Feeds

Apple inks Ping trademark deal with golf gear maker

Orange Ping sticks to sweet stuff

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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?..." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.