back to article Don't call me Ishmael

'No, you don't understand,' the White Knight said, looking a little vexed. 'That's what the name is called. The name really is "The Aged Aged Man."' 'Oh, do get on with it, you pedantic old weirdo,' snapped Alice crisply. Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll (1871), revised Verity Stob (2009) It started when we were all in …


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  1. iamapizza

    Names which sound familiar...

    I've got:




    You've heard of them before but it'll take you a moment to remember where they're from.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    What about hot sluty girls names

    Paris has just gone down on me!

  3. frank ly

    What's in a name?

    I remember that quite a few years ago, I noticed a 'fashion' for calling servers by names of 'related things'. So you'd have groups such as iron, copper, steel..... or diamond, sapphire, emerald...

    This has the advantage that the people who look after them are less likely to get attached to them (as techies do) and so will make level headed decisions about scrapping them when the time comes; instead of lovingly tending and nursing them against all common sense.

  4. Nigel Callaghan

    Rule 7 stupidity

    Town planners do often show limited imagination, as in the "Rosemary Walk led to Daffodil Hill, adjoining Poppy Lane and Lavender Avenue" example. Lincoln has a very literary area with adjacent streets named after (amongst many others) Swift, Coleridge, Lamb, Marlowe, Burns, Scott, Addison, Cowper, Chaucer, Shelley, Browning and Goldsmith. Even worse is the area of Leeds where there is Harlech Road, Harlech Mount, Harlech Ave, Harlech Grove, Harlech Terrace, Harlech Street and Harlech Crescent, followed by Trentham Row, Trentham Ave, Trentham St, Trentham Grove etc. I hope the postmen there get danger money!

  5. Jerome 0


    I have to confess I found your WikiAnswers link insufficiently convincing, so I undertook extensive research, and established that Lord Cardigan's horse was indeed called Ronald. Wikipedia said so, so it must be true.

  6. Sean Aaron

    How about extinct arthropods?

    Most of the things on my home network are named after Burgess Shale organisms: marrella and wixwia are my PAL and Japanese Wiis and yohoia is my printer. I've extended it further to my red ipod which is sanctacaris and my mobile phone is known to my computer as opabinia when it needs to download some photos for it. No danger of running out of names for quite some time!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spot on

    Thanks Verity. I'm pissed off working with Nw15agr1 too

  8. Bleeter
    Thumb Up

    Oh my god..

    Rule #9 ... people should have it beaten into them at birth.

  9. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Up

    Particular to workplace?

    A great guide. Our job at the theatre I work at is made simpler by a continuous and excellent source of server names - theatrical shows, as thus;






    That was, until some bastard contractor came in and named our Citrix server 'Citrix'.

  10. Gordon Guthrie 1

    Wise Words

    I was once asked to review a software application in wide use in an organisation. I was sent on a trip to the back of beyond to discuss it with the author/supplier of said application.

    I was more than slightly discombobulated to find out that the 'name' of the programme was actually the name of '3GL' it was written in. The swine hadn't *even* named it. Needless to say he was a hippy/self-taught maestro. The application itself was famously pants and known to be so before I was sent off on the quest.

    I did the 'due diligence' properly as befits a professional, but you don't need a social worker to know that a child named Bastard should be taken into care forthwith.

  11. jake Silver badge

    Oooooooooh kay ...

    And the point?

    ::wanders off muttering::

  12. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    A name is for life, not just for Christmas

    See and for two other views, one of which is actually serious and underscores the point about underscores. Then call your machine "UP".

  13. A J Stiles

    My LAN

    I already latched onto the need for a theme from day one. All the machines on my home LAN are named after recreational drugs (marijuana the router, heroin the laptop, cocaine the desktop, crystalmeth the dual-xeon media transcoding box, and so on). And when I run out of drugs, I'm going to start using explosives.

  14. Admiral Grace Hopper

    Rule 2(a)

    See also: Start Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Hitchhikers, Dune etc.

    Codicil: for some reason Blakes 7 is permissible, as also is the Lensmen series.

  15. Helmut Watson

    Server/PC names

    I always call my servers God2, God3, etc on the basis that they are omniprescent. Server-connected printers become God2s pencil, God2s crayon, etc and the router becomes God2s earpiece.

    In a similar vein my personal PCs are always called Braincell2, Braincell3, etc on the basis that I've only got 1 left inside my own head!

    Woof !


  16. lee harvey osmond

    domain names ... how about proteins?

    Yes indeed, the Managing Director/Senior Partner/Supreme Dalek/whatever he's called himself this week could decide that all machine names shall be the names of proteins, not less than 40 characters long and quite improbably difficult to spell.

    Mind you, if the office LAN-botherer spells 'logfile' with two G's, even 'keratin' might prove problematic.

  17. Barely registers
    Gates Horns

    My favourite

    The server called Tartarus - the place as far beneath hell as hell is beneath heaven.

    It never crashed. Make of that what you will.

  18. Tom 15
    Paris Hilton


    Our workplace does Star Wars. We have ObiWans, Jabbas, Skywalkers, Palpatines, Dookus, Amidalas, Leias, Coruscants, Tattooines, Endors... work machines are people, servers are planets, peripherals are other objects, such as "blaster", "lightsaber", etc.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rule 6 - names from a domain

    If you've got a largish network, there's always the NATO designations for Soviet aircraft types.

    You know,

    * fighters started with "F" - Flanker,Flogger, Foxbat

    * helicopters started with "H" - Hind, Helix, Hokum

    * bombers started with "B" - Bear, Blinder, Backfire

    Yeah, sad, I know :-)

  20. Bill 19

    You know you've run out of creativity when... say bollocks to it and just run through the phonetic alphabet. I'm using Bravo.

  21. Jimmahh

    RE: Particular to workplace?

    Surely all you have to do is come up with some paper-thin excuse to put on a show called "Citrix" and you'll be alright again?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    In a previous job I proposed a naming scheme based on serial killers, on the grounds that they were memorable and there are plenty of them.

    For some bizarre reason this excellent suggestion was overruled.

  23. Adrian Jones

    At university...

    The computer unit had a Gould mini-computer which was problematic at first. Whenever they brought it up, it went down. After a few repetitions, they called it Zebedee. The next one was slow, so that was Brian. Then came Dougal and Florence. The computer science department called theirs "csgould". No imagination!

    When they were replaced with Sun boxen, the servers were given the names of mainline stations in London and the workstations named after the stations along the lines from those stations. I suspect the computer unit staff were train spotters...

    I have:

    Windows: Kiki (laptop), Zaza (PDA), Hector (Media PC).

    Linux: Midge (netbook), Mungo (PC). When I set up a mail server, it'll probably be Pat. (Not Mary, I know too many Marys, who'd probably be annoyed with me!)

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I think you missed one

    I name mine after actresses that i like, dependent on their performance and use.

    My pimped up games machine is angelina jolie, she is fast, loud, runs hot, drinks power and chews through your resources.

    My eee1000 for the Xp parition is gemma atkinson, cheap, lightweight and lacks real substance without much care and attention. (spyware, anti virus)

    For the linux partition it's claire goose, perfect little package, does what it says it can and gets on with the job.

    My linux shuttle for email and web browsing is kate beckinsale, homely, multi talented in a perfectly formed body and isn't a complaining and whinging freeloader. (Doesn't need to reboot, isn't loud, doesn't overheat)

    My windows mobile phone was either lindsey lohan or amy winehouse depending on whenever active sync decides it needs to reinstall the connections because they have fallen over. Either one was talented and given such a chance of greatness only to ***k it all up. (MS's fault)

  25. Anonymous Coward

    @A J Stiles

    recreational drugs...heroin?

