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Suitable Naming Conventions For Workstations? 688

spectre_240sx writes "We've discussed server naming a fair amount in the past, but I haven't seen much about workstations. Where I currently work, we embed a lot of information in our workstation names: site, warranty end date, machine type, etc. I'm of the opinion that this is too much information to overload in the machine name when it can more suitably be stored in the computer description. I'd love to hear how others are naming their workstations and some pros and cons for different naming schemes. Should computers be logically tied to the person that they're currently assigned to, or does that just cause unnecessary work when a machine changes hands? Do the management tools in use make a difference in how workstations are named?"
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Suitable Naming Conventions For Workstations?

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  • by Brian Gordon ( 987471 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @10:09PM (#29100135)

    And that's saying something.

    Honestly, can you even think of a stupider question? How is this even an issue? Just name each machine with an ID and put the information in a spreadsheet somewhere. It's not a complicated problem.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 17, 2009 @10:10PM (#29100155)

      Agreed. spectre_240sx, your question was bad and you should FEEL bad.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        He insisted that all names came from Alice in Wonderland. Very annoying. And not practical.
        • ...your machine was called "Duchess".
        • by awtbfb ( 586638 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @12:57AM (#29101477)

          Every engineering cluster had a theme. That meant that you knew what lab the machine was in but it still kept the names interesting. It also made it easy to remember that the dolts who killed remote jobs always used the NBA team machines because their prof told them to use that lab and how to kill processes.

          The best theme? Rain, Snow, Hail, Leaf, Meteor, Skylab, etc. "Things that fall from the sky."

          • (for lab computers)
            Pick something computing/science/maths-sounding. Name all computers of the same type with that, plus a number: vertex01, vertex02, ... vertex60. pixel01, synapse01, glyph01.
            It's not as boring as "asset1241", but it's a *lot* easier to find numbered PCs in the lab. It's also easier for anyone wanting to use a machine remotely. Finding your usual glyph12 is running slow? Well, you know at least 11 other machine names.

            Staff/research students could name their own PCs, presumably because it's

        • Use a name generator (Score:3, Informative)

          by AYeomans ( 322504 )
          Plenty of name generators on the web, such as []. I quite like the dwarf names such as Bloodbreaker, Demonbreaker, Doomsmelter, Foesmiter, Greatmail, Honorpick, Irondig, Ironsmasher, Lightpacer, Stonebullion. One serious advantage of generated names is that they are pronouncable, making help desk support easier. Unlike some alphanumeric codes - I still remember the confusions when IBM had two RS/6000 family members, the 380 and the 3AT.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by zoomshorts ( 137587 )

      Simply name it after the the DATA DROP ID. You can locate the machine
      and when you change PC's, just change THAT machine name to correspond
      with the drop location.

      Yeah, put it in a 'spreadsheet'. Most 'spreadsheets' are merely
      searchable lists... go figure, I guess people forget what a
      spreadsheet IS.

      • by smash ( 1351 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @10:31PM (#29100353) Homepage Journal
        Problem with that is that you will continually either have out of date PC names that are named according to where they AREN'T - or you need to continually rename PCs, thus completely ass-raping any configuration database you have (issue tracking, asset tracking, software licensing, virus scanner history, etc).

        Renaming PCs = BAD. You get away with it up to a certain size, but once you start implementing apps like a job tracking system, software licensing tracking, etc it just bites you in the arse... HARD.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by icebike ( 68054 )

        Dumb idea.

        If you can't find the machine unless IT tells YOU what drop its on, I suggest you find a new line of work. Besides, wifi in the work place makes this a limited option. Machines move from desk to desk without the involvement of IT. Happens every day.

        Machine name should be unique and fixed for the life of the machine in the corporate world.

        Some things are tied to machine name, (some software licenses, etc) and windows objects when you put two machines with the same name on the same network. So EI

      • by DarkProphet ( 114727 ) <> on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @03:58AM (#29102543)
        Why even do that? Just give it an incremental ID and make it the primary key a database of whatever it is you want to know about the machine -- eg: location, serial number, IP address (if you use static addressing), whatever else. You shouldn't ever change the unique ID you give a machine. That's bad. IMHO its always better to avoid putting metadata in a unique identifier altogether. It does involve an extra step for the netadmin to get information about the machine, but the bonus is he can find out whatever he wants. Work smarter, not harder :-)
    • ...after all the boring low power beige posters who think your question sucks.

