of the major servers on north daktoa's higher ed computing network were cartoon characters or geographic features (plains, prairie, agasiz, etc.)
posted by nathan_teske at 2:33 PM on July 26, 2004

I have fairly distinct naming schemes for my various and sundry computers, as does my girlfriend.

My desktop PC (of which I only have one so far) is named after the game Marathon, but because of that, I figure I'll continue naming later PCs after Greek battles/places. Like Agamemnon, for example.

My Unix servers/play machines have all been Final Fantasy related--my first server was Bahamut, my current one is Neo-Bahamut, and my old 386 laptop with Slackware on it is 'Tiny Bronco' (obscure FFVII reference).

My Macs are all named after the Myst series of games. Atrus (old PowerMac 7200 w/ G3 upgrade), Sirrus (Beige G3), Achenar (B&W G3), Channelwood (another hard drive in Achenar). My iPod when it arrives will be Selentic, after the Selentic Age (the island in the original Myst game whose puzzles all revolved around sound and music).

My girlfriend names her computers after Final Fantasy as well--her iBook is Mog, her PC is Carbunkle.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 2:39 PM on July 26, 2004

I live near the Holloway Road address of a recording legend. So my server is called JoeMeek and my laptop (a Tosh Satellite Pro) is called Telstar.
posted by dodgygeezer at 2:41 PM on July 26, 2004

I'm a big William Gibson fan, so I have a Chrome Koran and a Fokker. Next up - Steppin' Razor!
posted by dual_action at 2:43 PM on July 26, 2004

My main PC is called Enzo, named after Enzo Ferrari.
posted by riffola at 2:43 PM on July 26, 2004


(for askme). Sorry if I derailed the "discussion" ;)
posted by The God Complex at 2:48 PM on July 26, 2004

Don't name them for world locations or cities. One day you might be running an international computer network and you'll get really confused trying to access \\rome in Tokyo or something.
posted by brownpau at 2:50 PM on July 26, 2004

Darn I forgot to list the rest...

An ancient P1 backup PC is called Tazio after Tazio Nuvolari, a Formula 1 driver from 1930s. Tazio drove for Alfa Romeo, under Enzo Ferrari's management.

The laptop is called Schumacher, after Michael Schumacher, the most successful Formula 1 driver, who currently drives for Ferrari.
posted by riffola at 2:50 PM on July 26, 2004

Try to use a naming scheme that has room to grow. It also helps if the names have some easy to remember connotation. So when you're looking for computers on the network it's easier to remember that the main media workstation is "Hollywood" rather than "Sneezy", and the gaming machine is "Vegas" rather than "Grumpy".

Obviously, I use city names.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:51 PM on July 26, 2004

abulafia, after the computer in foucalt's pendulum.
alternately, in the same theme as dual_action, there's wintermute.
posted by juv3nal at 2:52 PM on July 26, 2004

My home comuter is called McGuffin, I think because I was thinking about the Sam And Max game while setting up.

At work I had to set up a linux server for our thin client development team, so of course I called it Thinman. Later we got a solaris box. I wanted to call it "SunOfThinman", but was shouted down.
posted by Capn at 2:54 PM on July 26, 2004

I name them using great Canadian names, like Barb, Doug, and Gord.
posted by Succa at 3:03 PM on July 26, 2004

posted by MarkAnd at 3:03 PM on July 26, 2004

I name machines at home and at work after my favorite Mefites. Quonsar, MiguelCardoso, y2karl, EtherealBligh, and konolia are just a few.
posted by daveadams at 3:05 PM on July 26, 2004

My last few iBooks/Powerbooks have been named Heinlein, Seldon (after Asimov's character), and Feynman.

I'm trying to think of a suitable goofy name that fits the pattern for my next one. (If I can't, I'm just going to say screw it and call it Zoidberg)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 3:08 PM on July 26, 2004

Mamet and Roth.
posted by dobbs at 3:09 PM on July 26, 2004

Fuckstick, Asswad, and ChasFile.
posted by quonsar at 3:15 PM on July 26, 2004

My main Mac, a dual 533 GHz G4, is named Metatron. At the time I bought it, it was the fastest Macintosh available, so "voice of God" was not an inappropriate appellation. (The new Metatron, a dual 2.5 GHz G5, will arrive shortly.) Continuing with the angelic theme, my mail/Web server is named Gabriel.
posted by kindall at 3:16 PM on July 26, 2004

I agree that this thread, and threads like are not "best of Ask MeFi." Not by any stretch. But...