    Now where are my skins

  26. Paul A. Walker
    Thumb Up

    I have a HAL9000 on the domain...

    ...and I'm not ashamed to admit it! I did have my servers at my last place named after characters from Norse mythology, but no-one could spell so it was a problem. My routers were named after Marx brothers but after Zeppo I had to use Karl, which segued nicely into Engels, Lenin, Trotsky...

  27. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: I think you missed one

    >kate beckinsale, homely

    I don't think that word means what you think it means.

  28. AceRimmer1980


    Mail servers are called 'Pat'.

    @ frankly:

    Transuranic heavy elements may not be used where there is life.

  29. Tony S

    Talk about sad

    At work, we use Greek letters for servers.

    For PCs, they used to use the names of characters from the Simpsons, but I thought that was silly - so we started using elements (really pissed off the users that got Ununhexium & Praesodynium). Ran out of elements, so we now use countries, and am just waiting to find out which idiot, sorry poor fool gets "Democratic People's Republic of Congo" or "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia".

    My home network is really nerdy - I use the names of dragons from the Anne McCaffrey novels about Pern. It's quite useful for testing purposes as I can set-up the Active Directory using the names of the Holds, Halls & Weyrs for Organisational Units, and the main characters as users, with their role in the society as their Security group.

    Yes, I REALLY need to get a life - and I'll start looking as soon as I've finished my cup of klah.

  30. Robert Ramsay
    Thumb Up

    @A J Stiles

    "And when I run out of drugs, I'm going to start using explosives."

    thank you Mr./Ms. Stiles for my new net sig :D

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is true

    At Pfizer in Sandwich, there were two printers in the limited access vivisection labs. They were called Bambi and Thumper.

    I suppose that this dark sense of humour was only to be expected.

  32. GrahamT

    Back in the mists of time

    I worked in a place that had the main server called SnowWhite, followed by Sleepy (very slow) Dopey (underpowered) etc. Of course, this limited the size of the network, and no one could ever remember the name of the seventh one.

  33. Kent Brockman


    Where i used to work we had seven ibm's for the data warehouse, so naturally, they were named after the members of S Club 7 - how we laughed across the office when I announced that Rachel had gone down on me again.

    Nowadays its much more conservative planets, saturn, earth mercury etc.

  34. GrahamT
    Thumb Up

    Re: "...'Dave' was a crap name for a TV channel."

    But the name of their rerun channel Dave-ja-vu is pure genius.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Easy place to get names

    We've now agreed to use the names of commenters from the Register. All existing machines are going to be renamed.

    I'm voting that "AManFromMars 1" is the web server; supplying quality information to all.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once had to name a Netware server "DOWN"

    It was for the office in County Down and that was their naming convention. I told them it would just look bad and confuse the ops team but their attitude was that a policy was a policy so get on with it.

    Personally I say name your computers and servers whatever you want to because it will make absolutely no difference.

    If you are naming your home computers then the only reason for "clever" names is to try to impress people. Which it certainly won't.

    At work your users will refer to their PC as "my PC" and not give a damn about the actual name and as for file servers they don't access stuff from "Gandalf" or "Spock" or "Filesrv01" or whatever they access shit from the "S" drive anyway.

  37. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

    Mine are

    freya - server

    odin - my primary desktop

    thor - my netbook - used to be my old desktop

    heimdall - firewall/router - look it up to understand what it's meant to be doing

    frigg - my mom's machine - fairly obvious once you read the meaning

    baldr - my cell phone

    loki - my UPS

    Still need to name my myth box... atm it's just myth

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whats in a name!

    I named my Computer, Skynet

    Its not that powerful though as I only use it for Programming not gaming.

    Im currently working on an Advanced Recognition & Navigation Interface Engine, (A.R.N.I.E)

    M Dyson

  39. SoupDragon

    Beeching (and underscores

    I see there is one closed station called 'login' - I am sure that would cause no end of problems with some software...

  40. frank ly

    @A J Stiles re. My LAN

    "..And when I run out of drugs, I'm going to start using explosives."

    Whatever you do, don't get confused and start smoking them; just chew them slowly.

  41. adnim

    Rule 11

    Don't give servers names descriptive of their function.

    For instance FinanceFilesOne, BackUpBox, SensitiveFiles, EmployeeRecs.

    Security through obscurity although not a solution in itself does resist cluing up any potential hackers.

    Could it be that this is such an obvious rule it was omitted?

    I personally use characters from the tales of king Arthur on my home network.... Albion, Avalon, Uther, Gwain, Mordred etc. The exception is my missus' PC and laptop which are named Angus and LittleAngus respectively after the cat. The planets imho, are also a good source of computer names.

  42. Jeff 3

    I want my click back

    And here I was thinking that Ishmael was the codename for a new processor.

    Instead, I stumbled onto someones blog?!?

  43. John Angelico

    Being a boring accountant...

    I started naming our little home network of OS/2 machines to remind us where they were:

    Ollie (in the office) and Stan (in the store), and then we got our first laptop (Louie). But the next two desktop machines were christened Dewey and Huey.

    Printers? Named by the youngest member of the family at the time, we have

    Burt (the early-ish model HP 1200 which burps when it cycles its sleep mode)

    Cargo (a Kyocera MFP-1118 for the heavy lifting)


    Hippo the HP 2600N colour network laser (a large beast)

    Other machines - a dual-boot OS/2-Windows laptop called Traal (the Bug-blatter beast of) and a Windows desktop without its own KVMs called Bernard (Woolley - employed by our resident Hacker).

    OK OK, mine's the one with 'OS/2 PM Programming' in the pocket...

  44. Conrad Longmore

    Conrad Longmore

    Cute is nice.. but when you have thousands of clients and hundreds of servers it just becomes stupid.

    We just have:

    The two letter TLD of the country the box is based in (e.g. UK, SE, HK)

    A one letter resource type (S=server, D=desktop, L=laptop, P=printer)

    A four digit number for PCs, a 3 digit number for servers plus a type identifier (e.g. SQL, FP, DC)

    For example, UKD1234 is a UK desktop, PLS006SQL is a Polish SQL server, ITL0001 is an Italian laptop.

    So I can tell at a glance what country a machine is based in, whether it's fixed or roaming and with servers there's a clue as to what it actually does. You can also sort lists of machines alphabetically and they automatically arrange themselves by country and type.

    Yeah, it's a boring way to name things. But it makes life a helluva lot easier than being cute.

  45. Anonymous Coward


    I used to use the names of elements as a naming scheme. Unix/Linux/OS X machines would start from Hydrogen and go upwards. Windows boxen would start with radioactive element names such as plutonium, uranium, etc. (as they are unstable and prone to decay). Problem was I ran out of radioactive element names too soon.

    Good thing was you could use a long and short hostname, e.g.: & &

    so you could do: ping h, ping na, etc.

    (as long as the DNS was setup with the search domain correctly).

  46. Steve Swann

    Thank you all...

    ...for the valuable footprinting info. I'll be sure to visit your networks soon.


  47. Kim Rasmussen

    @Admiral Grace Hopper

    What, even "Vroomfondel" and "Majikthise"?

  48. James 30

    I'm lacking originality....

    I've err..named all of our networkable devices at home after Battlestar Galactica stuff. My iPod touch is call Starbuck, the PS3 is known as Pegasus when in Linux, the router is called Kobol and err...I'm sure you all get the idea.

  49. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

    Heavenly bodies and birds at uni

    At UKC in the late 80s/early 90s, the VAX cluster sported planetary names (Jupiter, Saturn, Titan etc.) and the Unix boxen were birds (raven, hawk, eagle etc.). Dunno if the tradition carried on after the machines themselves died, though.

    Just to back up the Blake's 7 meme, I always call my laptop Orac (well, it was supposed to be portable...)

