Anyone that has touched a computer these days has probably heard of ping. But very few know of its true origins these days. The following is based off the original developer, Mike Muuss’s website.
Ping was written by Mike Muuss in December of 1983, apparently he was experiencing some issues on the Berkley Research Lab IP network when he recalled a remark from Dr. Dave Mills at a DARPA meeting. Dr. Mills stated he had experimented with using timed ICMP Echo packets to measure path latency. This gave him the basis for programming his initial program.
As for the name, ping refers to the sound sonar systems use for echo location. Hence the Echo Request, and Echo Reply packets that probe the ‘distance’ to the target host. Very fitting in my opinion.
Sadly, Mike Muuss was killed in an automobile accident on November 20, 2000.
His work will live on as a part of every modern system on the planet.
Network engineer turned management currently servicing the enterprise data center market. I started working on networks in the ’90s and still feel like that was just a few years ago. Jack of all trades, master of none; I love to learn about everything. Feel free to ask me about photography, woodworking, nhra, watches, or even networking! — For feedback, please leave a comment on the article in question, and I’ll respond as soon as I can. For everything else including fan mail or death threats, contact me via twitter.