Remember the finger protocol? Once that ... / 2012-03-04

2012-03-04 Remember the finger protocol? Once that ... 7 years ago
Remember the finger protocol? Once that was the way to publish information about yourself on the Internet before the whole worldwideweb thing and the concept of a 'homepage' started. But, finger gave/gives out too much information in the default settings, such as where you are logged in from (local terminal or network connection, complete with remote host name). I wanted to re-enable finger on my server at home, but did not want to 'leak' out this information. And I liked the concept of the 'people' command, which makes a list of users on multiple systems based on rwho data. But 'people' as a finger daemon likes to call the normal finger command when a name is given via the finger protocol, so finger user@host1@host2 would be forwarded, which is not what I like. The solution now is that I use cfingerd which does not give out information about sessions, hostnames and idle times. And cfingerd is in control, but calls people to create a list of logged-in users. End result: see for yourself, finger @koos.idefix.net. Or finger koos@koos.idefix.net. Temporarily not availabe via IPv6 because cfingerd gives a weird error when accessed via IPv6.

For those places where finger isn't even installed, the user-listing looks like:
koos@greenblatt:~$ people -H
User      Name                            Machine(s)
--------- ------------------------------- -------------------------------
koos      Koos van den Hout               greenblatt

A bit of history: Adam Curry once managed to cause severe load on a finger server by announcing the "Cyber-Sleaze report" available via finger curryco@panix.com. Within 4 days panix asked him to stop publishing information this way because of unprecedented traffic on the finger service. Source: Cyber Sleaze - Adam Curry - alt.internet.services. Adam started mtv.com and published information like this via finger, gopher and later the world wide web.

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, reachable as koos+website@idefix.net. PGP encrypted e-mail preferred.

PGP key 5BA9 368B E6F3 34E4 local copy PGP key 5BA9 368B E6F3 34E4 via keyservers pgp key statistics for 0x5BA9368BE6F334E4 Koos van den Hout
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Other webprojects: Camp Wireless, wireless Internet access at campsites, The Virtual Bookcase, book reviews
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