  50. Eponymous Cowherd

    Ones I've seen

    Birds of prey (Eagle, Osprey, Owl, Hawk, Falcon, Vulture)

    Astronomers (Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, Halley, Huygens, Newton)

    Egyptian gods (Osiris, Anubis, Seth, Ra)

    Boring old numbers (svr-001, svr-002, ws-001, ws-001)

    English Counties (Yorkshire, Hampshire, Devon, Cornwall)

    Ships at Trafalgar (Victory, Agamemnon, Orion, Ajax)

    WB Cartoon Character (Wylie, Daffy, Bugs, Elmer, Porky, Tweety, Sylvester)

  51. Alexander Zeffertt

    "To think Emmeline and Germaine died for this"

    Unfortunately, Germaine is still alive.

    I assume you meant "Greer"....

  52. Billa Bong

    Lack of imagination

    I reinstalled my home machine recently and went for "PC". Sorry. But before that it was "ABBOT" (I had a lot of ale-powered technology) and the description was "the heat generating monster", as that was appropriate. It gave me a sense of pleasure when I went to, as Windows put it, "shut down the heat generating monster"!

    We don't have lack of imagination at work though, e.g. using the characters from Rainbow. However, naming the hundreds of nodes in the cluster proved too much. Any suggestions?

    PS. Verity - I like what you write, but you can go on a bit...

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    Brighton University, way back in the mists of time had a server called SnowWhite. There were seven sun boxes connected to it named after the dwarves.

    The DCs at the place where I work atm are called Earth Wind and Fire, but prior to that I think there was an attempted to go for an Arthurian naming scheme.

    Helicopter just because.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We have 'discussions' about this !

    One of the bosses wants descriptive names - like boring "WebHost1" and such. We want to carry on with our theme - I look after Ford, Prefect, and several Lintillas (someone else looks after Arthur, Benji, Trillian, Vogon, and ...)

  55. LaeMi Qian

    My last job...

    ...named their servers after dictators. It was a psychiatric practice.

    Lenin never would talk to Trotsky (seriously).


    Girls, don't name your root drive in Linux after yourself!

    "LaeMi has been mounted 43 times without being checked." is not so good, and "LaeMi was not cleanly unmounted, check forced." sounds a good deal worse :-(


    Presently I am calling my home rig "System". I can't think of anything good and would rather something boring to something bad.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Final Fantasy

    I find that the Final Fantasy games are a pretty inexhausible supply of names.

    Unix machines are baddies (iSCSI server is Kefka, web is Zeromus, vmware is Gestahl, etc.)

    Windows machines are player characters (Vista and Win7 are FF6, XP is FF5)

    Macs are named after FF7 characters - because FF7 is for fruity little girls. I quite enjoyed putting Aeris downrange of the business end of an AK47....

    Other devices are recurring random encounters (Cactuar, Tonberry) and other random encounters.

  57. Andy C
    Thumb Up

    From the days of Legend...

    We started off using items from Burger Kings menu at the time...

    Whopper, Twister etc etc Easy to remember but dam made you hungry all the time...

    Home machines are named afer Gen1 Original Transformers... Primus (firewall), Unicron (router), Cybertron (Test bed server) etc etc

  58. This post has been deleted by its author

  59. vonBureck
    Dead Vulture

    John Ronald Reuel who?

    Hard to believe, but I appear to be the first geek to file a complaint against the spelling "Tolkein". It's TOLKIEN, fer chrissakes. Get your biblical references right :)

  60. Ray0x6

    Some guys I used to work with...

    Had a set of machines called:






    And some others. I can't even be sure this list is accurate, but the point is that the manager had them all changed when he found out they were all objects that had been found up someone's arse.

  61. vonBureck

    Here's another one

    My uni admin used the names of Vangelis albums for all the school servers - how's that for obscure :). And yes, one of the servers was indeed called chariots-of-fire.

  62. Sandtreader


    FWIW, I've used types of ship at successive companies: 'cargo' for the fileserver, 'ferry' for the firewall, 'barque', 'brig' etc. for big workstations, down to 'launch', 'cutter', 'rib' for laptops and SFF boxes. They have the advantage that they are short, mostly easy to spell and seemingly there's an inexhaustible supply of them ("flyak"?)

  63. Rick 17
    Thumb Up

    Modern Culture?

    One of my redhat servers was named Silent.Bob is that a fair name to add to the list?

  64. ViagraFalls
    Thumb Up


    My private network is indeed based on character names from the Lord of the Rings. Gandalf, Frodo, Sam, Merry, etc.

    I've also seen stars (orion, caspar, pollux, etc...), capital cities (HongKong, Amsterdam, Oslo), and frequently the "identify at a glance" setup as above where the server names are built up out of geographical indicators of where to actually find a PC.

  65. Nimrod


    When I worked for a largish French Insurer they named all their servers after classical composers (Verdi, Debussey, Mozart etc.) which frankly was just too damn pretentious

  66. Anonymous Coward

    Once upon a time...

    (Posted anonymously, for the obvious reasons that follow...) dear brother-in-law asked me to do installation of a routing Linux server, Linux mini-laptop (this was before Asus EEE and similar), and a Linux/Windows desktop for his home network.

    I asked, "How do you want me to name these?"

    He said, "Whatever you like, I don't care."

    And thus the outgoing server was named hentai.

    The cute mini-laptop was yuri.

    The desktop was known as yaoi.

    You're now free to google what these names mean, but I advice not to do it at work or anywhere with sensitive souls around you with a potential eye for the screen.

  67. Sam Street
    Thumb Up


    My Blackberry is called Stephen.

    I miss the days when IT Depts used to give machines imaginative names... gfaufvalhlbcsi01 is no name to give a server.

  68. Sampler


    I'm obviously very lacking in the imagination quotient as this has never occured to me, computers in my home domain are named after function: my Main PC is MainPC, the Server is Server, the HTPC in the living room is HTPC, the one in the bedroom is BedroomHTPC, the extension is ExtHTPC, the laptop Laptop, tablet Tablet, windows mobile Mobile and the girlfriends PC is named after her.

    At the office they're named simply after there asset tags. Maybe I should flex the ol' head next time.

  69. Robert Synnott

    More elements, I'm afraid

    In an old job, we used elements. My desktop was 'rb'. Because 'Rob', obviously. I resent the potential implication that I'm poisonous, explosive and slightly radioactive. Fortunately, it was a small company...

    At home, our various wireless networks have been named after unpleasant politicians.

  70. AndrewG

    It all depends how many you've got

    Trust me, afer the first 100 servers it all gets a bit too much and you actually start naming them to a format, for instance

    What they do (4 letters)

    their address (3 digits plus three letters for the city address)

    their country (2 Letters...thank you international naming standards)

    a number (2-3 digits to tell them apart from all the other servers doing the same thing at teh same site)

    so your IIS Webserver at 233 Marmaduke St Swindon, UK being the 3rd IIS server you've installed is called WEBS233MSSUK03

  71. Anonymous Coward

    Rule 6

    We've delivered networked systems to customers in various cities round the world and always tried to make the names vaguely relevant, so we'd normally choose things like station or suburb names. So systems for Tokyo would get random subway station names. Makes it a pain when you have to remember how to spell the name when you want to remotely connect to Ikebukuro...

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    A literary alternative.

    I have a simple naming scheme for any LAN I set up. I simply pick a Shakespeare play and name the machines after characters. If I run out, I move on to another - preferably related - Shakespeare play.

