The domain name service, DNS, is 21. If the service hadn’t been invented by Dr Paul Mockapetris, you’d be looking up internet protocol numbers manually, almost like using a phone directory.
“The idea was to devise a way for Internet users to communicate freely with each other through an easy to operate system. Having to remember a long numerical code was not feasible as more users joined the Internet community,” said Dr Paul Mockapetris. “One of our goals was to develop a system that would allow global networking and information exchange. One of the ultimate successes of the domain name is that it is a universal every day language for Internet users across all continents.”
Dr Mockapteris (now I’ve told you his name, you’re not going to forget it, are you?) worked on the system with the late Dr Postel as part of ARPANET, and is now chief scientist and chairman of Nominum, an internet address management provider.
He predicts even greater things are yet to come for his offspring: “This year alone more than a billion users will interact with DNS to do everything from send emails, to browse web pages, or track inventory through RFID. In the next five years, I expect to see a dramatic increase in the number of ways in which the DNS is used, reaching far beyond what we have seen in the past twenty-one.”