Ping (along with traceroute and nslookup) is one of the most basic, useful, and frequently-employed network tools I’m familiar with. In poking around for a coherent explanation of what Ping is, I found this terrific history from Ping’s creator, Michael Muuss. I love it for the same reason that I love The Cathedral and The Bazaar: a great tool comes into being due to a single programmer’s annoyance / need. No permission needed, and the UNIX community quickly adopted both Ping and Muuss’s kernel modifications. The best part: how The Story About Ping, “The tale of a little duck alone on the Yangtze River,” became part of the legend, courtesy of an Uzbek reviewer. A heartwarming tale about hosts lost and found!