    My home network is currently sporting names from 'Cymbaline.' Work is a mixture of the various histories (Richard, Henry etc..) and a local design studio, whose network I set up recently as a favour, are using Midsummer Night's Dream. Yes, there is a "Bottom"

    Been using the same naming convention for years - well, except for that bodged-up Win Server 2003 that I wound up having to completely rebuild from scratch because the original installers were a bunch of morons. That was and still is called 'bastard.'

  73. Anonymous Bastard

    An old friend...

    ...once called up for help. Her PC had issued an error and the memory dump in base64 started with the letters VLAD7J which she then tried to read out over the phone. Thus the PC became known as Vlad the Impaler and all her subsequent PCs were officially named Vlad too.

    Sorry. Not that interesting.

  74. Paul Foxworthy
    Thumb Up

    Pratchett is a good source

    I recommend Terry Pratchett character names for computers.

    Greebo, Gaspode, Luggage (for a netbook, of course), Unseen (for a wireless access point), Vimes, Weatherwax, Magrat, Rincewind, Havelock. They seem to have a ring to them, and when you need a new name you have a theme to work with.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I fell foul of Rule 10

    I have an old Fujitsu Siemens P4M based laptop that in it's time was fast as a thief (even though it was prone to thermal shutdowns - damned if I'll buy another FSC machine) - so I called it the rather pretenscious name 'Lightning'. Oh, how I laugh when I run Half-Life 2 up on it....

    I regret not using something appropriate for my wife's Vista machine. Perhaps 'Plague', 'Pestilence', 'Heartbreaker', 'Bast**d-Mother-F*cker'.........

  76. Nordrick Framelhammer

    I like my science fiction so...

    Yes, you guessed it. I named the machines on my home network. My main server is Nostromo, my firewall is jumpgate, my Windows gaming box is narcissus (the shuttle Ripley used Alien/Aliens), my laptop is Sulaco, my Linux box is kobiashimaru, my NAS box is babylon5, that sort of thing.

  77. Hairy Scary

    Some More

    A place I worked in had NCR tower servers named Basil, Sybil, Manuel, Polly and The Major.

  78. Sarah Bee's Love Slave


    I would disagree and say that actually this was a perfectly acceptable name for a dog and proven as such by its use in 'Spaced'.

  79. Juillen 1

    All the Disaster Recovery servers..

    Are named after various things from "The Clangers".. Because when a Clanger is dropped, it's always good to have a spare lurking around to take over.

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Once place I worked at named their servers after muppets. (They have since gone bust).

    Another place started naming servers after space shuttles, until they realised they might need more than twelve servers in total. They then went over to using the names of Greek and Roman classical deities. Try spelling Cassiopeia in a hurry.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    My favourite names...

    Ahhh...memories. Here we have dull naming conventions nowadays - a site abbreviation, an asset tag number and a letter denoting the machine type. Once upon a time though, before the proliferation of PCs (yes - a very long time ago, I know!), we used to have pairs of SCO UNIX (remember SCO? They used to be quite big!) boxes running a live and backup warehouse management system.

    They all had pairs of names which went together, such as the dull Alpha and Omega. There were some middlingly good names (Wallace and Gromit, Jekyll and Hyde) but for me the supreme example came from the now long-defunct Dundee site which rejoiced in having their servers called Mince and Tatties.

    Tolkien names? Who needs 'em! :-)

    PS We currently same our AS/400 machines after ships owned once upon a time by the company. My favourite: "Katanga"....

    Oddly, nobody seems to find this funny.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ A J Stiles

    ... marijuana the router ...

    They always said it was a Gateway drug!

  83. Bob Kentridge

    Street names

    I've seen worse than the flower street names. Many years ago some of my friends lived in an area of Leeds known locally as 'The Harolds' because all the streets were Harold something - Harold Street, Harold Road, Harold Avenue - truly brilliant bit of planning.

    On an unrelated note my work machines tend to be called hagbard, gruad, fnord, shoggoth and so on... At home they're called Upstairs and Downstairs.

  84. Newt_Othis


    Planet names are great, but suffer from the obvious flaw of there not being many of them and you eventually get to Uranus.

    (We use tree names BTW)

  85. Tkirk

    with reference to rule 10

    Our company used to name all the machines after cartoon characters. When I first had a company laptop it was named "Gonzales" (you know, after the mouse...)

    At first it was an appropriate name. It was the fasted computer we had, even outperforming our antiquated desktop still running windows 3.0

    After a while it became not so appropriate.

    By the time we scrapped it, the name was downright ironic!

    All our computers are now named with soulless letters and numbers, since we were taken over by Americans who thought our naming system was too hard to deal with.

    Our home network is based around Norman, Doug and Dinsdale. Brownie points for anyone who can guess what the next computer added will be called...

  86. TeeCee Gold badge

    I was going to complain....

    "...a proper, horsey name, like 'Desert Orchid' or 'Sanyo Music Centre'."

    ...that of all the keyboards that taken a coffee soaking courtesy of El Reg, this was the only time the coffee in question had taken a trip through my sinuses to get there. Then, after sponging the worst of it off, I read the comments and LaeMi's made it happen again.


    However, all that aside. I once set up a series of servers named after a variety of demonic entities. It made sense as networking was still a bit of a black art* back then. Anyhow, I came unstuck when some born-again new hire refused to login to something reporting itself as "Asmodeus" on principle. Fortunately (or unfortunately if you're a religious twat), I managed to convince the powers that be** that downing the whole lot and reconfiguring, with all the attendant hoo-hah, was going to be a sight more expensive than paying the little sod off when they sacked him.

    *One thing a good naming convention should have - a really cheesy gag to justify it.

    **The earthly ones. No messy stuff with entrails required at all.

  87. MezzoToscano

    The oddest names you ever found?

    Disclaimer: I work in a large organization with an established policy for naming anything connected to the network: (three letter location identifier)-(one letter identifier of device type, es. "S" for server, "P" for printer)(four characters unique identifier); the unique identifier may be anything the local admin is pleased with - I set the first character as the last digit of the purchase year so I can sort equipment by age at a glance (useful for PCs), so a desktop computer purchased in 2008 for location XYZ could be XYZ-D8012.

    That said, I guess we all have seen fancy names used. Back when the internet was young, I remember of a website running on three servers named Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu (Google it yourself - I like some anime in small doses, so did the webmaster I guess).

    Also, I am pretty sure the Vatican website is still running on servers named Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael - I can't remember which one is the firewall tho :-)

    (To be honest, my home computers were inflicted names like Xanadu or Area51...)

  88. Alan Edwards
    Thumb Up

    Blake's Seven

    I'm one of the sad gits that named machines after Blake's 7 characters. My main PC is still called Cally (my favourite character) and the laptop is Orac.

    Zen was my Windows 2000 server/WinRoute machine, but bit the dust years back when the CPU cooling fan died.

    Tarrant was a media machine hooked up to the hifi and TV, which is now a PowerMac G4 imaginatively called 'PowerMacG4'. I had a Jenna too, can't remember what that did.

    Years back I worked on an NCR mini. There was a process, a compiler or something, on there called SLARTIBART, because in one of the status screens it had FAST in the column after the name.


  89. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ A J Stiles II

    Yep, named a whole bunch of servers after recreational drugs; there's at least one per letter of the alphabet.

    You can also sub-relate too, e.g. cocaine's backup server is charlie, marijuana's is weed, etc.

  90. Anonymous Coward


    There is an RS/6000 somewhere in Bournemouth called Trousers

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    My conventions...

    My system is half way between supermodels and transformers at the momement...

    Though there's a HAL and a MARVIN thrown into the mix too...

  92. Mike Banahan

    Traditional hackers' diet

    I've long supported the tradition of beer and curry myself, with devices named tiger, landlord, cobra, balti, korma, roti ... it's enough for a modest network as long as you don't fall into the trap of naming the currently-hottest one vindaloo or phal only to be embarrassed a few years later when you realise it's now as comparatively spicy as a raita.

