August 13, 2004
I am the sort of person who names inanimate objects—cars, stuffed toys, and particularly computers.
I tend to work in computer-rich environments where names are necessary to identify the machines. At the bank, all the computers had alphanumeric codes. I think my testing suite server was tk2t126-something. Neither creative nor memorable.
By long-standing tradition, geeks name machines in sets. At Telerama, where the mascot was an elephant, we had africa, asia, tusk and ivory. In one of Duquesne’s media labs, the computers honored film directors. In another, we used color names.
Since I own one or two computers at a time, my naming scheme runs serially. Most express passions: desire, joissance, yen, ravary, iru. My laptops and external storage devices reflect travel and movement: portage, ferry, texel, siphon.
Many of the names have personal double meanings. I named yen right after my first trip to Japan. Iru means both to need and to exist and it came into existence when I needed it to finish a project. Ferry’s purchase required a boat trip to Dover, Delaware.
Soon a new computer arrives on my doorstep. While sitting in Hibiya Koen the other evening, I hit upon the right name: koi. You might know koi as a Japanese carp, but with different kanji it means romantic love. Change the kanji again and it means entreaty or request. It can also mean intention and yet another meaning is “deep, dark, dense, strong”. Koi fits in nicely with my passions.
How do you name your objects?
Posted by kuri at August 13, 2004 08:27 AM
Once I named all the machines in our web development office for Soul Calibur characters. My next naming thing will either be Kubrick movies or characters from Shaolin Soccer (Iron head, Mighty Steel Leg, etc) :)
At the company I work at, we once named software releases after different Pokemon. And at Dell, some of the development projects and machines go by beach names, Kapalua, Pensacola, Bondi, etc. And I think the Precision workstations have codenames after Japanese cities, Tokyo, Nagano, etc. They seem to like Japanese names at Dell. Some of the past projects were Tsunami, Samurai, etc.
“Koi” also means “Come!”, an imperative command.
When I worked in the serum laboratory, we named all of our floor centrifuges as they all had different “personalities”. Plus when you work with large equipment for 16 hours a day you really need to personalise an otherwise sterile environment.
Also, now that I work consult at that Finnish phone company, all the projects are code named. It is most amusing to imagine how much fun the planners have when choosing these code names.
When UltraBob partitioned the hard drive on my old computer, I awoke to find that each drive had a creative name. I can’t remember them all, but some were “The Terminator”, “The Exterminator” etc……the F Drive was “Steve”. Come to think of it, those names don’t inspire much confidence and, fortunately, did not foretell (for the most part) the way that they handled data storage.
My sister names her cars.
testing, cause mom said she couldn’t type z’s
zzzzzz Huh. Now I can, but I couldn’t before when I was trying to tell you that one of my partitioned hard drives was named “The Pulverizer”.
We used to name our machines after animals like badger, ferret, bear. Actually, more like furry mammals.
If length weren’t an issue, I’d go with Culture ship names.
“Koi” also means “testicle” in Romanian, which I learned after a game of “Koi-koi” in Transylvania.