There is an old maxim about “cattle vs pets”. Naming machines for personal use (naturally?) falls into the category of pets.
I was first exposed to “naming machines” during temporary sys-admin work, eighteen years ago. Up to that point, I had been limited to one computer at home, and the concept of it having a name hadn’t occurred to me.
I saw various themes over time: famous people, characters from mythology, literature and science-fiction, animals, etc. When it came to machines that I owned, I decided to go with planets, in particular planets from science-fiction.
I’ve never had more than half-a-dozen name-able machines (a laptop, a desktop, the odd Raspberry-Pi, a VPS, another VPS) and often had just one, or two. And so over the last decade or so, two planet names have dominated.
These were “well-known” but generally obscure enough that most people who came across these names hadn’t heard them before.
This year, however, saw the release of a movie and a TV series, each based on books that gave these two planetary names, so I feel they’re both a little less obscure now 🙂
The names, of course, are Terminus and Arrakis.