  93. Peter Kay

    Members of Parliament

    Preferably related to the department the MP was in. For instance, my media server is called Mellor. Others are a bit more subversive : the occasionally used SGI O2 box is called Cameron, because it still looks shiny and new on the outside, but is basically fairly decrepit on the inside..

    Main workstation has to be a colossus of the parliamentary system, like Pitt. As each workstation ages, it becomes re-purposed and renamed. Pitt->Heath, for instance.

  94. Martin 6 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Street names

    Belfast went one better - it has an industrial estate called Heron Estate. So all the streets are called Heron - Heron Rd, Heron Ave, Heron Drive, Heron Place etc

    I don't think anyone ever got the right mail

    Paris - cos she must have been behind the isea

  95. Wulff U. Heiss




  96. Muscleguy

    In Science

    The possibilities are endless! we have already had Cambrian species but in a Zoology dept you could have species under study or over in the MolBio lab gene names can also be useful, a small cluster for example could named after the hedgehog family, sonic included. Though that would be problematic in those labs working on C. elegans worms as their powers that be have decreed the names should be alphanumeric according to a detailed scheme, spoilsports!

    I do agree with the non Tolkein thing though that is so passé, my university had servers called 'Rivendell' and 'Gandalf' back in the '80s for goodness sake.

    BTW all the streetnames around here are named after Lochs, we are in Fyne Rd which is off Torridon Rd. Not obvious to the geographically ignorant I grant but a good scheme for a town planner here in Scotland.

  97. Soruk
    Thumb Up

    A mixture here

    My net-facing server is called Psychoceramic as it was originally a 486 machine, and today is a K6-III/450. My laptops are Callanish and SkaraBrae. My VoIP switch is Washi, my Sun is Hikari. My Linux boxes are Asakura and Sonozaki and the FreeBSD one is Matrix. As for the Windows machine? Damnthing.

  98. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I've gone through all your comments..

    and there isn't anyone who uses the same set as I do for my home network.

    It's called 'Dulux', and unsurprisingly all the machines are Green, Blue, Red etc. That worked well for a while, but when I got over 40 systems connected (SETI farm in the attic), I started to run out of simple words.

    So now my new systems are Gamboge, Teal, Advocado, Beige, Whitewithahintof....

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    willow the wisp

    i name my kit after willow the wisp

    mavis the server

    carwash the catwarmer/laptop

    moog the phone

    and evilenda the mce

    enough room for expansion and the joys of people asking "why is your server called mavis"

  100. Nebulo

    Rule 1 is universal, actually

    Used to go out with a girl who called her guitar Faramir.

    We were not long for coupledom.

  101. Anonymous John

    I blame Dr Who

    My SSID is Bad Wolf, And everything connected to the router is Bad_Wolf_1, Bad_Wolf_2, etc.

    Another one I set up uses Harlequin, Pierrot, (would have been Pantaloon, but I chickened out), and Columbine.

  102. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Traditional hackers' diet

    I used to admin a network that used the names of different kinds of chillis for all the machines. You wouldn't believe how many there are... we kept on thinking we'd surely run out and have to adopt a new scheme, but by the time we got up to around a hundred machines on our LAN we still had a list as long as your arm of unused chilli varieties.

    (The network no longer exists, so :-P~~~ to anyone here doing reconaissance!)

  103. danny_0x98

    When I Get There "V" for Verity

    I hope I don't prove a point to my detriment, but I write this from my MacBook Pro 15 called "Parsifal." I've been progressing through the alphabet.

    Um, when I hit "e" I did use Elrond. Sorry. I was younger. It ran FreeBSD 5.x, does that mitigate the twerpiness a little?

    At one job, when I brought some Linux file servers on line to relieve the burden on an ancient small business server, I named them after co-workers' children.

    Recently, I've been naming servers after bad former US Presidents. So I have a Polk and a Fillmore. Another name for the series freed up earlier this year and awaits assignment.

  104. Jesthar

    Teletubbies.., not me (no way!) - the CompSci department of my University. They had a bunch of new kit around the same time as the Teletubbies were cult student viewing (again, not me, no way!), and the four login servers became Tinky Winky, Dipsy, LaaLaa and Po. We also had servers called Pinky, Perky and Flipper, - no ideas what they were for, but their names were proudly sellotaped to the side of the boxes for all the world to see through the server room windows.

    I'm fairly boring when it comes to my computers. My ancient homebuild desktop is Thunderchild (I'd just read War of the Worlds, and the case is a rather nice gunmetal grey), and my laptop is Bunny, not for any rabbit related reasons, but because it was the nickname of a nice IT chap who helped me spec the laptop, who sadly passed away the same day it was delivered. I know, I'm just a sentimental old thing...

  105. martin burns

    Scottish Geography


    At home, I use Hebridean Islands for machines, with laptops being by convention named after smaller islands and desktops after larger ones, while network kit is named after ferry ports.

    So my desktop is Harris; the wife's netbook is Oronsay and the next WAP we buy will probably have an SSID of Lochaline. had a similar naming policy iirc - the main mail server was mull.

  106. Anonymous Coward

    Here be monsters!

    My home network is a bunch of M$ PCs and laptops named after mythical beings. I started off Arthurian but branched out into Norse and Celtic legends...

    So I have Uther, Morgana and Merlin the PCs, Excalibut the laptop, Grendel the server and Tintagel as my domain. Router is named Lugh :-)

  107. Anonymous Coward

    Here be monsters!

    My home network is a bunch of M$ PCs and laptops named after mythical beings. I started off Arthurian but branched out into Norse and Celtic legends...

    So I have Uther, Morgana and Merlin the PCs, Excalibur the laptop, Grendel the server and Tintagel as my domain. Router is named Lugh :-)

  108. Steen Hive

    A load of..

    Each and every client machine here at home is called "shit", albeit in different languages. Servers Mothership, Uddership and Redcow.

  109. Daniel B.

    LOTR Names

    Geeze ... that "No JRR Tolkien" rule would slam most of my older campus server farm.

    They did show good taste for those names, though. SAURON was where all the sysadmins logged on, MORDOR was the dark land where the NFS server lived; most of the students used the BOLSON or GANDALF workstations. ("bolson" is a lame translation of "baggins" to spanish.)

    Not every server followed LOTR though; I distinctly remember seeing "falkor", "luke", "bobafett" and "chewbacca" so it seems that some of the IT staff were into Star Wars and The Neverending Story as well.

    Oh well.. it also seems I've violated one of these rules, as my PS3 is called hal9000. Eep...

  110. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My naming scheme... based on islands. So, on our LAN I have Baffin, Madagascar, New Zealand, Canary, Taiwan... laptops ended up getting named after sea-going vessel types - Supertanker is my newest; Oceanliner was recently retired to live as my wife's machine, and Dinghy is the Toshiba Libretto from 1997.

    I recently did a project involving xBox 360s, and had three devkits set up for a triple-screen rig, running a major, 360-exclusive title. I considered naming the devkits Nintendo, Sony, and Sega, but decided not to...

  111. Robertsson, Bjorn

    His name was...

    Tolkien, please, Tolkien, not Tolkein :)

  112. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    As I normally have a maximum of 4 machines on my lan, I named them after the 4 horsemen.

    Server is war, desktop is pestilence, laptop is famine (it's slim :P), pvr is death.

  113. Maty

    Hacker fodder?

    I remember once being told that the problem with using linked computer names is that it made a hacker's job much easier. Find a machine called gandalf, and its not hard to guess there's a frodo on the net. Not sure how relevant it is in this day and age. And are there any hackers out there with machines called Jim or Humphrey? Please?

