Saturday, January 05, 2008

Eureka! A Server Mystery Has Been Solved!

Have you ever had a small mystery that nagged at you over time. The event only occurs in one circumstance, but you couldn't quite put the pieces together to get that "Aha!" finality? It is the kind of recurring puzzle that is of no real consequence to anyone, but it bugs the bejesus out of you that you can't find the answer. I am relatively certain that I am the only person on earth who would choose to be bothered by this particular mystery, but I did. In all likelihood it was not "solved" sooner because only a few other people in the world would have cared and they already knew the "answer." They made the puzzle. To an obsessive and inquisitive shrink, however, this became a "thing!"

I host a website with what used to be known as Microsoft's bCentral. At one point last March I had nothing better to blog about so I simply listed the names of the mail servers then in use for the email accounts on the site. I assumed that they had to be given some designation so that the rest of the network would recognize them, but the names were seemingly random and were probably assigned by whatever IT person installed and maintained them. I noted what they were, but gave no real thought to a pattern being there, as the names appeared whimsical and individual. They were:

freddie
io
monty
nudel
onyx
sparky
squeaky
sylvia

Since Microsoft outsourced its web hosting services to Concentric however, the names changed and became much more numerous. The more I saw, the harder I tried to find a pattern to their names. Some sounded like defenders of the realm, some seemed almost loving, some had an attitude, some seemed threatening, and I couldn't even pronounce one. Different subsets and arrangements were tried until one server name that I had not encountered before appeared. Click!! The names are listed below, along with a link to a list of which they are a subset:

adamant
albion
ardent
audacious
brilliant
dauntless
defiance
desperate
diligence
excellent
exertion
fervent
formidable
fortitude
hood
impregnable
indefatigable
indignant
inflexible
insolent
intrepid
invincible
iphigenia
irresistible
isis
nimble
resolution
retribution
safeguard
sentinel
strenuous
superb
tremendous
triumph
unicorn
vigilant
zealous

If you found the "giveaway" name, the derivation of the names won't come as too much of a surprise. If you didn't, it may. Give it a moment's thought before you click this link. I have to pull you into my obsession for at least a few seconds. There were four discrepancies from the list at that link, all of which I finally verified despite a slight difference in the spelling of one name, the fact that two were simply missing on that link, and that "safeguard" was included as something of a technicality.

*sigh*

I can find some of the most irrelevant things in the world to become enthralled with when I'm avoiding moving a huge bookcase. 'Twas a turrible fight, but the dreaded bookcase has now been moved.

Peace, Doc

Copyright © 2007, Thomas A. Blood, Ph.D.

"Procrastination" - Kurtis Karr

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