      You can use my name for the zooty new multi-core with the blue leds.
    • by smash ( 1351 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:06PM (#29100653) Homepage Journal
      It might not seem complicated, but there are a number of traps for new players. Most of these traps involve trying to store location/user/OS information in the hostname - which seems like a good idea at the time, but just gives you false information down the track when people quit, machines move, or the OS gets upgraded.

      If you rename the PCs you're forever trying to keep up - or dealing with false information, which is worse than no information...

      • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @12:53AM (#29101451) Homepage

        Agreed. Just come up with a naming scheme and stick with it. Otherwise, you're just going to waste time trying to keep the names matching the machines' current status.

        At the university I work, the servers are named after famous figures in the fields of psychology and brain research. At home, they're named after things from Star Control II (Ultron = the desktop that always breaks; Chmmr = the powerful computation server; Spathi = the laptop (which can flee the network); Greenish = the printer; Quasispace = the wifi network; etc).

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Splab ( 574204 )

        Exactly, this is why we name our PCs after the DELL service tag, if we are in doubt we can just call up DELL, they know everything about the machine that matters.

        • One Step Further... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by MarcQuadra ( 129430 )

          For the sake of making things easier on our SMS admins and the field team, we use the Dell/Apple/HP serial or service tag as well, since the manufacturer can keep the specs and the purchase order info themselves.

          We do this:

          Brand Code is either D for Dell, A for Apple, H for HP, etc.

          And VMs under them are:


          So right now, my box is CISD6XQDMJ5, but I'm writing on a VM called CISD6XQDMJ5VM04.

          The beauty of this is that it lets the admins on SMS easily select departments by building queries that say:

          for all mach

    • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) * on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:30PM (#29100809)

      Just name each machine with an ID and put the information in a spreadsheet somewhere. It's not a complicated problem.

      Too much work. I just call all my machines "Bob".

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by shitdrummer ( 523404 )
      Why is the parent post not modded +5 insightful?!?

      And who modded it overrated? This is basic LAN management stuff. If you're doing it any other way, you're not doing it properly.

      And Flamebait? If you don't know how to name, manage, and track workstations properly you shouldn't be doing it. No-one who has responsibility for naming workstations should need to ask Slashdot about this.

      Having said that, reading below people who name workstations on department/section/any physical location, well.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Stephan Schulz ( 948 )

        Whatever unique code is used in the asset register, use that as your workstation name.

        This, as many above, seems to suggest that the names are arbitrary identifiers only used for administrative purposes. But is some real situations, all those computers are UNIX boxes, and users need to log in into specific ones (yes, even workstations), and remember which one is which. A 20 letter+digit white noise name is very unlikely to be remembered properly.

  • don't name by person just makes it harder to do swaps, moves, and other stuff. Also times you need a open system that many people uses. warranty end date, machine type + where it (general area) is seems good.

    • Don't forget that high turnover could make administrating the PC's a mess.
    • by ls671 ( 1122017 ) * on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:09PM (#29100667) Homepage

      In the tightest companies I have worked for, they name workstations and servers with meaningless random generated alphanumeric sequences.

      I guess they consider it more secure, making it harder to figure out the network topology. Also, since the names are meaningless, there is never a need to rename the machine really, unless they would want to confuse even more want to be hackers.

      • by SignOfZeta ( 907092 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:53PM (#29100969) Homepage

        My old university/job used a three letter department code, and then the last six digits of the asset tag. You'd get systems like ITS-26301 and MTH-31415.

        This is pretty solid, especially because:

        1. Machines rarely if ever change departments. Even the laptops. Entire departments can change buildings without issue; sociology moved across campus, and we were like, "Wait, when did you guys get the fuck over here?"
        2. The first four digits of any asset tag (in the foreseeable future) are fixed, so just prefix it with 7802 and look it up in the online database (or Mac OS X dashboard widget made by yours truly, for the two other people in IT who have and use Macs) for more information than one cares to know.