  114. Paul Naylor


    Many moons ago, a mate of mine had a Mac II, which he called Malcolm. I had an SE, which I called Desmond. Beige names for beige boxes.

    When we started putting a small network together a few years ago, my boss thought it would be a larff to call it Frodo, as I was a bit of a LOTR nut. Another server was added not long after called Gandalf. It was a bit silly. Now we have a proper IT bloke that has named all our Blades after planets, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Neptune, etc.

    My car, a Clio, is called Chloe.

  115. Kasper Loopstra

    No one picked booze?

    My home network uses boozes, whisky, rum, vodka and calvados, thought I'll have to switch to a scheme with a lower ABV soon. I operate some boxes for chemistry students, and I'm naming them after alcohols, butanol, fenol, methanol, and for the one running the music at the bar, ethanol.

  116. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More Games

    At work we used a few Blizzard games for servers. We had Mulgore, Tirisfal, Durotar, Eversong, etc. Before that we had Corsair, Wraith, Goliath, etc. Even before that, we had the planets, and I can vouch for the inherent problem with that naming scheme. "Logging into Uranus," "Uranus has a virus," etc. were commonly heard.

    At home, I don't have very many machines, so they get a set of fictional city names. Truce, Choras, Medina, Porre, and Sandorino. Tip o' the hat to whoever gets those first.

  117. Sarah Bee's Love Slave

    Well I name my network servers after...

    Question for moderator: 116 comments so far. Bored yet?


  118. Brangdon

    phonetic alphabet

    @Bill 19: " say bollocks to it and just run through the phonetic alphabet. I'm using Bravo."

    You could always say you are naming them for characters in Dollhouse. Echo, Sierra, Victor et al.

  119. BlueGreen

    @Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik: your myth box

    it distributes info, yes?

    Ratatosk, FTW

  120. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about Mafia naming convention for computers?

    Under such a scheme, a top end Power Mac might be called Little Paulie while a Macbook Air might be called FAT Albert.

    What about multiple server systems or server farms? I worked on one project where all the servers really needed meaningful names for when I had to lower myself to walking down to the manufacturing floor, but some outdoors obsessed pillock went and named them after his favourite fucking mountains.

  121. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    All TV detectives here, Morse, Reagan, Lewis, Barnaby and Marple for the wifey's Vaio.

    Don't do what I did though. Bought a "new" workstation for me off fleaBay and couldn't decide what to call it whilst in the exciting rush to build it so I called it temp. Baaad name. Worse nightmare to change it though. :(

    Paris would be a good name though.

  122. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    more Gods

    The LAN in the math department where I went to grad school named their machines after figures from Greek mythology (Athena, Sophos, Laeticia). They were always female because in those days computers were mysterious and temperamental (and the sysadmin was a woman).

    I named the machines on my home network after mathematicians (Gauss, Euler, Cauchy, Euclid). The older the machine, the older the mathematician. When a machine got replaced, I added a number, so one of my boxes is now Cauchy3.

    The agency where I currently work uses 2 letters to denote the sub-agency, 1 letter to indicate Server (S) or Workstation (W), followed by a seven digit number. I believe their firwall machines did actually used to be called firewall1 firewall2, etc. until someone finally convinced them that was pretty much the same as calling them "Controlled Access! T3$t ur L33t Haxor skillz h3r3!"

    However, the Application servers (Sun boxes) are named after tropical vaction spots - Florida, Aruba, Antigua, etc.

  123. Mike Moyle

    @ Admiral Grace Hopper

    Codicil: for some reason Blakes 7 is permissible, as also is the Lensmen series.

    So I don't have to feel alone in my geekyness for having Mentor, Worsel, Kinnison, Tregonsee, Nadreck, and Emphilistor online?

    Oh, thank heavens.

    (Pre-Lensman our faithful assistants were Alfred, Kato, and Tonto.)

  124. Lupus


    I just called mine Revenant. Outdated as soon as it was put together.

  125. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Seven sins







    sloth (the Windows server)

  126. John Bigboote

    Beer, of course

    I use these criteria:

    1. They are the names of breweries which make really good beer.

    2. They're single words.

    3. The breweries each have their own websites, which I can put in /etc/motd.

  127. Christoph

    Surely the best one of all ...

    .... was the computer that was named after its own fictional self.

  128. Sooty

    I refuse to tell anyone my naming scheme

    If they can't figure it out for themselves then they don't deserve to be allowed a suggestion.

    So far the servers I 'own' are Diana, Donovan, Martin, Willie, Ham, Robin, Ruby and Caleb :)

  129. Nexox Enigma


    I've seen things networks names after cheeses and beers, which sounded alright to me.

    Personally I try to pick one name from a given source and then never re-use that source again, except when retiring the original one.

    So I've got Wyrd, Praxis, Mal (Originally meant to be redundantly backed up by Jane, scrapped plans for that though,) RoadWarrior, and a couple named boring things. I used to be in charge of naming random computers at work, where I'd close my eyes and pick the first word that popped into my head. So we've got Shindig, Peril, Sprocket, Oxford, Fez, and probably some others. Oddly enough Peril had a habit for injuring people with fans and sharp corners.

  130. adrianww

    Once upon a time

    I worked for a small company that had two development offices in the UK, one "darn sarf' and one "oop north". The head of R&D was a tedious little rodent of a man that no-one could abide, so two of the main development servers became "weasel" and "ferret" (one at each site). You could then openly use questions such as "Is weasel up?" (or similar) not only to ascertain the status of the relevant server but also - and more commonly - to find out whether you'd be likely to run into the waste-of-space bossman at your office that day.

    OK, so it wasn't big and it wasn't clever, but we all liked the joke and it did turn out to be useful on occasions.

  131. Neoc

    Re: The oddest names you ever found?

    @MezzoToscano 22nd June 2009 12:52 GMT

    "three servers named Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu (Google it yourself - I like some anime in small doses, so did the webmaster I guess)."

    Don't need to: they're the main characters from "Magical Knights Rayearth". I'm surprised there wasn't a Mokona.

    My machines are named as follows:

    Izabelle - WinXP desktop.

    May - WinXP fileserver.

    Thallin - Linux Web server.

    Charlotte - Linux mail server (yeah, I could merge the two together).

    Ifurita - EEE PC running Ubuntu 7.04.

    EEEGads - EEE PC running Ubuntu 8.04.

    Duke - because the "Duke Box" is my "Juke Box". ;^)

    Mai - Linux backup server. When I finish it.

    Squish - WinXP SFF. 'nuff said.

    Laptop - the Vista laptop. Doesn't deserve a better name.

    WDTV - the... er... WDTV box. Being modded. Will replace Duke when I'm done playing with it..

    BAP - Big Ass Printer. (not really, but big compared to the PCs)

  132. Anonymous Coward


    The company I work at has LOTR names for servers - much to the disgust of my boss. They are still there, but he isn't!

    My pair of servers at home are known as Laurel & Hardy. For test purposes, the domain is ACME, with Daffy, Bugs Taz etc as users. (Wil E. Coyote is admin!)

    I have a desktop and a tablet PC for work - DangerMouse for the PC and Penfold for the tablet - giddit?

  133. Anonymous Coward

    some lab somewhere in Ipswich

    the domain was

    servers were

    awacs - nis+ master

    airbus - nis+ slave and general file server

    harrier - the jumpstart / jet server

    galaxy - cannot remember why

    lancaster - cannot remember why

    lockheed - the security / pen test server

    would like to know if they are still around ............ according to 'nslookup' they still are ........ hence the title

  134. Anonymous Coward

    A secure name

    A place I did vac jobs at in my students days had demo software (for use at exhibitions) that showed the name of the fileserver it was loading the programs from. So one of the development teams named their fileserver "snotgobbler", to make sure it wouldn't get borrowed for exhibitions.

