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GeoPing displays a map. Every few seconds, GeoPing sends a "ping" across the Internet to various known servers, and listens for an echo.
The map is colored to indicate the relative speed of that echo. Red colors indicate a hot or fast connection from your computer to that region, while blue colors indicate a cold or slow connection. Average (median) times or areas not near a known server remain green.
Even though there are configurable options about how it displays the data, don't expect GeoPing to be a serious technical tool. It's more eye candy, similar to the colorful crystal display "moodrings" of the 1960s. Your Internet latency and bandwidth depend on more variables than one graph can possibly show, and as you'll see, the Internet is a chaotic system.
The Internet is very complex, and is always changing to improve performance everywhere. Computers across the country use special machines called servers, routers and gateways. Different kinds of computer traffic go through different servers. Some talk in massive bursts, while some are designed to handle very long conversations between computers. Most of the traffic will find its way through one or more of the central router computers. The cables between these central routers are often called backbones or trunk lines.
For GeoPing to display its special map, it has a small database of backbone computers. Generally, a computer doesn't know where it is located, so GeoPing's database has some extra information about its position on the map images.
Because the Internet grows, it means that GeoPing might become out-of-date. In a future version of GeoPing, it will update itself from this website automatically. For now, though, you can check here for a new GeoPing server data file, called GeoPing.txt. Just drop it into the same folder with your GeoPing.scr screen saver file, and it's ready.
| 4 October 1999
If you're an administrator of a major interstate, national, or global Internet Service Provider, you may send in some GeoPing data to the author, firstname.lastname@example.org, to appear in a future update of GeoPing. The format of the database should be fairly clear to the technically minded, so please just send the data that needs to be added or changed. (Conversely, if you prefer your routers not be tickled by GeoPing users, let the author know, too.)
GeoPing is offered as freeware. Try it today, use it for a while, see if it's useful for you. If you find GeoPing useful, then a donation will help fund future improvements.
Check out other handy programs brought to you by Ed Halley!