Fishing for free information: the ultimate experience

A while ago the amount of queries I’ve been receiving has reached a threshold where I felt the need to be very honest about the type of questions I will answer (after all, we’re in business of providing networking-related services and if I want to continue blogging there has to be some revenue to pay the bills). Some people don’t mind and still send me requests for free information they need to implement the projects they’re paid to do. Recently I’ve got this shopping list …

My customer is asking me to do a reverse DNS entry in the DNS for his domain. But I do not have any DNS.

  1. What is the suggested DNS server hardware for an ISP?
  2. What is the procedure to be followed to inform the rest of the Internet that I own this pool?
  3. Do I need to register my company name and the allocated pool with any of IANA accredited registrars?
  4. Shall we use a single IP for registration or will our entire IP address pool be used?
  5. If I ask the registrar to make forward and reverse entry in their root server, do I also need to make the same entries in my DNS server?
  6. Is it mandatory to maintain master and slave DNS servers from the beginning? Do I need to allocate one of the allocated public IP to these servers and inform the register to make entries for this DNS server?

This is precisely the type of work that we’re best at: helping our clients plan and design their implementation, so I’ve politely offered our professional services. This is the reply I’ve received:

I appreciate your business mind. But I do feel, you need to spare some knowledge for free of cost like this.

Go figure …

10 comments:

  1. hilarious.. Wondering to how many people he sent that mail?
    8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-)

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  2. Wow.

    I suppose one of tne of the benefits of running a blog without any commercial ties is that I'm free to answer requests like that as creatively as possible. For starters, the "procedure to be followed to inform the rest of the Internet that I own this pool" is definitely a formal Usenet posting to alt.tools.

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  3. ROFL. Thanks. I knew someone would come forward with the right answer :-P

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  4. Question 2 makes me laugh. I wonder how he routes traffic to his customers...

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  5. Ivan, you are mean. Here is some no charge help for the man...
    1. Commodore 64 http://tinyurl.com/mejkr9
    2. Use Winston the pigeon http://tinyurl.com/lx9xur
    3. No
    4. Make certain you choose any IP address in the range 172.16.0.0 to 172.31.255.255
    5. No
    6. No and No

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  6. Ivan

    I think you should answer him that this is not Microsoft trial version which is used free of cost with limited edition :-P.

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  7. Amazing. You could actually buy the hardware you've recommended 8-) Although you'd probably have to program the UDP/IP stack yourself.

    BTW, C64 is needed only if you have numerous zone files, otherwise you can use a Sinclair ZX81. It would give you 8KB space for your firmware (only wimps would program DNS in BASIC anyway) and 16KB for your zone files.

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  8. Actually, there is an open source TCP/IP stack written for 8 bit micro-controllers, and was already used to wire C64 into the Internet.
    http://www.v3.co.uk/vnunet/news/2118399/commodore-back-web-server

    ZX Spectrum won't do, because it has no cartridge slots. Sinclair's engineers seemed not to be so future-aware as Commodore's. :-P

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  9. Aha, I knew I had chosen the right architecture!

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  10. Amazing, and even more amazing, a few hours of research will answer all those questions bar 'how to configure BIND / how to use linux'. In fact a call to the local ISP's level 2 support will answer all those questions (with 'don't worry about it pay us 30 bucks a month and problem solved; lol).

    Funny thing is with the scope of the guy's questions it does suggest he is of sufficient technical depth to grasp the topic!!!

    And don't worry, I've received more hostile responses on free online forums from amateurs who feel entitled to harangue people for cisco knowledge (and you know first hand how difficult it can be to describe some stuff via online posts).

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Ivan Pepelnjak, CCIE#1354, is the chief technology advisor for NIL Data Communications. He has been designing and implementing large-scale data communications networks as well as teaching and writing books about advanced technologies since 1990. See his full profile, contact him or follow @ioshints on Twitter.