Feld Notes

Jul 2020

Nerdy Names for Apple Devices

On the most recent episode of Accidental Tech Podcast (ATP), ‘387: It Might Not Be as Cool as You Think’, there was an amusing follow-up discussion about the names that we give to our Apple devices and built-in drives. More specifically, John pushed Casey to give his devices more unique, personal names that would match his own interests, rather than sticking with default options such as ‘Casey’s iMac Pro’ and ‘Macintosh HD’. John’s argument is that it’s not only more fun as a Mac nerd but it can also make devices more recognisable (whenever looking in network directories or apps such as Find My).

I really enjoyed this discussion and it reminded me of some of my oldest memories of the Mac. My earliest recollection of seeing a unique name was on my aunt’s computer, who to this day calls her Macintosh HD ‘HORACE’ instead. In all the years since then, I’ve occasionally considered giving different names to my hard drive and devices, however whenever I did in the past, I was never sold on my own choice or was bothered by some element of inconsistency (e.g. having a unique name for my Mac but standard names for iPhones, iPads, etc.). I always thought that if I were to give longstanding names to my devices, I’d want them all to match a particular theme, however I’ve long been unable to think of one that I like enough… so back to the default style they went.

Later in the same ATP episode, John made reference to a new BMW grille (potato-shaped rather than kidney-shaped) and how its corners were cut off in a way that was reminiscent of the octagonal paper designs in the reimagined 2003 series of Battlestar Galactica (BSG). At this point, with the follow-up and mention of BSG, the naming scheme for all of my devices popped into my head: I’d name them after ships and tech from the show! I absolutely love the show and am rewatching it, so it only seems appropriate that I put it into action now.

My devices are now named as follows, with each one assigned a type of BSG ship or technology that roughly matches either its status, size or purpose:

  • Mac = Galactica (top status—the hub);
  • iPad Pro = Pegasus (secondary big gun in the fleet for proper work);
  • iPad mini = Raptor (smaller ship for specific transport and use purposes);
  • iPhone 11 Pro = Viper (no one can live without it);
  • Apple Watch = Raider (sleekest and most nimble—can be a lone device);
  • AirPods Pro = Wireless (purely for sound and communication); and
  • Macintosh HD = FTL Drive (not actually faster than light, but the word ‘drive’ certainly matches and helps).

When I told Natasha, who always has to listen to my podcast-related stories, she laughed and rolled her eyes. As a side note, devices in shared spaces—such as the HomePods, Apple TV and AirPort Express (for iPod Hi-Fi)—retain their standard names, so as not to confuse people who simply want to use AirPlay 2 for sharing.

Thank you to John Siracusa for prompting me to think of a naming scheme that I like and will keep.

Do you name any of your own devices or drives in a way that’s more personal or interesting?