“ombromanto” is the italian official adaptation for “shadowfax”, the Gandalf’s magic and powerful horse. And it’s the hostname for my laptop since I bought one with my money so that I decided how to call it.

In these days of lockdown, I see it all the day, on my left. It’s switched off, mainly, when I’m using the corporate laptop that stands on the other side of the desk.

The reason of this association belongs to my former and first project manager, Biagio, one of the masters that teached me this job. And it’s totally casual. Or maybe no.

Well, when in the remote 1998 in Rome we started one of first project in the “Inter operator accounting” for telco industry, Biagio noted we were 9.

Biagio is a passionate of Tolkien’s “Lord of the ring”. We are in 1998, so before the Peter Jackson’s movies. So for me like many others the Lord of the Ring is something unknown. But he read it, 3 times, in italian as obvious, like in original, that’s a bit heavier.

So he notes we’re in 9 and decide to assign to our computers a name from the Fellowship. He choose Boromir for him, and Gandalf for me. I was the youngest of the group, a simple “intern” with an huge passion for programming.

Well, the choice of calling me Gandalf, casual or not, shown to be appropriate when I started to produce more and better, and I started to be Gandalf, more than my computer (Note, I don’t use the word laptop, it was not yet invented, maybe. At the time we were having solid metal desktop computers, slower than actual phones, and noisy like blenders).

I took the attribution of the “Gandalf Wizard” as long as I stayed in that company. My ability in my job has been often compared to “magic”. So Later, very later, I decided to name my trusted fellow laptop, the one that was traveling with me from Rome to Warsaw, following this tradition. The laptop has been “updated”, but the name is still ombromanto.

It’s magic, because it has 2 souls. The developer one, based on my beloved Ubuntu, and the “administrative” one, based, well, believe me or not, on Windows 10 Enterprise.