PowerBook G4 : Fast
FireWire Harddrive : More
iPod : Small

I like short names. We had a buncha servers at work once that were named after sea mammals. I agree with y6y6y6 though; naming computers should have some non-arbitrary association for easy remembering what's on who (i.e., why is "whale" the staging server and "dolphin" is the production server? Just 'cause.)
posted by zpousman at 3:22 PM on July 26, 2004

Why not...

Router/Firewall: Cerberus
Server/Proxy: Minotaur
Client: Athena
posted by mnology at 3:25 PM on July 26, 2004

My network is "Durham", the individual stations are "Crash", "Annie", "Nuke", and "Millie".
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:27 PM on July 26, 2004

The home network here is named after the Theif games.

The file server is called Keeper Annals.

The laptop is called Viktoria and we have desktops called Felix, Garret and Trickster. Trickster died last year and I still haven't ficed him. Oops.
posted by twine42 at 3:27 PM on July 26, 2004

Kanga is Mom's. Piglet is the kids'. Roo is the laptop. Mine is Eeyore, obviously.
posted by mojohand at 3:29 PM on July 26, 2004

posted by gramcracker at 3:31 PM on July 26, 2004

Enough. In [what seems like] the past month we've had dog's name, cat's name, kitten's name, childhood nickname, father's job, favorite local band, and countless other such "what's your favorite..." threads. Surveys like this belong on LiveJournal, not AskMe.

I posted the "name my puppy" thread, and I benefited from everyone's Norwegian names for my Norwegian Lundehund. I wasn't asking for the hell of it, I was asking because I needed help, which I got.

I'd do it again. Of course, you're welcome to not read the threads that don't look interesting to you.
posted by jragon at 3:35 PM on July 26, 2004

Hey - dodgygeezer lives just around the corner from me..
posted by ascullion at 3:39 PM on July 26, 2004

I use vague allusions to the nature of each machine itself: cargo is a file server, it has 4 hard drives and stores stuff.
LHO is the Large Heavy Object -- a huge ass box.
SLO was the Small Lightweight Object, a small Dell Latitude.
Deadweight is my heavy and unweildy Gateway Solo 9300.
Bastard is the bastion host and dual homed firewall/router.
And the latest addition is PocketBook, which is a cute little refurbished 12" Powerbook.

At work, the systems I use have two major naming conventions. One is hand tools: hammer, chisel, saw, drill. Another is movie stars -- old machines are named bogart, bacall, mitchum; the two newest systems are hayek and diaz.

A previous system environment I set up at work used 100 Acre Wood names as well: tigger, roo, kanga, heffalump... It was hardly original, but the pantheon is large enough to allow some room for expansion.
posted by majick at 3:40 PM on July 26, 2004

D55l6b31 and Ggy45d9k2.
posted by jfuller at 3:40 PM on July 26, 2004

Desktop: Corax
Laptop: Corone
posted by falconred at 3:41 PM on July 26, 2004

The main server is named "Server". My wife's laptop is named after her.
Pretty wild, huh?
My hardrives, however, are Wolverine and Nightcrawler. My backup external drive is Shadowcat, natch.
posted by signal at 3:52 PM on July 26, 2004

I found a network a couple of weeks ago named "Jehovah1". I was forced to stone the computer. Shoulda been called 'YHWH"

I started off naming one computer (a desktop) 'Cerebellum' after that awful, awful movie Antitrust. My now-defunct Windows laptop is 'Hillbilly', my powerbook is 'medulla' and my mp3 player is 'synapse'. The network is named 'cranium'.

Now that I type it out, it looks really, really stupid.

If I did it over again, I'd name them ranganathan, cutter, melville, bliss, and colon. But that just makes me a whole 'nother kind of nerd.
posted by stet at 3:57 PM on July 26, 2004

I have to agree with ChasFile here. But, seeing as I am here anyway....

I have three on our network at home - Larry, Curly, Mo (yes, I know, most original).

At work, I used very romantic and evocative names for each computer: server1, server2, note01, note02... work01, work02, work03.... Yeah, I'm an incurable romantic.
posted by dg at 3:57 PM on July 26, 2004

I choose names by Huffman coding the frequencies with which I access each machine, thus minimizing the average number of characters entered when I ssh between them.

