Feeds

Apple inks Ping trademark deal with golf gear maker

Orange Ping sticks to sweet stuff

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Ping through the (computer) ages

The word Ping has quite an illustrious history in the world of networked computers and the arrival of the interwebs on Planet Earth.

Arguably it's an over-used term possessing both sporty and techy overtones, so Apple's decision to adopt it for its latest iTunes-happy music service might be considered by some as a bit lazy.

Readers with long memories will of course recall freeware network tool PING, which was developed in 1983 by Mike Muuss - a senior scientist at the US Army Research Lab in Maryland. He specialised in geometric modelling, virtual reality, digital networks and operating systems.

"I named it after the sound that a sonar makes, inspired by the whole principle of echo-location," Muuss explained.

"In college I'd done a lot of modeling of sonar and radar systems, so the 'Cyberspace' analogy seemed very apt. It's exactly the same paradigm applied to a new problem domain: ping uses timed IP/ICMP ECHO_REQUEST and ECHO_REPLY packets to probe the 'distance' to the target machine."

Muuss sadly died in a car crash in 2000, but his Ping source code lives on, having been ported to systems such as MS Windows 95 and Windows NT way back when.

Ping has of course also featured in works of fiction and cartoons. There's the Swiss stop motion animation Pingu, and The Story about Ping, which tells the tale of a duck alone on the Yangtze river.

Any of these names could have inspired Jobs to use the Ping name in his latest Apple strategy boutique pontification.

But we'll leave you with the words of the somewhat obscure late 80s Irish Band Sultans of Ping FC, whose most famous song you can now presumably share with others on iTunes Ping.

"Dancing in the disco, bumper to bumper / Wait a minute, where's me jumper? / Where's me jumper? Where's me jumper? / Where's me jumper? Where's me jumper?..." ®

A new approach to endpoint data protection

More from The Register

next story
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?