The Story About Ping
by Marjorie Flack, Kurt Wiese (Illustrator)
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Reading level: Baby-Preschool
Paperback - 36 pages (August 1977)
Viking Pr; ISBN: 0140502416 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.17 x 8.86 x 7.15
Other Editions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette
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The tale of a little duck alone on the Yangtze River, The Story About Ping is a sweet and funny book with wonderfully rich and colorful illustrations. On a day like any other, Ping sets off from the boat he calls home with his comically large family in search of "pleasant things to eat." On this particular day, he is accidentally left behind when the boat leaves. Undaunted, the little duck heads out onto the Yangtze in search of his family, only to find new friends and adventures--and a bit of peril--around every bend.
The exceptional illustrations bring the lush Yangtze to life, from Ping's family to the trained fishing birds he finds himself among to the faithfully rendered boats and fishermen. Certainly intended to be read aloud, The Story About Ping deserves a place on every young reader's (or listener's) shelf. (Picture book)
Average Customer Review: Number of Reviews: 8
Elisa Firth (email@example.com) from Seattle , April 14, 1999
A reader from E.Lansing, Michigan, USA , March 24, 1999
Coming back to this classical work as a Systems Adminstrator I was once again taught about the testing and selflessness of the ping program and am reminded of the complex Oriental philosophies that must be inherent in both the Unix program and the story. Namely we see a harmonious unity in Ping's journey and return like that of the mysterious Tao as seen in the Tao Te Ching importantly an ellusion to Nietsche's philosophy of the 'Eternal return' seen in our humble hero Ping's journey.
Presently I serenely understand that upon sending out a packet to an Unknown (in this case a host) I may learn more about not only myself in relationship with Other (the Internet) but also and more importantly who I am to thise Other.
Those who have tried network diagnostics will no doubt feel a previously unfelt empathy with Ping and will want to learn more from this deceptively simple 'children's book'.
This book is much like Piet On one level there is a simple moralistic message or truism, on another level we find secret codes sent to the 'Allies' when under the 'Nazi occupation'. For those involved in computers it is useful to gain the perspective of the humble applications that do one's bidding, sometimes under duress. For parents wishing to instill virtues in their child's personality, this book is a must.
While there is no immediate need to rush out and get this book, it certainly deserves a reserved place in any Systems Adminstrator's bookshelf.
Todd Rossman firstname.lastname@example.org
A reader from Compton, USA , March 12, 1999
The book describes networking in terms even a child could understand, choosing to anthropomorphize the underlying packet structure. The ping packet is described as a duck, who, with other packets (more ducks), spends a certain period of time on the host machine (the wise-eyed boat). At the same time each day (I suspect this is scheduled under cron), the little packets (ducks) exit the host (boat) by way of a bridge (a bridge). From the bridge, the packets travel onto the internet (here embodied by the Yangtze River).
The title character -- er, packet, is called Ping. Ping meanders around the river before being received by another host (another boat). He spends a brief time on the other boat, but eventually returns to his original host machine (the wise-eyed boat) somewhat the worse for wear.
The book avoids many of the cliches one might expect. For example, with a story set on a river, the authors might have sunk to using that tired old Buy This Book
If you need a good, high-level overview of the ping utility, this is the book. I can't recommend it for most managers, as the technical aspects may be too overwhelming and the basic concepts too daunting.
Problems With This Book
As good as it is, The Story About Ping is not without its faults. There is no index, and though the ping(8) man pages cover the command line options well enough, some review of them seems to be in order. Likewise, in a book solely about Ping, I would have expected a more detailed overview of the ICMP packet structure.
But even with these problems, The Story About Ping has earned a place on my bookshelf, right between Stevens' Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment, and my dog-eared copy of Dante's seminal work on MS Windows, Inferno. Who can read that passage on the Windows API ("Obscure, profound it was, and nebulous, So that by fixing on its depths my sight -- Nothing whatever I discerned therein."), without shaking their head with deep understanding. But I digress.
A reader from Houston, TX , November 25, 1998
Ping has his adventure and returns to the boat and his family, wiser yet innocent. Great story to share with your children. --This text refers to the school & library binding edition of this title
email@example.com from Grand Rapids, Michigan , March 24, 1998
firstname.lastname@example.org from Pennsylvania, USA , March 19, 1998
This tale underscores the importance of home, of family and of belonging. It is a good bed-time book with its happy ending after Ping's narrow escape from becoming a meal. Highly recommended. --This text refers to the school & library binding edition of this title
A reader from Detroit, Michigan , December 15, 1997
A reader from brunswick, jersey , November 30, 1997
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