OK, maybe not really. But I do choose short, boring names (foo, bar, baz, ...) because I'm mostly concerned with not wasting time typing.
posted by Galvatron at 4:03 PM on July 26, 2004

522-winnt-en (my personal favourite)
posted by toby\flat2 at 4:05 PM on July 26, 2004

I tend to go for an {os/purpose}-{name} convention, but this is only because everyone in the office has a different operating system. So there's XP-Harry, Win2k-Dave, Server-Bill, Win98-Felix and (rather bizarrely) Mr-Slow. For support purposes I *hate* customers that give their PC's random names. If I tell a customer that they've got to reboot "upstairs-PC", they can do it, but getting some poor guy (aka - not the hard-to-get-hold-of network administrator) to reboot "Minerva" can be an excercise in futility. More on topic, my home PC's called Tiny-XP because it's small and it runs XP.
posted by seanyboy at 4:08 PM on July 26, 2004

p1 MP3 box: Music System
2400+ Primary: HAL (named after the large black Antec server case, later pinstriped by Spiderman, one of the best pinstripers in Oregon)
posted by Keyser Soze at 4:10 PM on July 26, 2004

Gilberte, Albertine, Odette, and Oriane.

I named my wireless access point "unavailable", though, just to give any wardrivers who might happen across it a chuckle.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:10 PM on July 26, 2004

Although in retrospect, I feel pretty weird posting these answers. It feels a little bit like somebody asking what my mother's maiden name was, and which sites I like to buy stuff from.
posted by seanyboy at 4:12 PM on July 26, 2004

I have one dual-boot machine at home named "Fridge" because it is always humming. I've noticed it hums louder on the Linux side than Windows XP. (Possibly because Tux likes it colder? Ha ha... heh... sorry about that.)
posted by brism at 4:26 PM on July 26, 2004


If you have more than 10 machines, though, you're screwed using this scheme.
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:26 PM on July 26, 2004

Lacking multiple computers, I've had to resort to naming hard drives. The computer is called Samus, the system drive is called Mother Brain, and the other two are Ridley and Phantoon. I still need to get a Kraid.
posted by mindless progress at 4:39 PM on July 26, 2004

Powerbook = tome
Powermac = bex

*topic drift*
What SSID do you have for your wireless network?
posted by esch at 4:54 PM on July 26, 2004

I use the most boring names possible, like "greybox" and "blackbox" and so on.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:57 PM on July 26, 2004

comp: orac, wintermute, moose, cue
ssid: windlicht
posted by thebabelfish at 4:58 PM on July 26, 2004

esch: I use "mars network, open for all". which means what it says.

I've always given my computers names that reflect their personalities. Right now I have Serena, a PowerBook G4, and Sir Richard Burton, a Sony Vaio. Some past names: Dana, Lizard, Sarabande, Falcon, Lilie, Carmen Bellona...
posted by Mars Saxman at 5:44 PM on July 26, 2004

In my old setup, my G3 was called G3 and my G4 was called G4. In my new setup, my G5 is called Silverado and my iBook is called Quicksilver.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:02 PM on July 26, 2004

Router: "OMG n00b!!!!!!!!1111!"
posted by inksyndicate at 6:06 PM on July 26, 2004

My old machine was called Melchior.

My current machine is called Bloodberry.

And, yes, watching anime is what I do instead of having a life.
posted by SPrintF at 6:33 PM on July 26, 2004

thaumaturge, bohica, mercury
posted by substrate at 6:34 PM on July 26, 2004

my work machine is habanero, old work machine was tabasco
posted by substrate at 6:35 PM on July 26, 2004

Firewire HD = "Chimp Sidekick"
USB Flash Drive = "Pocket Protector"

I worked at a place years ago where most everybody put shared folders over the Appletalk network and came up with tons of so-clever names for their computers. I decided screw it and just named my machine AAAAAAAAAAAAGH. It stood out.
posted by furiousthought at 6:39 PM on July 26, 2004

iMac = "Fritz"
Dell = "Abby"
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:40 PM on July 26, 2004

Chef and Cartman (and, erm, "Mac")
posted by John Shaft at 6:49 PM on July 26, 2004

My iBook is Daddy Fat Sack.
posted by ColdChef at 6:53 PM on July 26, 2004

A friend got to name several machines in a cluster. He chose characters form "The Big Lebowski" as the theme. Some of the machines: thedude, bunny, treehorn, thejesus, hungus, donnie, walter, brandt.

These names always make me smile.

Also, you could name one machine el-duderino, if you're not into the whole brevity thing.
posted by funkbrain at 6:56 PM on July 26, 2004

I have grandmasterflash, cowboy and mellemel. When I get a few more computers, I'll have mrness, kidcreole and rahiem.
posted by mmascolino at 7:09 PM on July 26, 2004

As 'puters always seem to crash when needed the most, I name mine after great traitors. I've had an Iago, a Brutus, a Wormtounge. I'm typing this on Foyle---so he was more of just a plain old SOB, but still...

