Monday, June 14, 2010

The Story of Ping - Internet Network Command

npg sent this to me which I thought was a great historical background on the network ping command.  Beth Groundwater is professional writer (novelist) as well as Neil's wife. (not sure if order matters here or not :-)    Beth writes the Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series for Five Star Publishing and the Rocky Mountain Adventures mystery series for Midnight Ink.   Below is text from Neil referencing Beth's book and the story of Ping.   Thanks Neil and Beth!
Beth arrived home last night with her childhood copy of the above book intact.

Not so well known is that the book modeled the internet dozens of years before the internet existed!

An acquaintance, Mike Muuss, wrote a program circa 1983 that probed the "distance" to a target host across the network.  Like the same-named SONAR function, it sends a tiny packet out onto the internet and times its 'echo'.  Mike described it in more technical terms in the linked page below.

Well, in 1999, someone 'reviewed' "The Story About Ping" as if it was about Mike's software program.  And that online review appears on Mike's page and on the page about the book.  Hilarity ensues.  (Mike died in 2000, but his internet legacy lives on.)

     (The review disappeared for a while but someone re-entered it and it's found 'helpful'.)

And yes, Ping 'lives on' on both Windows and Mac computers.

In a 'terminal' window, you can type:
and it returns:

  neils-mbp:~ neil$ ping
  PING ( 56 data bytes
  64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=54 time=99.573 ms
  64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=54 time=99.175 ms
  [ad nauseam]