Today is Name Your Computer Day. I name my computing devices after minor characters in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. Sometimes it leads to confusion, like the time someone wanted to AirDrop me a photo and wondered why it was going to a device named Anjie and not "Richard's iPhone". For each of my devices over the years, from VPSes to laptops to external hard drives (I named the two partitions of one hard drive Oolon and Coluphid) to handheld devices, I've given them a name that Douglas Adams dreamed up. I plan on always reserving Slartibartfast for wireless routers. I'm never going to name something Trillian out of deference to both the character and the instant messaging software, and I somewhat regret naming an iPod Nano Ford Prefect, because that was a major character. (Same goes for Arthur Dent and Zaphod Beeblebrox, which I've never used.) I often recycle names, but will never do so for an iPhone or laptop. Those will always get new names. I keep a list of devices I've named over the years on my Notes site.

In university, I read an article that suggested science names and classifies things in order to have a sense of control over them, and that the ethos can be traced to the biblical desire for humans to have dominion over nature. There's a little bit of that at play when I name my computers, though only in the sense that the names I give them is the only part that I know for sure I can control about them. I just want to honour the memory of someone who himself loved computers about as much as I do.