We've all seen the tchotchkes emblazoned with inspirational quotes. Well, I live by the lesser known quote of "do something that amuses you every day," combined with the middle-school-teacher mantra: "Laugh so you don't cry." (btw: Did you know this has been scientifically supported as effective?)
Anyway, in order to differentiate our motley crew of class laptops with their wide variety of operating systems and operational particularities, we could have opted for traditional numerical codes. Instead, we opted to use chicken breed names. Now, you may not find chickens as amusing as I do, so choose whatever category you'd like, but I can attest to how this creative labeling beats numbers any day. Especially in context:
"Hey, can I have Leghorn? I want to use the Arduino library I downloaded last class - Americana doesn't have it yet."
"Who has Silkie? I want to use KISSlicer!"
"Let's try the Kinect on Orpington, cuz Wyandotte isn't as good."
Numerical or not, I have also found it helpful to set up a Google Doc to encourage the kids to track the software changes they make to each computer. You can view our always-in-progress doc here, if you are interested.