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Friday, January 30, 2004

They're not amphibians!

I don't have a thing about lizards. Really. It's a long story.

During my college days, I worked as an assistant Solaris sysadmin. In our office, all of the systems were named for home cleaning products. That sort of fun, quirky naming scheme appealed to me, so when we got Ethernet drops in our dorm rooms, I decided that I ought to do something similar with my personal systems.

I thought about several options, from movie characters to planets, but I needed something non-trademark-infringing and diverse enough to provide plenty of options. I finally decided on lizards, although birds and fish were considered, too. But for a quick decision while filling out a DNS registration form for the university, I might have been owlman or guppydude.

My first choice for a computer name was Ora. That's the native name in the Java Islands for komodo dragons. More importantly, it's easy to type quickly for telnet and FTP. As my supervisor pointed out, though, it's also used by O'Reilly Associates for their domain. The next short, easily typed thing that came to mind was Gecko. My current computer is Gecko 3, although based on its current lobotomized state, it will probably soon be Gecko 4. I also eventually used Anole and Komodo.

So when Action Quake took off in our dorm, I needed a tag. I didn't want to use something like "DeathDealer" or "KillMaster," because when you've got a name like that, you'd better deliver, or you're going to look like the dork of the world. Pick a silly, goofy name, and the expectations are lowered. Plus, when you kick DeathDealer's ass he looks that much worse. :-)

Since my computer was Gecko, Geckoman seemed good. And it's stuck, apparently. So, you see, I don't actually have a thing about lizards.

But they are really cool.