  135. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    And the award goes to .........

    BT Labs.

    After 10 years I can still remember the names of the servers I worked on (and perhaps even more sadly their IP addresses.). - -

    I very much hope that they are NOT still Sparc Station 20's and NOT running Solaris 2.6

    Paris - because she is an airport and deserves to be on the list ...... (ok I know paris has two airports - infer what you will)

  136. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Hot Legs and Deep Thought

    In the days before Tolkein was rediscovered I actually worked with a server named Gandalf. At the same time all we had was a dumb terminal service from an agency machine operating over a telex line at 300 bits/sec (now just think about that lads), my terminal devices were named (not by me), Deep Thought One and Deep Thought 2. Douglas Adams was still on radio, before books never mind TV and film.

    The point is that I am now using very loosely Women Who Influenced My Life. At least half of you will think that is A Very Fine Thing. Anyway I have done it, so there!

    Server: Alice: my mother (and why not?)

    pc1: Betty, Oooh Betty: Frank Spencer's wife

    pc2: Celia: a long time ago and the pc is gone

    pc3: Delia (Smith)

    pc4: Eleanor: niece.

    pc5: Florence: my mother again (second name)

    pc6: Gloria (Huniford)

    pc7: Helen: a fine energetic girl.

    pc8: Iolanthe: Gilbert & Sullivan. Sorry

    pc8: Julia: Julia Roberts, you don't want me to explain, do you?

    pc9: Kristen: my chiropracter: a slim blond Swedish girl who may walk over my back at any time.

    pc10: Lydia: Holroyd producer of Drop the Dead Donkey and a very brave lady.

    pc11: Mary: mother in law

    pc12: Nora. Nora? Nora Batty of course.

    pc13: Ophela: Hamlet

    pc14: Pauline: another very brave lady

    pc15: Queen. I just ran out of names. So why not.

    pc16: Ruby: Ruby Wax Hurrah!

    You might notice my wife is missing; I would not dare, so do not go there.

    Talking of naming computers, another subject is desktop wallpaper. I have taken a shine to pre-Raphaelite images and use download from art galleries, it is surprising what is available.

  137. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Psychotically Yours

    Hot choice is children's programs all the way from Listen with Mother to Hollyoaks;

    Servers: Sooty and Sweep, PCs Weed and Slobadob, Ivor (the engine), Bob the builder.

    Oh! just start your own list.

  138. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Psychotically Yours

    I have a client who has named his servers as navy ships without the HMS: Arethusa, Leander, Implacable, Dreadnought, Resolution, Warrior, etc.

  139. Paul Johnston

    RE Scottish Geography

    The department I used to work in also used scottish islands, trying to get an overseas student to tell you what machine they were using was fun.

    Come to think of it some home students often got it wrong

  140. This post has been deleted by its author

  141. northern monkey

    Help me out...

    My old laptop is called brandon (in honour of brandon flowers) and I got my work hostname changed to stevieg (in honour of steven gerrard).

    I really can't decide what to call my new laptop though - ideas??

    a) It must be a man's name

    b) He must be fit (in my eyes)

    c i) Preferably a musician or footballer

    c ii) Definitely not a rap-star/crappy dance dj or man u/chelsea/arsenal/everton/blackburn/newcastle player

    It's a dell mini 10v if that helps (I don't really want to name it after people of diminutive stature, unless they satisfy conditions b and c(i) )

  142. Sartorius

    @ Ray0x6

    Member of the keyboard & screen credit club. At least it was only fizzy water, which would have been good to clean the keys with had it not been for the nasal ejection.

    BTW - use constellations and component stars meself.

  143. Sartorius

    Part 2

    New Icons!

    I refer the honourable person to my previous statement.

  144. Anonymous Coward

    Am I drunk or something?

    What the hell is this article about? My usual scan read of it produced no answer... who's on drugs, me or you?

  145. Pyros

    At least I try to be orignal, too.

    My current lappy is named Little Sister--I had gotten BioShock around the time I got her, too.

    My old one was, interestingly enough, named Zodiac--that was also the name of my very first PC, an Aries 365. He still runs (and, strangely enough, boots faster than XP, given it's a 3.1 machine.)

    I've also named the cars I've driven as well--Dingo was a crappy old beige Jeep Cherokee, followed by Elftor the White, a nice little Nissan XL pickup, with crurrently Queen of Spades, a '03 Nissan Titan pickup.

  146. Anonymous Coward

    Harry Potter

    in danger of being lotr-esque

    hagrid - sort of file server

    i say sort of, because i accidentally emptied the contents of /etc, and now the big drive wont mount even with a live boot disk.

    hermione and ginny

    laptops, ginny is the younger (newer) one

    harry and ron

    ron is a vm on harry (ie ron the sidekick lol)

  147. number-g

    imac g3 used as firewall/fileserver


  148. Adrian Esdaile

    British Sci-Fi FTW

    My three home workstations - Sec, Caan, Thay

    The home server - Torchwood

    My wife's machine - Tardis

    My netbook - Liberator

    My wife's netbook - PinkSquirrelKitty (ok, not British scifi)

    My wife's iPod - Avon

    My iPod - TheMightyWurlitzer (Goons!)

    My phone - Orac

    My smartpen - Slave

    Actually - Goon show characters are probably a good source - Neddie, Seagoon, Minnie, Henry, Eccles, Moriarty, Grytpype, Mate, LittleJim, Bloodnok

  149. dan 29
    Black Helicopters

    from my past







    At home I have:

    icebox (white ibook)

    blackbetty (black generic desktop)

    Quadvarium (network server)

    Nothing else of note.

  150. Anonymous Coward

    Used to love data centres

    When working as a telco engineer for a large multinational, used to spend hours (waiting for our testing to complete) trying to get into the minds of the Sysy admins. Some of the racks of servers I have seen:

    Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Grandpa

    Sporty, Scary, Ginger

    Spock, Kirk, Bones, Mcoy

    Must be fun when you are setting these up?

    Love the new icons BTW

  151. Anonymous Coward

    Not original, but ...

    Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo.

    I did say they weren't original.

  152. alyn


    No, not Joan, the watery things.We started with the major ones Thames, Avon, Severn, now we are on to the more obscure ones Po, Piddle, Ouse. I wanted Pisspiss but this was over-ruled

    The beer icon because I now need to piddle in the po.

  153. Charles 9
    IT Angle

    So what about HEX?

    I refer to the University of Leicester's Centre for Mathematical Modelling SGI Origin 2800. The name comes from Terry Pratchett's Discworld, where there is a magic-powered computer known as Hex. Would this not violate Rule #4?

  154. J 3

    We've had a bit of each...

    Here at the uni we have (and had) a little bit of each, and more: Hercules, Medusa, Neptune, Ramhorn, Grizzly, Linn, Newbler, Watson (as in Watson & Crick of DNA fame), among other similar stuff. We joke that the Mac cluster here should be called Sasquatch, since it's been heard of, but never seen live. :-)

    My desktop was named "Maserati", but not by me... I'm more of a Ferrari tifoso, really.

  155. ratfox

    How about...?




  156. alun phillips

    re A J Styles

    "....When I run out of drugs , I'm gonna start using explosives" is also a phrase I am known to utter now and then

  157. Ned Ludd
    Jobs Horns

    Mostly unrelated

    ...but I did have three compact Macs named Cronos, Abaddon and Mantas at one time. Odd choice, I suppose.

  158. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @adnim et al. RE: security through obscurity

    Not going to work. 3 seconds on your network and I know exactly what all of your devices are, no matter what you name them.

