Author: Paul Kraus

What Does PK1048 Mean

Geeks love inside jokes. Most (if not all) Unix commands actually have a meaning and are not just an assortment of random letters. So why did I choose PK1048 for my domain and blog? Well, back in the earlier days of the Internet (I do not claim to have been around for the real early days of the Internet in the 1960’s and 1970’s) you needed a way to manage domain names. These are the names we use to refer to things on the Internet, like, since all the Internet knows is the numeric address of the systems. The Domain Name System (DNS) maps names to numbers (and other useful information) as well as numbers to names. In the mid-1990’s there was one entity tasked with managing all the domains for the .com and .org Top Level Domains (TLDs). That entity was Network Solutions. If you registered a domain you needed to configure and run DNS servers for it. You also had to let Network Solutions know the numeric address(es) for your DNS servers. To manage that information you needed a unique ID at Network Solutions. That ID was called your NIC-handle and my NIC-handle was pk1048 (because I was the 1,048th person to register a NIC-handle with the initials “pk”).

So “pk1048” was my NIC-handle and permitted me to manage domain registration records and DNS server records for a bunch of domains in the late 1990’s. I still manage registrations and DNS servers, but with many registrars and countless TLDs you don’t have a single NIC-handle you authenticate with anymore.

Who am I

When meeting someone new, an introduction is in order, so here is my introduction.

I am a “Geek” and I mean that in the sense that I seek to understand how everything works. Not just what buttons to push, but what the buttons do and why I might want to push them.

I went to a major technical institute in the early 1980’s and failed out after 2.5 years as a Physics major. I then leveraged my experience at the school’s student run radio station into a string of jobs in Broadcasting on the engineering side of the house. UHF TV stations on channels 67 (1.5 years) and 62 (6 weeks) and then 7 years at a VHF TV on channel 6. During this time I worked on everything from video cameras, audio equipment, video tape machines (2″ quadraplex, 1″ SMPTE C, 3/4″ U-matic, and even Hi-8), RF transmitters and receivers (55,000 watt UHF and VHF, 2 watt microwave, among others), and anything else that might break. I then spent 6 months as Chief Engineer at a small AM/FM (50,000 watt clear channel AM, not the company, but the class of AM station) fixing everything and even doing a full asset inventory and valuation (for the bankruptcy court, a long and different story). At about this point I finished the Associates Degree I had been working on at the local community college in Math & Natural Science, with a 4.0 GPA. I then spent about 2 years doing Sound professionally; systems design and installation, repair and maintenance, loading shows in and out, mixing, just about everything in the realm of sound.

It was at this point that my career changed directions from audio / video / RF systems to computers. I worked for 6 months part time as a Technical Writer editing class materials for a Unix Administration Class. That led to a full time job offer and I started down the path of IT in 1995. I have worked at or with three different “High Tech Startups” since then, typically on the systems management side, but I have also spent time doing web and other application development as well as managing a storage system of 250 TB (back when that was a lot of data) for a group of 800 lawyers.

Today I am no longer an independent IT Consultant, but a full time employee of the third high tech startup I was involved with. We aren’t really a startup anymore, but we are transitioning from being a small group of people working together to a small company working together. I mention all of the above so you know the diverse technical background I hail from.