Feeds

Apple inks Ping trademark deal with golf gear maker

Orange Ping sticks to sweet stuff

Security for virtualized datacentres

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?..." ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS
Beancounter reckons dabs-scanning tech is the next big moneypit
Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook
Office Graph, social features for Office 365 going public
Alibaba swings a large one with STONKING IPO legal bills
Chinese e-commerce beast searches for $21bn from investors
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
EMC has nothing to say on VMware sale plan
Rumour and counter-rumour swirl around Wall Street
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
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.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.