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I find myself in the unusual position of having a laptop computer, as a result of being away at a conference, in Edinburgh. It’s the one that I’m using to run demonstrations, but it means I can blog from bed.

This evening was the conference dinner, at a place called the Beluga Bar (which was nice enough). Just got back from there, and fancied a coffee to wind down before I go to sleep. I actually nearly had a scotch downstairs, but then thought better of it. It’s back on the train tommorow, and I might even do another entry from there.

I do look forward to the day when the Internet is truly ubiquitous. Even if I did have a wireless card, I very much doubt I would find a link up from my room, so this entry will have to just sit on the hard disk until I get back to NESC in the morning, and have Internet once more (woo-hoo). Speaking of Internet, I’ve been looking into IPv6 recently, and the address you get is partially based on MAC address, and partially on your router’s address (as far as I can work out). I haven’t got my head round IPv6 yet, but I was pondering it today… on the one hand, you ideally want a single IP address that stays you with forever, and all your packets get routed to you no matter where you happen to be linked in. On the other hand, this model is a nightmare for both routing tables and security – but what if part of your address was your unique identifier, and the other part somehow encapsulated the route to you? Or to turn it around, part of the address identified the route to your nearest router, and then the other part can be any meaningful way of the router knowing how to get your packets to you. Apart from removing the need for NAT, it would mean you would know, in advance, what your full IP address would be wherever you plugged in your computer, as long as you knew the address of the first router. Indeed, you could do a very minimal sort of security/authentication scheme based on the host-specific part of the address.. and a much fuller one if you know the router part too.

This may not be how IPv6 works at all, and my first ever interaction did not go well (I tried to use ping6 on the IPv6 address that my network connection apparantly has), and it just came up with routing type errors. But I suspect I just misunderstand it somewhere along the way…

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