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Wanted: A simple DNS app for Mac or Windows

Sunday, August 30, 2009 by Dave Winer.

A picture named dark.jpgIn the early-mid-90s there was a Mac desktop app that was a Domain Name Server. Here's how you'd set it up. Permalink to this paragraph

1. Put it in your Startup Items folder so it would launch at startup.  Permalink to this paragraph

2. When it booted a window opens with a list of all the domains it was managing. Of course initially it was empty. You could click on the name of any of them to edit the settings in a dialog. There was a place to edit the name of the domain. A place to add an A record or a CNAME. (In other words it works more or less the same as any web app we use to manage DNS.) Permalink to this paragraph

3. An Add button at the bottom of the window. Click it and a dialog like the one in #2 would appear, except all the fields would be blank.  Permalink to this paragraph

4. There was a text file that also configured the server, in fact the dialogs above just served to add, remove or change the text in the file. I suspect the file was in a standard format that all DNS's use.  Permalink to this paragraph

Anticipating what people are going to say, yes, I know there's a DNS built into the Mac, but it doesn't have a graphic interface and the instructions for setting it up are ridiculous. I think the one on Windows has a graphic UI, but I can't find any comprehensible instructions that explain how to set it up. Permalink to this paragraph

A college classmate, Sandy Wilbourn, who I think of as a brother, is an expert in DNS, and he says the app I'm looking for doesn't exist. I threatened to write it myself, he advised against it. Oh man. What is it with these simple web services that we're allowed to use them through a web app, but they don't want us running our own. I'm going to run my own DNS at some point, and I'd rather do it sooner than later. Permalink to this paragraph

Someone is going to ask why I need to do this. I have a good reason. You can either take my word or pay me $1000 and I'll explain. A picture named sidesmiley.gif Permalink to this paragraph

Update: Chuck Shotton points to MenAndMice's server for Windows, and JY points to CutEdge's server for Mac. Both appear to fit the bill. Thanks guys!! A picture named sidesmiley.gif Permalink to this paragraph

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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.


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