Posted by Kenny on 17 August 2000
Laura Shadbolt wrote:
> <whispering> I wasn't paying attention. What's DNS? </whispering>
It's the big computer owned by your ISP so that when you type www.someirrelevantdouglasadamsfansite.com into your web browser, or open an irc connection to some sleazy irc server, like, er, say, SlashNet or something, your computer and the DNS server go like this:
Your comp: "Heeeeeeeyyyy! DNS server! How are ya, old buddy?"
DNS Server: "Oh, not you again. Look, what do you want?"
YC: "Well, y'know, I've got to go and find this web page/irc server etc, for Laura, and that".
DNSS: "It's always the same, isn't it? Never have a decent conversation these days, you and me. Back in the old days, we used to chat at sensible baud rates about the weather, and then after a while, maybe I'd go and get you the address of a domain name for ya, get you a few pages, and we'd sit and talk for hours while Laura looked at her website/chatted on her irc server...These days you just want the address and you disappear, you never think about me at all".
YC: "Well, I haven't really had the time. Laura's more demanding these days, you know"
DNSS: "Pah. Any excuse."
YC: "Look, just PLEASE give me the address, or Laura'll hit the stop button in a minute and get in a stress, and then I'll suffer. Pretty please?"
DNSS: "Well, alright. Just this once. Promise you'll come back and chat sometime, though, yeah?"
DNSS: "Good. You'll find www.someirrelevantdouglasadamsfansite.com at 10.52.177.48 and eu.slashnet.org at 126.96.36.199. Don't forget to connect to SlashNet on port 6667, though"
YC: "How do you remember stuff like that?"
DNSS: "It's my job to remember it so you don't have to. That's the point of DNS. Now hurry up, Laura's waiting!"
So, DNS is all about finding an IP address (sensible numerical system that computers use to identify each other on the net) from a domain name (which is a disorderly, unpoliced system that humans use to remember pointless websites online).