At work we use a boring, but simple "workgroup-location" scheme.
posted by bonehead at 7:30 PM on July 26, 2004

One place I worked at used either brands of liquor or names of notable revolutionaries. Both schemes seemed out of place for a web design firm. Better than Greek/Roman gods, though, that's for sure. *shudder*

I personally either use a word that includes "fuck" in it, or describe the core functionality, depending on whether or not the machine is visible outside the company.
posted by cmonkey at 7:40 PM on July 26, 2004

Powerbook: Baby
XP Tower: Scary
BSD Server: Sporty
Airport: Heathrow
posted by Hankins at 7:42 PM on July 26, 2004

ssid: heyneighbor (In my old apartment, two neighbors had wide open Linksys and Netgear routers... I thought maybe someday they'd notice mine).

Powerbook: Cheech
G3: Chong
SGI: SGI (very creative...I know)

Disk partitions: Earth, Wind, Fire

Years ago a friend had a PowerPC 7300 with two 2gb disks called Ponch and John.
posted by bucko at 7:43 PM on July 26, 2004

We had a cluster of microVaxes named Who, What, Where, Which, and Idunno. Servers were Jeeves, French, Hazel, and Lurch.

Home network right now consists of Colossus, Lodestone, and Carillon (latter two are named after the first two Crays purchased by NSA). (Oh, yeah -- and an iPod named Podzilla.)
posted by joaquim at 7:49 PM on July 26, 2004

Airport/802.11 SSID: LaGuardia
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:09 PM on July 26, 2004

Othello, Lear, Macbeth & Hamlet.

Not sure where I got those names ... ;)
posted by RavinDave at 8:11 PM on July 26, 2004

My main PC is "franklin" and my Linux box is "eleanor." The network is called "roosevelt."

Then we had to add my fiancee's computer, which came from another network that I set up. So "bobby" (as in Robert Kennedy) left his original group and joined roosevelt.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:12 PM on July 26, 2004

WolfDaddy, you rock!
posted by graventy at 8:24 PM on July 26, 2004

I just use variations on my name, but a football-loving buddy of mine names all his machines after Liverpool managers.
posted by jalexei at 8:29 PM on July 26, 2004

iBook :: Odysseus
iPod :: Roland
USB2 HD :: Aeneas
posted by themadjuggler at 8:52 PM on July 26, 2004

On our workgroup (FUCKO) currently:

posted by Jairus at 9:07 PM on July 26, 2004

My favorite naming scheme is at my wife's office: it's "things you don't want to find in your basement." Rats, radon, dryrot, corpse...
posted by mr_roboto at 9:16 PM on July 26, 2004

Desklamp and Escape Pod. Fairly obvious name choices for what they are.
posted by emelenjr at 9:22 PM on July 26, 2004

Hal, Orin, Avril.
posted by pemulis at 9:32 PM on July 26, 2004

iPod :: Roland

My iPod is named "pod!" (Turn it upside down.)
posted by kindall at 10:26 PM on July 26, 2004

Originally, we had only one computer, and my husband was perpetually tinkering with it and trading out the hardware for the cast-off parts and pieces of (richer) friends' machines until nothing was left of the original except the keyboard, so I always called it "Frankenstein". Eventually, in turn, Frank's cast-offs were incorporated into a second machine, that, of course, was promptly named "Bride of Frankenstein".

So ours are "Frank" and "Bride". These days you can hardly tell Frank and Bride from natural machines, though they both remain deathly afraid of fire, and tend towards a certain melancholy.
posted by taz at 10:27 PM on July 26, 2004

Being a huge Mystery Science Theater 3000 geek, my iBook is 'satellite of love', my iPod is 'rocket number nine', my blue iPod mini is 'nanite', my Firewire drive is 'deep 13', and my wireless network is 'umbilicus'.
posted by toddshot at 10:36 PM on July 26, 2004

Xbox, Gamecube, PS2, and this really old clone named Super Nintendo.


my husband wanted an Xbox but didn't have the money at the time, so he named his server Xbox ("it's my gaming machine!") and now we have all manner of platform confusion around here.

we now also have 2 playstations, 3 PS2s and an Xbox. it's kind of sick.
posted by littlegirlblue at 10:52 PM on July 26, 2004

Always name your most important server "gandalf" as most hackers won't think of this, and if they do find it out, they'll be too reverent to fuck with it.

posted by scarabic at 1:22 AM on July 27, 2004

My notebook is called spliffy, my desktop PC is called hornet.
posted by tcp at 3:01 AM on July 27, 2004

Scarabic's sarcasm forces me to out myself:

I'm fond of the "bad" places in Middle Earth: Dol Goldur, Angband, Barad-Dur, Cirith Ungol, Minas Morgul, etc.
posted by Irontom at 5:15 AM on July 27, 2004

Rosalind, Kate, Juliet, Beatrice. In our house we're pretentious wankers.
posted by normy at 6:32 AM on July 27, 2004

Heh, this is fun...

