One kind is detonation in an internal combustion engine --
destructive to the engine over time.
Another kind is what is used in net troubleshooting. Unix
systems (and perhaps Windows as well) have a command called "ping". It
sends a variant of an ICMP packet to a system which is supposed to
produce an "echo" response. As an example:
=====================================================================izalco:dnichols 1:17 > ping ftp.uu.net
ftp.uu.net is alive
izalco:dnichols 1:17 > ping -s ftp.uu.net
PING ftp.uu.net: 56 data bytes
64 bytes from ftp.UU.NET (22.214.171.124): icmp_seq=0. time. ms
64 bytes from ftp.UU.NET (126.96.36.199): icmp_seq=1. time. ms
64 bytes from ftp.UU.NET (188.8.131.52): icmp_seq=2. time. ms
64 bytes from ftp.UU.NET (184.108.40.206): icmp_seq=3. time. ms
64 bytes from ftp.UU.NET (220.127.116.11): icmp_seq=4. time. ms
64 bytes from ftp.UU.NET (18.104.22.168): icmp_seq=5. time. ms
----ftp.uu.net PING Statistics----
6 packets transmitted, 6 packets received, 0% packet loss
round-trip (ms) min/avg/max = 13/13/14
The first one just verifies that it is reachable.
The second one (with the "-s" option) accumulates statistics,
for as long as you let it run. The "^C" is my interrupt to stop it when
I had enough. It then prints out statistics of the returned
This usage probably derives from the SONAR used to detect
submarines, where a sharp pulse of sound was sent out from an underwater
transducer, and the distance to an object which reflected the sound was
determined by the time -- somewhat akin to the operation of RADAR.
There used to be movies about submarines in wartime, with lots of tense
time with someone wearing headphones and hunched over a big CRT, and a
"ping" sound repeating every so many seconds. I haven't been to a movie
for years, so I don't know whether those are still out there. :-)
Now -- there is also a usenet jargon use, where you send out a
request to see if someone is reading the newsgroup. That may be what
you saw, something like a "Subject: " header of "Pinging gunner"
(looking for a response from gunner), used when it is not certain that
he received an e-mail -- perhaps because of aggressive spam filtering.
An e-mail message may be a ping as well, and useful when there
is some doubt as to whether a larger e-mail got trapped by filters.
Just put "ping" in the "Subject: " header line and in the body, and
Which one were you asking about?
I hope that this helps.
Email: < email@example.com> | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
(too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
I missed the staff meeting but the minutes show Spehro Pefhany
-0500 in rec.crafts.metalworking :
Oh yeah, "Finger me for my .plan"
I heard of someone who named the computer "Elvis" in order to be able
to say "Elvis is alive" or "Elvis is dead."
Some of the "early" hackers were, on a scale of e to Pi, about 3.5 for
as an explaination for the decline in the US's tech edge, James
I missed the staff meeting but the minutes show "Searcher"
in rec.crafts.metalworking :
Many answers, I'll add my two cents.
From the Jargon File 4.2.0:
ping: [from 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 (note that `ping(8)''s author denies the widespread
folk etymology that the name was ever intended as acronym for `Packet
INternet Groper'). 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 comp.sys.next. 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.
From this came all sorts of other uses, but that's the computer related
as an explaination for the decline in the US's tech edge, James
That is a great functional use. I used ping and spray. Ping didn't require
the far computer to always be there, some computers could do hardware reply -
which wasn't what I wanted. I wanted to know if the O.S. was running. e.g.
was it booted. I had a script that ping'd and then sprayed (packet size)
and qualify network machines I could use running simulation scripts while the
user worked at a lower priority or during off hours.
It worded so well the larger IT (I was a local IT) group to slurp up that and
enhance it to monitor backbones, bridges and ... the up links and distant T line
connects. We had so many T10 and T100 lines into and out of our facility
I thought we were a network center. Later the IT groups world wide were grouped
into a world wide multiple company IT group in > 100 countries.
[ I think our building was a major cluster in the earlier days, then lost the
edge to the comercial centers. ]
Martin Eastburn, Barbara Eastburn
@ home at Lion's Lair with our computer firstname.lastname@example.org
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