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ping: [from the TCP/IP acronym `Packet INternet Groper', prob.
   originally contrived to match the submariners' term for a sonar
   pulse] 1. n.  Slang term for a small network message (ICMP ECHO)
   sent by a computer to check for the presence and alertness of
   another (the UNIX command `ping(8)' can be used to do this
   manually).  Occasionally used as a phone greeting.  See ACK,
   also ENQ.  2. vt. To verify the presence of.  3. vt. To get
   the attention of.  4. vt. To send a message to all members of a
   mailing list requesting an ACK (in order to verify that
   everybody's addresses are reachable).  "We haven't heard much of
   anything from Geoff, but he did respond with an ACK both times I
   pinged jargon-friends."  5. n. A quantum packet of happiness.
   People who are very happy tend to exude pings; furthermore, one can
   intentionally create pings and aim them at a needy party (e.g., a
   depressed person).  This sense of ping may appear as an
   exclamation; "Ping!" (I'm happy; I am emitting a quantum of
   happiness; I have been struck by a quantum of happiness).  The form
   "pingfulness", which is used to describe people who exude pings,
   also occurs.  (In the standard abuse of language, "pingfulness"
   can also be used as an exclamation, in which case it's a much
   stronger exclamation than just "ping"!).  Oppose blargh.

The funniest use of `ping' to date was described in January 1991 by Steve Hayman on the USENET group He was trying to isolate a faulty cable segment on a TCP/IP Ethernet hooked up to a NeXT machine, and got tired of having to run back to his console after each cabling tweak to see if the ping packets were getting through. So he used the sound-recording feature on the NeXT, then wrote a script that repeatedly invoked `ping(8)', listened for an echo, and played back the recording on each returned packet. Result? A program that caused the machine to repeat, over and over, "Ping ... ping ... ping ..." as long as the network was up. He turned the volume to maximum, ferreted through the building with one ear cocked, and found a faulty tee connector in no time.