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January 08, 2004

Well call me just plain out of it. Or blame it on my complete lack of Unix chops. Either may be accurate.

Until now I’ve been bouncing off of NetSol and putting up with the ridiculous (and highly inaccessible) image-based security widget every time I’ve run a whois search on an existing domain.

Google just launched a whois search, which is cool in and of itself (although the prospect of more spam doesn’t thrill me). What caught my attention though, was an off-the-cuff remark by Joi Ito:

I guess this is useful for people who won’t touch a command line, but I don’t think I’d ever use it. I will continue to open a terminal window and type “whois”.

Well now, OS X’s terminal does whois. Nice!

Reader Comments

January 08, 01h

Let us imagine, and take ourselves back, way back, lo, even five years ago. Tell someone that in the future you will recommend a Mac over Windows because of the command-line tools.

We’ll leave the question of whether that is progress as an exercise for the reader.

Eric says:
January 08, 01h

Its been on windows for years too via

Dris says:
January 08, 02h

Yep, Mac OS X comes with all the command line tools most UNIXes tend to have. Very handy!

As far as the SmartyPants stuff, I’ve noticed things like this in several sites that use it. It doesn’t seem to do anything on comment previews.

January 08, 02h

“As far as the SmartyPants stuff, Iíve noticed things like this in several sites that use it. It doesnít seem to do anything on comment previews.”

That depends *entirely* on whether you have encorporated it into your comment-preview template. It doesn’t do anything in templates that have not been modified to use it: <MTSomeTemplateTag smarty_pants=”2”>.

Using one set of template options to *preview* comments and another set of options to finally *display* them on your blog is what produces the little circus act above.

padawan says:
January 08, 03h

And you can even type whois followed by an IP address to find out where that nasty spammer comes from ;-).

Dris says:
January 08, 04h

“That depends *entirely* on whether you have encorporated it into your comment-preview template. It doesnít do anything in templates that have not been modified to use it: .”

Ahh… See, I’m not a MovableType user (let alone a SmartyPants user), so I didn’t know that. Thanks for clarifying.

Jonathan says:
January 08, 06h

My favorite site for whois and other info is DNS Stuff.

Lenny says:
January 08, 08h

Being under certain circumstances keeping me on Windows I too was fed up with web-based whois, but discovered Cygwin a few months ago.

January 08, 10h

My personal army of command-line tools, which presumably will be on OSX, is:


eric says:
January 08, 10h

And there you were, thinking of going back to windows. ;)

January 08, 10h

The commandline ‘whois’ command is less than convenient to use nowadays. Fortunately, being on OSX, you can define your own, more convenient to use ‘front-end’ to whois. Here’s mine, a shellscript called ‘mywhois’:

[script removed. SmartyPants mangled the quotes.]

January 08, 11h

Oh %#$@!

Please remove all the “"s from the above. I put them in because you appear to use SmartPants in your comment listing template, but not (it seemed) in your Comment preview template.

The “"s were there to make sure we got straight quotes, rather than SmartyPants’s curly quotes. (Since you don’t allow HTML in you comments, I couldn’t very well just wrap the *code* in some <code> tags, which would have had the desired effect.

I *hate* having to second-guess the comment system …

January 08, 11h

This site offers a plethera of network related tools.

Whois, IP Whois, Traceroute, etc. I discovered it while thumbing through an issue of hacker’s quarterly at the bookstore one day.

Check it out if you don’t know how or have no desire to touch the command line.

Dave S. says:
January 08, 12h

Jacques, my unfriendly MT commenting setup is a secret ploy to reduce comment volume to levels where I can actually read them again…

Er, but, sorry about that. Looks like it actually worked out in the end, minus the odd smart quote which I’ve fixed. My preview templates are both still ugly stepchildren at the moment.

January 08, 12h

Not much of an improvement, Dave. Backward single quotes (the outermost quotes on line 3 of the script are backquotes) became forward single quotes.

Don’t try this script at home, folks!

ak says:
January 08, 12h

try finding an applicationon your computer name Network Utilities (located in the ‘Utilities’ folder within the ‘Applications’ folder). it’s a gui for whois and more

dennis says:
January 09, 01h

I highly encourage Windows users (bleh) to take a look at Sam Spade ( for their network querying needs.

qid says:
January 09, 02h

Am I the only person who remembers ? In fact, my Linux machines don’t have the “whois” command–I think “dig” might be able to do whois queries though.

jason says:
January 09, 05h

The best thing ever is

Just get a free account, set it to login for life, and then enjoy typing this and getting a feature-rich response page every time:

bret lombaro says:
January 11, 11h is written in assembley language which denies any XML namespacing hosts from querry. I would suggest using a script line editor such as cobol to cache zone file requests…

January 20, 01h

Take a look at It finds the registrar who registered the domain, then goes to that particular registrar to get info on the domain.