        Your mileage may vary.

      • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @02:18AM (#29102071)
        A name needs to be recognizable by humans. Because inevitably someone is going to want to share some files and it's a whole lot easier if you can type in a normal name instead of mistaking RS34598 with RS34589. Granted, the user's name isn't good, because machines change hands all the time (without telling the busy bodies at IT about it). Cube numbers don't work, since a lot of machines are lab machines, or may turn into lab machines.

        There really isn't a good way. Would be nice to have two names, a permanent one, assigned early on, probably related to an asset ID, and a nickname based on the user or purpose of the machine. The nickname can be changed anytime the user or department wants to do so. Except that this may be a pain to do on some operating systems.
  • Like an ID for a database record, the name should be unique, mean nothing out of context, and used only to look up a description of all the information you are trying to encode in it. What happens if the warranty info changes? What happens if you assign the wrong machine, move where it is located, or change some other fungible property (either through upgrades, or simply because you encoded the wrong info?). You don't want to have to go through machine renaming exercises, updating dns entries, etc. or ha

    • by Kamokazi ( 1080091 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @10:14PM (#29100185)
      Asset tags systems work well for this. It's what we use. Easy for RA requests too..just ask the user to read their asset tag number (if you don't have it memorized because it's the 5,689th time this dumbfuck has called you asking how to move a file from one folder to another.) and you can punch it in and connect.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Exactly. We have an 'asset tag' - a number written on the case with a sharpie. (Works perfectly fine for us!) The computer's name is just "PC" followed by the (zero padded to three digits) computer number. Thus, I'm on PC079.

        (With us, when a person changes department or office, their computer follows them. Thus there's no sane reason for us to encode the office or department name into the computer's name.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jackb_guppy ( 204733 )

      Use asset tags. They are unique (at least should be) all other data are stored in database else where, sub-records keeping rest of the information like software loaded, key#, ...

      *IF* BIG IF,you have more than 1 company under the same roof, add a simple company id, but really not needed, that is really a column in database.

      Watch out for asset tags greater than 8 or 10 characters, depending. Can be problem with secondary machines and naming issues, like workstation ids IBM equipment (10 char unique / 8 char

  • How about
    MicrosoftSpamBot01 thru MicroSoftSpamBotxx?

  • Star Trek (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @10:10PM (#29100149) Journal

    Name them after Star Trek ships, races, planets and character names. You are obviously not a true CIS geek.

  • I've seen a variety of things done. Personally, I named computers by division and assigned the computers from there. This worked fine for a group of about 25 people, but could be problematic when running into larger groups. I'm not sure how a larger group would do it, but I'm sure it would be done somewhat differently.
    • We name by SITE_DIVISION_BUILDING_ROOM_UID. Just from looking at a WS ID, we know just about where it is. If a user calls and only knows their building and room, we can easily isolate the machine.

    • by Amigan ( 25469 )
      We took it the extreme, having a set for development and another set for production use. Machines were named [pd]NOSLevel.
      • d1sol26 implies Development machine 1, Solaris 2.6
      • p1solx26 implies Production machine 1, Solaris-x86 2.6

      For every d there was a p. Numbers were reused with each version of the OS. Issue became remember which machine N had the application that you needed.


  • by rminsk ( 831757 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @10:12PM (#29100175)
    A computer name should not be a database. If you want to store information such as site, warranty end date, machine type, ... use a database.
  • Easy... (Score:3, Funny)

    by s0litaire ( 1205168 ) * on Monday August 17, 2009 @10:17PM (#29100211)

    i.e. gla-hub-04a-001

    or here's a off the wall idea...

    Number them as: City(or location)+machines static IP address within the internal network.

    i.e. Glasgow-10-10-11-124


  • by tangent3 ( 449222 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @10:18PM (#29100235)

    My first workstation was named tangent (after myself!)
    My second workstation was named sine, followed by cosine, secant, cosecant and cotangent.
    I got stuck for a while before I decided to go with arctangent, arcsine, etc but that didn't last
    So out came hyperbolictangent... and I promptly gave up and now I name them after hot young female movie stars.