In the beginning, I used Japanese characters for all of the names of devices on my "network", but certain programs I had to run were very displeased when they couldn't find directories that they needed. It took me a while to nail that down. So now I just write them as you see here.

My Titanium Powerbook is named mahoko -- it means "magical child", I suppose you could say. I was going to name it something more color related, but the Japanese words for grey (haiiro, guree, etc.) didn't appeal to me.

My iPod is named yukiko --'cause it's white, like snow. Duh. And my external FireWire HD is named kuroko -- because it's black. Yeah, I'm an original one...

I suppose I'll continue the naming scheme in this manner, using female Japanese names. Apple computers never seemed too masculine to me.
posted by armage at 6:39 AM on July 27, 2004

I'm a little late on this thread, but, oh well. Currently I've been naming computers with names of some of my favorite backcountry ski runs in the Wasatch Mountains. We have Shot 22, Argenta, Superior, Evergreen, and Wolverine.
posted by trbrts at 8:39 AM on July 27, 2004

SSID: SkyNet
I, for one, welcome our new terminator overlords.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:51 AM on July 27, 2004

Mine are all named for characters from the Oz series, with names selected appropriate to the purpose of the system. My iBook is Kiki Aru, my primary desktop is Kabumpo, my WiFi network is Gillikin Country, etc.

My last network, maybe five years ago, everything was named after whack Japanese products. I remember the names Sunny Excellent and Fellow Max -- a little long for a heterogeneous network, but they did the trick at the time.
posted by waldo at 12:24 PM on July 27, 2004

A company I work for uses island names for their servers. Initially they just used Carribean ones, but they ran out and had to expand to Europe and the Pacific.. still, no sheppey, wight, grain, lindisfarne or skye yet.
posted by wackybrit at 12:34 PM on July 27, 2004

I named most of my devices last year during my anime period. Hence my PowerBook is sakaki, my PDA answers to the name of Chiyo, my iPod is Ayumu, and my wireless network is called Nerv.

Several storage devices are Grim Fandango inspired, including Calavera, Glottis and Meche (two hard drives and a MemoryStick respectively).

My Linux PC is cam73, which was my user ID at university. My bro's PC is called Lucidium (an online nick he uses), and my mum's PC is just called proxy because it also acts as the proxy server for our network.

I wish I had an imagination.
posted by chrismear at 1:38 PM on July 27, 2004

G4: Morvern (book character)
Powerbook: Atalanta (ship)
Sparc server: earth
Laserwriter: Godot (mac os 9 printing message ... waiting for godot)
Deskjet: Goss
iPod: Lenin
ssid: monkey.
posted by bonaldi at 4:06 PM on July 27, 2004

I go with whatever actor's on screen at the time. I've had Coburn, MacQueen, Guinness, and a raft of others long since forgotten.

I name variables in my bad perl scripts the same way, except with them I generally end up using young actresses' first names.
posted by codger at 8:28 PM on July 28, 2004

I don't have a huge network yet. Our main machine is "[me] and [wife's] Computer." Wife's work laptop has some janky company-IT-assigned name. Now, my partitions, that's a whole nother story.
  • Hallucination Engine [after one of my favorite albums from my college years]
  • Electronic Battle Sammitch [was "...Weapon" after Chem Bros. EP, had change of heart a couple of years back -- before 9/11, I might add, I had this thought on my own]
  • Wide Angle [another favorite album]
  • Emperor [empty, waiting for Yellow Dog 4 to drop]
My external Firewire drive was, up until recently, named after Jon Spencer Blues Explosion albums:
  • Plastic Fang [10.3]
  • Acme [10.2]
  • Orange [OS 9]
  • Extra Width [no system, just storage]
The drive crashed, I had to have it replaced, and I haven't come up with witty names for the replacement's partitions.

Just so this isn't a total derail, the SSID of my wireless router is "LEBOWSKI."
posted by britain at 8:59 PM on July 28, 2004

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