    If you think just naming a file server something like uselessdesktop-pleasedonthackme is enough to secure it then you really, really need to call on professional help.

  159. Jonski


    A smallish home LAN I know well is based around Asterix.

    The domain is Amorica, the small laptop is Asterix, the media centre is Cacophonix, the over spec'd and underutilised desktop is Obelix. The NAS is Getafix (in control of all the information, see?) and when my Dad's lappie is on the LAN it's called Geriatrix. I've got several dozen more names before I need to rethink the scheme... (thinking I'll go to Life Of Brian- can't wait to use Sillius Soddus and Biggus Dickus! And of course Incontinentia Buttocks!!)

  160. Anonymous Coward

    Re: I think you missed one

    If Kate Beckinsale is 'homely' then I'd hate to think how you'd describe my wife.

  161. Trix 1

    Hah, I know where Daniel B went to Uni

    ...and the web server was called Galadriel. Many of these servers had the appropriate figurines on them, and one day when Galadriel went down (you know what I mean), we found that her little figurine had fallen off. It was more securely fastened, and never failed again while I was there.

    There was also the naming convention of major New Zealand rivers, which worked quite well. However, for multiple sites, I do have to agree the boring LOC-OS-FUNC-xx naming convention is quite handy.

  162. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who needs Star Trek anyway.

    I used to work at a company where the server names were picked by a Star Trek fan so there were the obvious ones (Enterprise, Excelsior, Defiant).

    I had to add a couple of servers so I picked Nostromo and Sulaco

  163. OzBob

    Even enforced naming standards can provide a little humour,..

    We had a server whose last 6 digits of the name were "CLIT01", and the joke was in the (all-male) team that we could never find it in the data centre.

  164. vonBureck
    Paris Hilton

    Re: And the award goes to ...

    > Paris - because she is an airport and deserves to be on the list ...... (ok I know paris has two

    > airports - infer what you will)

    Actually, Paris has three main airports, plus an extra one just for cheap lines. Make of THAT what you will :)

    Paris, because you'll always find your landing strip.

    (Gotta dash, mine's the one with "Paris in a day" in the back pocket).

  165. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    What? No Discworld Camels!!!

    I think all windows machines should be named after Discworld camels. I have been known to call such machines "Bloody Stupid," "Evil Smelling Bugger," "Evil-Minded Son of a Bitch", "Evil Brother-in-law of a Jackal", and of course those perennial favourites: "You Bastard" and "You Vicious Brute". Some do need abbreviation: BS, ESB, EMSoaB, EBiloaJ, YB, and YVB. Nobody ever asks what it means.

    Under linux the same machines are known as:





    etc: The earthly counterpart of Discworld camels

  166. Theresa Forster

    Computer Names

    Well in the past i have had





    Then when i ran my business network at home, my servers were called

    Paige (the web server geddit)

    Phoebe (secondary DNS server and Database Server)

    Piper(Primary DNS and IRC Server)

    With Remote NAS drives called Leo, Cole, Chris

    The router was called Stargate (from the previous network listed above) but was changed to BOS (Book of Shadows)

    Still i guess that has told everyone my favorite TV shows and my watching preferences.....

    Go with what you feel is right, I just remember the stories about the company that after 2 projects were called 'Ren' and 'Stimpy' the management decided to call all projects after rivers until the next 2 projects were revealed "ubangi" and "vulgar"

  167. Allan George Dyer

    Cheetah is running hot but potato and haddock are fried

    I name the machines here after groups of animals and plants, progressing to a new group for each generation of machines... the root vegetables (leek, potato, onion...) are well out-of-date, the canids (fox, dhole, coyote, dingo...) are more recent , and I'm currently on cetaceans. I should be able to keep going until I can start on alien species...

    The video of "railway stations closed by Dr Beeching" is "Not available in [my] area" - I'm going to blame Dr Beeching for that.

    Mine's the one with the Excursion Flora of the British Isles in the pocket.

  168. Allan George Dyer

    @adnim - obscurity

    But CompanySecrets is the name of my honeypot machine... Ooops!

  169. ulf molin

    If Tolkein is ok...

    then surely Gandlaff and Blibbo should be fine.

  170. Anonymous Coward

    Cartoon characters

    at a former employer's, we took the cartoon character approach (The Simpsons) BUT, the rule was "no major characters".

    Out go the obvious names of the immediate family. In come minor characters (and there are plenty) Some examples:

    itchy and scratchy -- name servers (logical pairing)

    kent -- NNTP server (Kent Brockman, the newscaster)

    smithers -- Email (something about the original machine suggested the name)

    lenny and carl -- redundant AV/anti-spam email gateways (another pairing)

    We also had a moe, apu, mrburns, and a wiggens at some point.

    I for one welcome... well, nobody, but the new icon had to be pulled out for a comment referencing Kent Brockman.

  171. Chika


    OK, so my crowd are a little unusual in some ways.

    Kaori - one and only Windows XP box

    Kimiko - Linux desktop

    Miyuki and Madoka - RISC PCs (hi, ZFC folks!)

    Chika - Acorn A4

    Reina - My Aspire Linux netbook

    Minako - works desktop

    Saeko - old works laptop

    Atsuko - junky old W98SE laptop

    Sakura - Test machine (currently W7RC1)

    but my gateway is called Gateway!


    And I'll say nothing about the use of trees and planets in the works server names! :b

  172. Mark Allen

    Staff Names

    I have lost count of the number of times I have going into support a new company only to find the previous IT numbskull has named each PC after the member of staff it was built for.

    Problem is, the staff leave and the computer keeps the same name. OR, even worse, the staff member changes post within the company and starts using a computer with someone else's name on it. OR the machine got retasked without a name change.

    I have lost count of the errors I made in that company when trying to work out which computer was where as no one mentioned that Sharon used the machine called Angie and Angie had the machine called Tracy and the server was Sharon's old PC. ARG!!!

    I now pick themes like elements or animals etc. Which means a little fun handing stupidly named boxes over to people who annoy me.

  173. Robert E A Harvey

    Le Carre names

    I've taken to using names from Le Carre novels.

    My Fedora server is 'Smiley' because it is incredibly clever, and a survivor. It will be doing what it does when all else is in ruins. The firewall is 'Mendel ', the dependable shadowy friend who watched his back, but is from another world

    My home workstation dual boots XP and Ubuntu. Thus it is Gerald or Hayden according to what it boots.

    The Suse 11.1 netbook is 'Esterhause' because he is referred to as a dwarf in one of the novels.

    The unstable box on which I try out ideas is 'Tarr'

  174. skeptical i

    Significant figures from Chinese history, I believe ...

    ... Shihuangdi, Xiaoping, Zedong, Kaishek, and some others I've forgotten. When one of the marketards complained about getting confused or misspelling the names, someone gave him a machine named Chopsticks, and then someone else got Stirfry. (Such is my dim recollection.)

  175. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo


    I call anything that needs to be remotely recognized after H. P. Lovecraft's mithology. Hence, my personal phone doesn't have a name, but the wi-fi enabled PSP does.

    Main PC: Cthulhu

    Macbook: Dagon; booted in Windows: Deep-one

    PSP: Nightgaunt

    Wi-fi network: Kadath

    Wireless router: Shantak


  176. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Computer naming conventions

    Currently using Studio Ghibli characters.

    Nausicaa, Kiki, Ponyo and Chihiro.

    In the past, when I had more machines, I've used Moomins as the names.

  177. solamigo

    Names Snowhite.

    Several contributors use the name Snowhite and the dwarves.

    Well, they all slept in a great big bed. One morning Snowhite woke up feeling Grumpy. He objected. So she rolled over and felt Happy !!!....John Tee.

  178. Atilla the Hun (No relation)


    Are always, always, always female!

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