    Morale of the story: Make sure your naming convention has room for expansion.

    • I once used stellar bodies, in progressive order away from Sol. I gave the company president permanent use of SOL and PROXIMACENTAURI for his desktop and laptop, respectively. Everything else was in order of purchase. You'll never run out, and it gives you (if you maintain your familiarity with what stars are where) a rough idea of how old the thing is. The only hard part is finding the right table of stars to work from, and deciding how to deal with the the eventual alpha-sirius, beta-sirius, gamma-sirius
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        You'll never run out

        Despite the exponential growth of technology in the second millennium, many enthusiasts assigned unrealistic upper bounds to the human empire's resources. Only 17 centuries before the conversion of the Clouds of Magellan to secondary storage for the Unified Andromeda Platform, one unnamed pioneer estimated that 640K is enough for anybody...

        -Encyclopedia Galactica

    • by dotgain ( 630123 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @10:30PM (#29100341) Homepage Journal
      I started off naming my (personal) workstations after cats that we'd had that had passed away. Eventually my hobby outpaced the number of cats, so I had to start rubbin' em out manually.
    • My first workstation was named tangent (after myself!)
      My second workstation was named sine, followed by cosine, secant, cosecant and cotangent.
      I got stuck for a while before I decided to go with arctangent, arcsine, etc but that didn't last


      I once run into a guy named “Marc” whose station was named “Marcellino“. Why the discrepancy, I asked???

      It came so because his first worstation was named “marc”, then his second “marcel”, then his third “marce

  • Depends, really... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @10:20PM (#29100245) Journal
    I'm not a fan of crazy overloading(the name has to be unique in any case and I'd rather do a lookup if I really need the warranty details, rather than stare a nasty truncated version of them in the face every day); but what works best really depends on how computers are used in your organization.

    For instance, if you have laptops, individually assigned to employees, and relatively low turnover, a name that tells you about the machine's primary user is really handy. It allows you to instantly associate the voice on the other end of the phone, or the name on the trouble ticket, with the machine in question.

    If you have desktops, location based naming might be more useful, particularly if users move around, are replaced frequently, or share hardware per shift or something.

    It's hard to give general rules for naming because, in essence, a name should capture(as succinctly as possible) the salient characteristics that make something unique. Exactly what those characteristics are depends heavily on how your organization is set up.
  • service tag (Score:5, Interesting)

    by smash ( 1351 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @10:24PM (#29100279) Homepage Journal
    There is very little you can store in a workstation name that will be static and useful once you go beyond about 10 machines (maybe even less than that).

    People move, machines get re-allocated, rebuilt, etc.

    I use the service tag. Why? Several reasons:

    • its already printed on the machine
    • you can get it out of the bios when imaging the PC
    • its one less thing to ask the user for if you need to do a warranty claim
    • it will never change
    • if will be unique, presuming you are a single supplier organisation

    Stuff like "bob-pc" or "accounts1" does not scale and either becomes inconsistent, or you need to keep renaming PCs which presents other issues (fucks up any configuration databases you have, etc).

    So, service tag - boring as fuck, but does the job.

    • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

      +5 insightful.

      That's pretty much what my big company does.

      Maybe the region/domain or functional group will be part of the FQDN, but the hostname will just be the service tag.

      • by smash ( 1351 )
        Exactly. You can get the location information out of AD (either the site, or domain name or IP address, or whatever). You can get the user by looking at who is logged in. You can get make/model information via WMI.

        There's no spectacularly *good* workstation naming convention, but the service tag is just convenient - its stuck on the side of the box from the factory and retrievable from the bios come re-imaging time :)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        That's basically what we're doing - except we're dividing them by program (we're a government agency) which makes it a little easier for us to delegate AD administration to each group of local IT folks - we have 5 programs so ISP (Information Serices Program) is ISP-servicetag....

