Because I am now 100% in charge of the care and feeding of my shiny, new website, I’ve had to implement all the web dev knowledge I’ve been learning for the past few years. I consider myself to be Half-Assed plus 1 (“HA+1”) web dev, which is my designation for someone who knows a bit more than the moke occupying the rung immediately beneath mine. I know just enough to be dangerous, but the +1 factors in because I also know how to fix anything I may bork. Additionally, as an HA+1 web dev, I, therefore, know how to use DNS enumeration tools such as host, dig and nslookup. (h/t to HackerSploit over at YT)

What is DNS enumeration, you may ask?

In non web dev terms, these are tools used to find a website’s DNS servers, which are responsible for resolving hostnames or domains (such as prattleonboyo.com) to their numerical IP address so that the internet can find it and then display it in your browser. Your computer only speaks in ones (1) and zeroes (0) so any site that loads in your browser always has an IP address that contains a series of numbers such as 54.241.2.241 and has been converted to binary. (But that’s another discussion.)

If you typed 54.241.2.241 into your browser, it will load the domain associated with it. (I’ll leave it up to you as a fun little exercise to discover the domain on your own.)

Host, dig and nslookup are all useful for troubleshooting a website or a computer network that has shit the bed. I’m going to assume that your interest in these commands is purely informational so will leave it up to you if you’d like to explore them further. (Open your fave search engine, such as DuckDuckGo and away you go.)

Exactly how does one use host, dig and nslookup?

If you open a command line called shell on Linux or terminal in Mac, or simply command line for those Windoze users out there, you’ll see something similar to this.

Ain’t no winders, Cletus! How my s’pposed to surf the inter webs?

The average person is usually terrified of this window, as in, even more so than the number thirteen, because they have no idea how to use it or what it’s supposed to do. So they aren’t even a half- ass. In fact, they’ve got no ass at all! (ba dump bump.)

Using a command line with a computer is the difference between a driver who knows how to use a stick shift vs. not. And like cursive handwriting, knowing how to write a check, the ability to tell time using an analog clock and/or reading a map, along with a shit ton more of practical skill sets that have been deliberately withheld from younger generations in the United States, unless you’re a web dev, network admin, or some other computer-related tech, most people have no use for the shell. It doesn’t make you a bad person, per se. But you should know that when the world’s computer networks and satellites fail, and GPS along with it, you’re going to be in a world of shit because you won’t know how to find your own ass with both hands and a compass, the latter of which you probably have no idea how to read, either. Assuming that you even know what a compass is. But I digress.

I mention it here because I’m trying to repopulate my new domain with more content, but hey, if you’re bored and want to skip straight to former golden oldies such as The Nutjob Next Door series, then please, feel free to browse the archives at the other domain. But stay tuned here because it’s going to get good.