I was trying to resolve a tricky problem today with the domain name system on one of my servers. One possibility was that a broken root server might have been responsible for the faulty behavior. So I began reading about broken root servers. Reading up on this topic, I happened upon an article published a few years ago discussing the pros and cons of internationalizing the Internet’s numbering authority. So I went to Wikipedia to read up about the current status of ICANN. This led me to another article about the proposed Interplanetary Internet, and about delay-tolerant networking in general. Soon I found myself reading a variety of articles on the history of computing, including the legendary decline of once famous companies like Data General and Digital… and eventually, after reading about early computer architectures and calculators, I was staring at an article discussing the early inventions of Hero of Alexandria, who indeed had a steam reaction engine and another invention that used expanding hot air to displace water which then opened church doors, two inventions that are often confused these days, leading many to believe that Hero’s engine was capable of useful work.
Unfortunately, I am not capable of useful work when I get lost like this on Wikipedia. My problem with DNS remains unsolved.