        We're putting each program (of computers) in its own OU and granting AD rights to a group to manage the PC's in each OU (so they can reset, delete or modify the computer objects). We have 5000 desktops across the country and no
  • by wandazulu ( 265281 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @10:26PM (#29100307)

    ...but I'm a big fan of giving machines actual names, after TV shows, bands, movies, fiction, etc. I prefer to log into "" instead of "LAUX001"; the former, in addition to being easier to remember, just gives the machine a trifle bit of "personality". Yes, I realize that the latter may convey more information (mail servers especially seem to do this: "CHIMAIL01", "NYCEXCH05", etc.), but it feels cold and impersonal; if you treat your machines as just machines, as just any old random tool you'd grab and work with, then they become just a series of interchangeable parts. Giving a machine a name invokes something, typically whimsical, that just adds a touch of humanity back into the system. Yes it's still a machine, yes it's going to spit out a thousand nonsensical errors when you forget a semicolon somewhere in your C++ file, and yes it will eventually be replaced, but for that period of time when you're working with it, you're just that little bit more connected to something more ... personal.

    Maybe this is just old school thinking; it seems like this was much more common back when everyone had an account on the campus Unix boxen, complete with subtle importance ("Oh, you have an account on Kramden? That's a much faster Vax than Norton...what project are you working on that you scored that??").

    • by smash ( 1351 )
      Servers - sure, use a descriptive name for what it does or soem novelty name, so long as you're not planning on having a few hundred servers (which might sound a lot but many people do). Workstations are just too common for that though. Maybe on a small network you'll get away with it, but keep in mind that any successful company's small network will eventually become a big network, or at least end up with replacement hardware... eventually you'll either end up duplicating names, or run out.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I suspect that it was much more common back when computers were much less common. At home, I certainly indulge in evocative naming(mostly Cthulhu mythos, by preference); but at work there are over 1,000 machines. Until somebody lists the names of all Shub-Niggurath's offspring, I'm out of luck.(Well, that and the fact that users might not like dealing with unpronounceable machine names that reek of ancient and terrifying evil...)
  • KISS (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Frippet ( 825472 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @10:39PM (#29100429)
    Keep it simple. I work at a college, and what we do for desktops is, we name them after location, room, number of workstation. So if the workstation is at our aviation campus in room Y109 and it's the 3rd workstation, it would be AVY10903 (AV-Aviation, Y109-Room, 03-3rd workstation) Laptops, we tie to users, we give it the users login name as the laptops name. We find this easy so when we have staff/faculty turn over, we are not running to workstations to rename them, and if its a laptop user that is being replaced, the laptop is returned to IT and we get it ready for the next user. This may or may not work for you, but it works for me.
    • You have to rename it.

      Which is silly.

      As with people, machines should have a unique name, all the rest of the information about the machine should be in a database of some kind (a list in a text file would do).

      Then when you move the machine, assuming that your DHCP, DNS and WIntel servers are up to scratch, yo have to do precious little but relocate the machine (and update your database).

      With your naming scheme you have to rename the machine in addition to updating any database you may have.

  • Why the hell do you need to give servers or any physical asset in a company names!!, it's not like they will come to you when you call out. The system we have were I work is simple, everything has a bar-code label with 2 number sequences with a space between them. The first sequence is 4 digits and designates the end of warranty period the rest is just a 6 digit sequence (numbers and characters). Simple and to the point, if you want to check who was the last person assigned that asset just look it up in the
  • Lovecraft (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    We used to name our machines after Lovecraftian deities but some of the sysadmins got grumpy when they couldn't pronounce the name >

  • Easy. Name them after nebuli. My workstation is named NGC 6060, for example.
  • Here's quick list for you:

    Buenos Aires
    Sao Paulo
    Mexico City
    New York City

    eventually you'll get to places like Holyhead, Waco, Palo Alto, Bakersfield, Piscataway, Sudbury, Guelph, Alice Springs, etc.


  • Serial. Numbers.

    Either assign them yourself (00001, 00002, 00003...) or use the manufacturer's serial number.

