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When Palmtops Deserve a Name

When Palmtops Deserve a Name

For many users, their HP Palmtop has become an endeared family member and close companion. So why not name them?

Compiled by Avi Meshar

People develop a very personal relationship with their Palmtops. A while back I discovered that some were even giving their Palmtop a name. I posted a message on the Fireside section of CompuServe's HPHand Forum. I received responses representing 10 languages, including Swiss German to Farsi to Computerese. Along with some very interesting names, I received some stories worth sharing.

Some of the names have literary background, such as "Luggage" named by Martin Breidenbach for the magic traveling chest which always follows its owner, from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. Others have deep cultural roots, as in "Geek," or commercial origins, as Jeff Rodriguez" name "Go, Hewey Go!" which was given when HP stock reached a new level on the stock market.

Names are not always permanent. Depending on his mood, Steven Speairs calls his Palmtop, "ENIAC_Jr" or "Nag," (he must set many alarms). Some are more impersonal, like "It" or plainly, "200LX." But more often names reflect what is dear to a person's heart. Rob Mitchell, a physician, named his LX "Sophia" because of his fondness for wisdom (Sophia is Greek for wisdom). Another "Ecosse," the French name for his favorite country, Scotland.

There are the inevitable variations on the HP such as Hewey, Baby Heuy, Hou Pe, the HP, and Haych Pee. Also LXander or LXandra, Lex, Mainframe, Pocket Rocket, Speedy, Lommecomputer, Obelisk, and Deep Thought.

Other people label their Palmtops in accordance with their own perception: "That Thing in Your Pocket" or "Cute Little Computer." Jesper Siig's son calls his dad's computer his "puter." Someone's wife is quoted as saying, "Do you have to bring that "Thing' with you everywhere?"

The stories that follow demonstrate not only the meaning of the name, but the fun and significance of having a computer companion.


 By Linda Worthington 74452.105@compuserve.com

When my husband needs a phone number I say "I'll ask Palmella." When we need to know our (complicated) schedule I say "I'll ask Palmella." In all things I proudly proclaim "Palmella knows all!" What more can I say? These little computers are much more than technology...they are, to many of us, almost personalities, a kind of member of the family. So how could I call her "the LX," "the 200,"...that would be like calling my daughter "the girl," the "human"...!

Grandpa and Little Computer

By Stan Dobrowski 76711.2302@compuserve.com

I call my 95LX "Grandpa" because it is getting on in years. It is the ancestor to all the other HP Palmtop products and I don't think I will ever part with it because it is near and dear to my heart. Even though there are several newer and faster models out now, I will always look up to old Grandpa.

My children (ages 4-1/2 and 7) call the 200LX 'Little Computer." I keep a couple of game programs on the 200LX to occupy the kids when things get dull like during a long drive in the car. The children will ask me, "Dad, do you have any games on your little computer?"


By Gary Spiers 74603.3001@compuserve.com

Ecosse is the French word for Scotland.

I am an Englishman living in Huntsville, Alabama. Before work brought me here I spent five years living in Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, and greatly enjoyed the natural beauty of the land. The weather is very mixed (an understatement) and creates interesting interplay of light/shade storm and sun etc. with very rich (but muted) colors. The rugged nature of the land bred a fiercely independent nation (even now Scotland maintains a separate legal system from the rest of the UK) which has a strong sense and perspective of its place and contributions to history.

My Palmtop was named after Ecosse not only because of my love for the land and its people but also because the independence from the desktop that it gives me symbolizes the independence of the Scottish spirit.

My Brain 2

By Avi Meshar 75561.633@compuserve.com

"My Brain 2" came about in the aftermath of the Earthquake in LA in January 1994 ("The Northridge Quake"). I suddenly had to deal with a huge number of details, from relatives and friends, in and out of the area, to insurance, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), to sorting out the extent of the damages to my property, helping some friends and neighbors with similar types of activities. I probably kept the machine running over 15 hours per day, using it to record names, phone numbers, and addresses. I added approximately 200 entries in the first month after the earthquake! The NoteTaker application came in handy to write down EVERYTHING. The trauma affects your memory and the ability to memorize and recall. So writing everything in the computer saved me from more losses and bad moves.

I began calling the Palmtop "My Brain 2," because it contained "a branch of my brain" as one of my friends said. Friends also called it "the Annex" to signify that it was a part of my own brain.

Then came the time to deal with the insurance companies. I won't share all the gory details, just one anecdote: I was given a huge form with something like 5 or 6 pages. "Fill this out in detail, substantiate all dates and amounts with records of purchase, prices, dates..." yeah, right! I had peppercorns and other assorted herbs from my kitchen, hiding in the living room carpet and 5.0 aftershocks to deal with, and they wanted sales slips.

I quickly duplicated the form as a Lotus spreadsheet, including all the crazy formulas the original form specified. It took no time to walk through the inside the house, then around the perimeter and recorded everything. After much haggling they agreed to accept my statements.

The agent wanted me to bring it all in. I offered to fax it! I opened it in Lotus and printed the spreadsheet to a file. Then I edited it and saved it. I used DOSCIM to fax it from my Palmtop to the agent. Ten minutes later a call comes in. "How did you do all this so fast?" asked the agent, "Do you have two brains?" I confirmed his supposition.

Mon Joujou

By Marc Steingrand 100607.2125@compuserve.com

The name Mon Joujou for my Palmtop was given by my colleagues in December last year. I had just bought the HP and spent all my free time at my work in Paris, France, discovering all the things I could do with it. Since my co-workers had seen me often working with it, they asked me one day where I had "mon Joujou," (French slang for my toy, as in a child's favored plaything) and so the name was born.

Mon Joujou is my favorite toy. I use it for all my work and personal planning. I have had Mon Joujou only since 7 month, and it goes with me almost everywhere I go. I have even used Mon Joujou at the top of the Eiffel Tower.


 By Dennis Terazawa 71233.436@compuserve.com

If I leave my briefcase at home and get to work -- I don't worry about that.

If I leave my wallet at home -- I won't have a fit.

If I forget and put on different colored socks -- I certainly won't sweat.

But if I forget my 200LX at home-- I'll drive home to get "It!".....


 By Jim Lasley MIS Coordinator Thaddeus Computing

Why call it "Brain?" My Palmtop remembers things I would forget. I do have to enter them to begin with, but then it reminds me or beeps at me when it's time for a company meeting or one of the Boy Scout meetings I'm in charge of, or whatever needs my attention. My "Brain" prompts me to meet my regular Sunday night responsibilities as a HAM radio operator. I can be relaxing with my family (9 children) and when I get my five minute warning, I get up, go to the next room, and send Morse code messages through the national HAM radio message system.


By Rob Mitchell

Sophia is Greek for wisdom. One of my favorite places (not yet visited) is Istanbul which has the most beautiful church in the world. Haghia Sophia, the church of divine wisdom, was consecrated in 535 AD! So I think of the Palmtop as containing wisdom and call it Sophia!

iPhone Life magazine

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