Re: the story of ping

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From: Kragen Sitaker (
Date: Wed Sep 20 2000 - 11:56:03 PDT

John Klassa writes:
> The Story of the Ping Program:
> My favorite part:
> > The best ping story I've ever heard was told to me at a USENIX
> > conference, where a network administrator with an intermittent Ethernet
> > had linked the ping program to his vocoder program, in essence writing:
> >
> > ping goodhost | sed -e 's/.*/ping/' | vocoder
> >
> > He wired the vocoder's output into his office stereo and turned up the
> > volume as loud as he could stand. The computer sat there shouting "Ping,
> > ping, ping..." once a second, and he wandered through the building
> > wiggling Ethernet connectors until the sound stopped. And that's how he
> > found the intermittent failure.

Funny, I did this last month. It was a single Ethernet connector that
was flaky, but we didn't know that for a long time. I had in mind
exactly the story above when I did this, although the version I heard
used an intercom system for sound output and specifically asserted that
the netadmin's machine was a NeXT.

Here's the program I piped ping to:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
use strict;
my $buf;
while (sysread STDIN, $buf, 4096)
        print $buf;
        system("sox /usr/lib/games/xboing/sounds/ -t ossdsp /dev/dsp");

<>       Kragen Sitaker     <>
Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves
                -- Gandalf the Grey [J.R.R. Tolkien, "Lord of the Rings"]

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