One of the biggest trends over the last few years has been customization. People customize their cellphones, myspace pages, websites and computers. Via the popuplar widgets system on the Mac OSX, SuperKaramba for KDE, and gDesklets in Gnome, people customize their desktops to make them unique to their vision. Even Microsoft has jumped on the bandwagon recently and introduced a widget system of its own. All of these customizations would have taken place on the computer no matter what.
Networking computers together, however, adds another dimension to the customization. Networked computers need to be named so they can be identified on the network. My router, for example, uses the computer’s name to let me know which computer matches to which IP address. People take this naming as personally as they take their other customizations. If you don’t believe me, check out this forum thread called “What is your computer’s name and why?”
At my work, there is a pig theme going on amongst one cluster of computers. The boxes are named by the scheme [adjective]pig. So they are things like strongpig, fatpig, etc. My brother has a great, funny theme with his computers. His large Alienware is called ElCapitan (the captain) and his laptop ElAdmiral (the admiral)
I took the naming of my computers no less seriously. My wife gave me the nickname Echan after we saw P-Chan in the anime Ranma 1/2. The nickname has fallen out of use, but persists in the name of my windows computer. Actually, my current Windows computer is called Echan2, as Echan died about a year ago. I have two Linux boxen currently running. Until now I had some pretty creative names for them (in my mind), but I decided to rename them. This isn’t the first time I’d renamed a computer. One of my computers used to be called ECEVeteran, this is because the computer used to be a computer at the ECE department of Cornell. It was my main Fedora box until I got short-e, a very short eMachine. Then it became my print server. I wanted to rename it while retaining some of the original name, so it became printman-eevet. Up until today these both ended in .localdomain. But in the last couple of days I decided I wanted to have a bit more fun with my boxes.
So I decided to rename them. After a bit of thinking, I decided to go with a Mario theme. My current setup works perfectly. short-e, my powerhouse little box became mario.mushroomkingdom. printman-eevet, the tall behind-the-scenes box became luigi.mushroomkingdom. If I ever get around to building my mythTv box, I’ll name that one toad.mushroomkingdom, because it’ll be tiny.