DNS BS

Academic institutions usually issue quite a bit of freedom to their students. They issue the freedom to pick whatever major they wish to study just so long as the university offers it. They allow students the liberty of either going or not going to class. They even tolorate student organizations that condone underage drinking. The university offers many freedoms.

This brings me to the freedom that a certain university offers to its students with regards to DNS. For arguments sake, I shall refer to this school as ISU. Now, at this place called ISU, the students are allowed to have their computer hooked-up to the campus network. They are even allowed to have their own IP address which means that a student could potentially have the freedom to run a server on his machine. Now, it would be rediculous to have to remember the number 139.102.122.133 every time someone wanted to access that machine so ISU also offers students the freedom to have their machine listed on the DNS (Domain Name Server) so that they can have their own internet address like igor.indstate.edu.

Here comes the interesting part. The university is a buerocracy and the function of networking and computer "stuff" is going to be handled by one of the university's many buereus. Let's just say that the people in charge of the resources in question are called ACNS. It is presumed by the administrators that these people know a thing or two about computers and therefor can set fair policies. Now, I'm not sure what this supposed ACNS, if such a group exists, is supposed to stand for. May be it's Autocratic Control of Normal Students. This is all supposition, of course.

Now, a DNS allocates host names in a very simple minded fasion. It keeps a listing of host names with their associated IP address. This is a very relatively inexpensive resource and it is easy to maintain. Now, ACNS being allocated for the purpose of establishing fair policy states that faculty can pick any host name that they want but students cannot. I suppose this policy makes sense. After all, we wouldn't want students to run around picking any old host name they wanted. If we did that then chaos would ensue. I don't know how but apparently this ACNS thinks that something like that would happen.

So, students can only have a host name of the form LASTNAME.students.indstate.edu according to this ACNS. I suppose that this would be different if students paid for this. After all, money talks and this is a capitalist society. I suppose it would also be different if they said that faculty that run servers have to have their host name be of the form LASTNAME.faculty.indstate.edu.