    (Now, if you're doing it for your home network, that's a different story. Use the names of known ring-bearers, or secret identities of the Justice League, or actors who've played the Doctor, or starship captains, or whatever you find amusing.)
  • One of our telescopes had computers named after German beers, since it was installed by German engineers. The main control computer was called kronen. The other telescope was set up by a Tucson guy, so it uses Mexican beer names. The main fileserver is named corona, for instance.
  • How about these:

    - abcdef
    - ghiklm
    - nopqrs
    - uvwxyz

    Then there is always:

    - bob
    - alsobob
    - theotherbob
    - notthatbob
    - bobby
    - bobbydoesdallas
    - bobbob

    Name them whatever you want, since chances are by the time you get enough computers you usually have someone who decides on boring names like:

    - l00312
    - l78302

    Simply because it makes inventory easier. In the meantime decide amongst yourselves and choose something that

  • I am a grad student in a physics department at a major university.

    The grad students have access to a lot of machines around the building as workstations, and they're all named things like lagrange, maxwell, gauss, etc. (Bohr, newton, faraday, and the like are servers.)

    Individual professors get to call theirs whatever they want -- my advisor's two are klingon and romulan.

  • If your company uses asset tags make the machine number the asset number. At least you'll be able to find it network wise, and when it get re-imaged the machine name will be easy to figure out no matter how hosed the original drive.

    Also, if the machine changes users, the asset number is still relevant.

  • I have a long running argument with some of my coworkers about names for software deliverables.

    I insist on something you can pronounce and preferably something that makes sense and gives a strong indication what it is. If you are really desperate, call it something cutesy that people will at least remember.

    They want to use incomprehensible, unpronouncable, random strings of characters One True Official Company Blessed "product codes".

    I asked them for where the One True dictionary of product codes is. There
  • by barzok ( 26681 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:00PM (#29100607)

    Should computers be logically tied to the person that they're currently assigned to, or does that just cause unnecessary work when a machine changes hands?

    The machine should be reimaged when it changes hands, so resetting the name will add about 5 seconds to the setup process. Not a big deal.

    • by smash ( 1351 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:32PM (#29100837) Homepage Journal
      Except when you rename the PC you've destroyed any connection between the physical asset and any configuration database you have, such as a support history, purchasing, virus scanner database history, etc. Also, youv'e left an AD computer account that is no longer active in your directory that will need to be cleaned up (is the inactive computer account for that PC in storage, or has it been rebuilt??), and made it harder to keep track of volume licenses, etc.

      Whatever naming scheme you choose, ensure that you can leave the names alone once they're assigned. Renaming PCs is bad and creates additional workload for no good reason.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by paimin ( 656338 )
        No you haven't, because your configuration database is keyed by hardware serial number. Who keys an asset database by some changeable variable like machine name? Duh.
  • If, as I expect, you're working with Windows, there's an obvious naming convention for workstations: Start with Titanic, Yamato, Musashi, Edmund_Fitzgerald, Arizona, Yorktown, Bismark, Monitor and go from there. The theme? Sunken ships. There's an endless supply, and somehow, it seems appropriate for computers that are expected to "go down" several times a day.
  • I think I first read it on talk.computers in 1984.

  • by dissy ( 172727 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:04PM (#29100641)

    Just for reference: RFC 1178 []

    While it is not a direct answer to your question, it does give a lot of good why and why not's on this subject. Just as handy now as in the 90s.

  • We use system serial number to generate the hostname during the sysprep phase. This is a great scheme imo because naming is based on something burned into the bios, making asset management much easier and it discourages the use of workstations as ersatz servers.

    We've cycled about 250,000 workstations through this system since 1999, and haven't had a name collision yet with HP, Dell or IBM

  • One Word (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:54PM (#29100979)

    we embed a lot of information in our workstation names: site, warranty end date, machine type, etc. I'm of the opinion that this is too much information to overload in the machine name when it can more suitably be stored in the computer description.

    One word: TinyURL.

  • by gsslay ( 807818 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @05:15AM (#29102955)

    It is a common mistake, but do not attempt to insert descriptions into identifiers. You wouldn't name your child "Dribble-gums-nursery-2" and expect then to be still comfortable about it when they reach their teens. But call then something meaningless like "Kevin" and there's no problem. Computers are no different.

    If you create an identifier that attempts to describe the computer, rather than just give it a unique name, you can be sure that by the time it comes to decommissioning it the identifier will be misleading. Things will have changed. It will have a different location, a different OS, a different owner, or a different spec.

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