Monday, October 13, 2008

HARDWARE: What's In a Name?

My new computer, Popeye, has arrived and I'm finding time to set it up a little bit at a time and will finally do the inevitable and move over central programming to it sometime in the next week. Interestingly, I was reading Jerry Pournelle's Chaos Manor column this week and noticed something peculiar.

He names many, if not all of his computers, with feminine names. My computers all get masculine names, due to my occasional need to curse them out. Just can't do that to a woman, even a silicon representation of one. I've had, in reverse order, Popeye, Olly, Nuklon, Moby Dick, Livingstone, Kingston, Gonzo (Speedy Gonzalez), Dirty Three-33, Bippy and Amadeus, as for the PCs of most recent vintage. I'm sure there were machines with names starting with C, E, F, H and I but being an old man, I've forgotten them. Right now, Nuklon is in the boss position, but will switch with Popeye. Olly's in my bedroom, where it operates silently for overnight backup operations and the occasional web-browsing. Both Kingston and Moby Dick (a laptop) await the occasional use, but neither is on, all the time. In fact, I think Kingston is going to another home some time soon.

Try naming YOUR computer. If you think you will always love it (you won't), then go ahead and giving it a loving name. If you think you'll end up swearing at it (you will), then follow my advice and keep it masculine, or at least gender neutral. When it comes time to finally yell, "NAME, you #%)(*&_#(* hunk of junk," you'll feel better.

I know I did.

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