behind my name.

This came up the other day and it occurred to me that not everyone knows why I call myself what I call myself.

  1. Why mrz?
    It’s not short for Mr. Z.Shortly after moving out to Mountain View in 1996, I worked at 3Com. I worked in the engineering division that, during the two years I worked there, went by names such as NSD and ESD. This was the division that made “brouters” and if memory serves, largely came from Bridge Communications. I started there as a Solaris syadmin and left as a network engineer (and didn’t really look back).

    Anyways, username convention was your first, middle and last initial. mrz stuck. Also, it’s half as long as my first initial and last name.

    (Bonus points if anyone knows my middle name without using Google.)

  2. Matt or matthew?
    In high school I worked at Dairy Queen. One of the highlights, of course, was taking home soft serve ice cream (“mistakes”). But that’s not what this is about.When I started, my name tag read:

    Welcome Matt

    It was at this point I decided I would only go by matthew – I am neither a doormat nor a welcome mat.

    Nowadays, I answer to both, but often correct to the preferred. Which you use tends to indicate how well you know me.

  3. But why matthew and not with a capital M?
    You’ll very rarely see me write my name, first or last, with any capitalization. This an artifact of my first email address (, which was in all lower case.That stuck. So did the fixed-width font. It’s weird, I know.
  4. One more thing…
    Since I already have you at 3 bullet points, here’s one extra bit of trivia.My first name comes from my great grandfather’s middle name and this first century Galilean. My middle name comes from my grandfather’s first.