Top Ten Reasons Why The Most Important Machine Is Unlabeled

Today is office move day across much of .NET Framework land.. Good folks across building 41 and 42 are doing a little shuffling around… As part of the move, we all had to be out of the office today. Like any good manager, I wanted to keep my team productive even during this “downtime”.. Many of engineers on the team wanted to work on “their” machines, so we reserved a conference room and had them plug in their machines there then go home or to Starbucks or the local library and work from there remotely. So we ended up with a conference room full of nearly identical headless dev machines, luckily we had the foresight to label them.. all but one of them ;-)


All was going well until machine “Enso01” needed to be rebooted. This is our test pass machine… no one could run or update tests without this machine… so it was arguably the most important machine. Luckily someone on the team happened to be around, so we had them reboot it and we give them this description of where to find the machine:

  “Enso01 is a black Dell on a chair near the front of the room. It had a keyboard and funky old mouse attached to it. It is not labeled…“

Which of course forced someone on our team to ask the obvious question that we were all wondering about:

“I'm still curious why we wouldn't put a label on the most important machine in the room.”

Luckily the answer was very clear.. enjoy.. I hope you get to use this someday!


Top Ten Reasons Why The Most Important Machine Is Unlabeled

10. Where’s the fun in that?

9. Label could change performance characteristics

8. Security through obscurity

7. Labels are used with GOTO, and GOTO is harmful, therefore labels are harmful!

6. It is fun to brute force test which machine is which


5. Famous machines don’t need IDs

4. I thought you were going to label it!

3. Through process of elimination, if all other machines are labeled, then the remaining one is Enso.

2. Attempting parody movie, “Dude, Where’s My Server?”


And the number one reason why the most important machine is unlabeled…

1. No budget for labels