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Truth in Strange Places?

Those Dartmouth Information Technology guys give me a kick.

You know how Internet server farms work, don’t you? Well, there is no hard rule. But here’s one way to do it. A website like Dartmouth.edu, you see, doesn’t connect to some server called Dartmouth.edu — it connects to a name server which tells the visitor’s computer which particular website at Dartmouth.edu to fetch. By default, when you type in Dartmouth.edu, you are taken to the Webster server, which is Dartmouth’s main web server. So Dartmouth.edu is really Webster.Dartmouth.edu. Media.Dartmouth.edu is Dartmouth’s large-file server. Applications are hosted on Webapp.Dartmouth.edu. Similarly, this blog is actually Blog.Joemalchow.com.

Dartmouth’s Vox the Vote website, which provides information on how to vote on the proposed constitution, is a part of the Alumni Relations website. That’s a division of Dartmouth which has been widely criticized for stretching the bounds of neutrality on the controversial issue of the constitution. A common sentiment I hear, too, is that alumni do not feel fully “respected” in communications emanating from that department; feel that the writers there often talk down to them, as if they had no access to alternate sources of information about the goings-on in Hanover. As I don’t see all of those communications, I can’t really judge the claim that they are insulting.

But I did find it very amusing to discover the name of the web server which hosts the Alumni Relations and Vox the Vote websites: Grumpy.Dartmouth.edu, and Grumpy.Dartmouth.edu/voxthevote/.

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