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 coke.com, 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.

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