Imaginary places and computer names

My theme for computer names has always been imaginary places.

At some point I'll do a more detailed writeup of my computer-owning history, but way too sleepy tonight. So, just the names (almost all of these have been laptops):

Laputa; Cathay (I know, only quasi-imaginary, but I had just been in an alternate-universe roleplaying game in which Cathay figured prominently); Shadow (from a roleplaying game of my own); Eutopia (I was in a rush when I picked that name); Xanadu; Uqbar. There may've been one or two others I'm forgetting.

Huh—I just noticed they're all five to seven letters long. Not consciously intentional, though I was aiming for shortish.

Anyway, so I just got a new MacBook Pro (13"), and haven't yet decided what to name it.

Some of the current contenders (roughly in order of my preference at the moment) include: paravel; gethen; diaspar; cibola; barsoom; havnor; roke; ansul; tigana; zorna; lorien.

Any other suggestions? It ought to be a place that isn't real; have a relatively short name; have generally positive and/or evocative and/or cool connotations; be semi-obscure (somehow something like narnia seems too prominent); have a name that isn't an English word (though I briefly considered the city-state of Helium, on Barsoom); be a place that I've at least heard of; have a name that sounds euphonious to me; probably other parameters that I'm not consciously aware of.

The nice thing about the name "Laputa" was that it seemed thematically relevant for a laptop in various ways: it moved from place to place; magnetism featured prominently in its operation; it was a site of intellectual discourse. But since then, I haven't come up with others that worked so well thematically. (And given the Spanish phrase, "Laputa" was an unfortunate name in some ways; people made assumptions about what I meant by it.)

It occurs to me that my guest-room iMac is currently named "Guest-Room iMac," so I may as well take this opportunity to name it as well.

4 Responses to “Imaginary places and computer names”

  1. rikchik

    Would you believe I have the same naming scheme? So far I’ve had Pepperland, Xanadu, Seyruun, and Islandia. (My portable devices are fictional ships: No Fixed Abode, Basroil, Overvis.)

  2. Jed


    Islandia has been on my list for years, but I never actually read the book (though I think I own it), so I wasn’t entirely sure whether the name had the connotations I wanted. (I also haven’t read the John Carter books, but I have enough connotations for Barsoom to like it anyway.)

    I like Pepperland; hadn’t thought of that. And I wasn’t previously familiar with Seyruun, but now I’ve looked it up.

    I like the fictional-ships theme, too. And I especially like the idea of using Culture ship names. Perhaps I’ll consider that for my iPhone.

  3. textjunkie

    Zorna! Zorn of Zorna! 🙂 That’s my vote…

  4. Jed

    🙂 I even used zorn as my username for a while, long ago when I was at Apple. But people kept asking me if it was a reference to musician John Zorn.


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