Name that Network

By default, your computer’s drives usually have creative names like “My Computer” or “Macintosh HD”. Home wireless networks usually have equally uninteresting default names, like “linksys” or “netgear”, or that ultimate of all default SSID names, “default”. USB Memory sticks and portable USB drives often have even less interesting names, usually based on their brand, or a series of random characters.

Some people give their computing equipment names that make them a little more interesting, or at least a little more unique and personal. I’ve seen people use names of planets, Greek gods, fictional characters, and many other esoteric collections as the source of inspiration for the names of their networks and computing gear. I once worked as the network manager in a Catholic school where all the servers were named after saints. IT geeks often have an unusual sense of humour, and it commonly shows up in things like this.

As I was running some backups tonight on my two main home computers, my attention was drawn to the names I’ve given to my own machines, drives and home network over the last few years. There is a common, albeit fairly geeky, thread behind their names.

See if you guess where I got my inspiration from… if you think you know where these names come from, drop me a comment below.

My MacBook Pro’s hard drive is named Raskin and the backup drive is named Atkinson. My iMac’s hard drive is named Hertzfeld, and it has a backup drive named Engelbart and several terabytes of attached storage on drives named Wozniak and Tesler. Finally, my wifi network is named Espinosa.

If you can tell me what all these names have in common, without Googling them, then you are obviously pretty darn geeky yourself!

CC BY-SA 4.0 Name that Network by Chris Betcher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

6 Replies to “Name that Network”

  1. Our School’s network was named after Star Wars.

    File Server was Kenobi
    Print Server was Monmothma
    Internet Gateway was Vader
    Web Server was Yoda
    Apps Server was Calrissian
    Mail Server was Palpatine
    The Active Directory server was just called Logonserver though =/

  2. I know of someone in a densely populated who used their wireless name to start a relationship. Kept changing it so it was like text messaging. Ended up as a phone number!!!!!!!

  3. Thanks to those who responded…  the correct answer of course, is that nearly all those names were members of the original Macintosh development team at Apple in the early 80s.  The exception is Engelbart, but I think he deserves a place at the table regardless…

    Jef Raskin – Jef was Apple employee #31, hired in January 1978 to start up the publications department. He created the initial Macintosh vision of an easy to use appliance computer, and hired the initial development that made it happen. Jef could not abide Steve Jobs taking over the project, so he left the team by mid-1981, and the company by early 1982. He later created the Canon Cat computer, and published a best selling book about user interface.

    Bill Atkinson – Bill’s work on QuickDraw was the foundation of both the Lisa and the Macintosh, and he was really the principal designer of the Macintosh UI. Later, he single-handedly wrote MacPaint, the initial killer app for the Macintosh, followed by Hypercard. He co-founded General Magic in 1990. Since 1996, he’s been a full-time nature photographer.

    Andy Hertzfeld – Andy started at Apple in August 1979 as Apple employee #435. He was one of the main authors of the Macintosh system software working on the core operating system and the User Interface toolbox, as well as most of the original desk accessories. He later went on to co-found three companies: Radius (1986), General Magic (1990) and Eazel (1999).

    Larry Tesler –  From 1973 to 1980, Larry was at Xerox PARC, where, among other things, he worked on the Gypsy word processor and Smalltalk. In 1980, Tesler moved to Apple Computer, where he held various positions, including Vice President of AppleNet, Vice President of the Advanced Technology Group, and Chief Scientist. He worked on the Apple Lisa team and was enthusiastic about the development of the Macintosh.

    Steve Wozniak – Woz is a computer engineer and programmer who co-founded Apple Computer, Inc. with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne. His inventions and machines are credited with contributing significantly to the personal computer revolution of the 1970s. Wozniak created the Apple I and Apple II computers in the mid-1970s.

    Chris Espinosa – Chris Espinosa is a senior employee of Apple, officially employee number 8. He joined the company at the age of fourteen in 1976 when it was still housed in Steve Jobs’ parents’ garage, writing software manuals and coding after school. In 1981 Espinosa became a member of the Apple Macintosh team and has worked on many projects at Apple since, including Mac OS, A/UX, HyperCard, Taligent, Kaleida Labs, AppleScript, and Mac OS X. He is now a development engineering manager on the Xcode team.

    Douglas Engelbart – Doug Engelbart is an American inventor and early computer pioneer and internet pioneer. He is best known for inventing the computer mouse, as a pioneer of human-computer interaction whose team developed hypertext, networked computers, and precursors to GUIs; and as a committed and vocal proponent of the development and use of computers and networks to help cope with the world’s increasingly urgent and complex problems.

That's all well and good, but what do YOU think?