Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

watch overshare: the story contact me

Staking your claim on Cyberspace


How to Squat on the Internet

(information circa 1996)

The rush to the Internet and the web has already quickened enormously since I have been on here. It's like a bloody feeding frenzy free-for-all. It used to be you had to be a weenie to belong to this community. No more. Soon the web will be inundated by millions of Compuservants and Americans Online jamming the pipes with accesses to the Cindy Crawford home page.

So jump on the bandwagon! Beat your neighbor to the best seats in the house! Register your very own domain name, so that you can personalize your little segment of the net. Domain names are just that, nomenclature for areas online. You can take any word, any name, any combination of numbers and letters, and claim it as yours!

It used to be free, now you have to pay $50 a year for the priviledge ofyour own address. Some people aren't standing for it, Refuse to Pay!.

A little guide to domains:

Most of you experienced net.doodz will already have this down pat. This ain't rocket science.

Top level domain signifiers

  1. EDU - Educational Institutions
  2. COM - Commercial Interests
  3. ORG - NotForProfits
  4. GOV - Government Institutions
  5. MIL - Military Installations
  6. NET - Network Service Providers
  7. 2 letters - Denotes a country/region of the world
A domain consists of a string of characters and one of those top level denominators separated by a period . is a domain name. is a domain name. is a domain name.

How to find out if a domain is already registered

Open a telnet session and run whois followed by the name of the domain you want to check out. Or, the InterNIC has gopher access to whois searches.

For Example:
and you will get an answer, or further directions to find your answer.

The next thing to do is to look at a copy of the Domain Template. Check it out online, and then either copy it into an e-mail file, or download the source text. Fill it out, and send it to HOSTMASTER@INTERNIC.NET and hold your breath for a reply. Could be more than three weeks. International templates are available from InterNIC, check the index to see what's what in the template directory.

But I ain't got no servers!


How am I supposed to fill out sections 4 and 7 and 8?

A ton of people write to ask me about this. The reason it is not immediately apparent what to answer here is that you are only supposed to be filling out a domain name application if you have the answers already. You are supposed to have the servers to answer sections 4 and 7 and 8, and if you don't, you shouldn't be requesting a domain name in the first place.

That said, there are ways you can get around this. As far as I know, these will all work because InterNIC is simply too swamped to check every entry. These measures should be considered means for holding the name until you get your own server.

  1. Use the servers of your work/school/service provider network server. If you fill out the form with the info of a server you are on, the people running that domain will not find out you have registered anything to them, unless you try to use your domain, in which case they will probably write InterNIC and you will be busted. You can use the computer you are on to hold your domain until you find a way to utilize it. For date operational, just answer the date the day after you send it in.
  2. Fabricate a server, net address, computer, etc. I have never tried this, so it is an unproven method. If you don't have a server, and you don't have much to lose, give it a try. Let me know if it works!
  3. Some people have asked me about leaving these three fields blank. I would not recommend that. Then you are just admitting that you are not prepared to own a domain.

Please do not write me to ask me whether I can give you computers to use for these fields. I can not supply you with servers you can use to register your domain names.

Now that I've got this thing, what do I do with it?

There are two ways to set up your domain name so you can use it. The best thing to do is to get a dedicated machine attached to the Internet and set this up as the primary domain name server. Then, all your e-mail, world wide web, ftp, and gopher transactions can go to this machine, and the accounts you create on it. If you don't have a dedicated computer with its own IP address, point the DNS registration at another computer, and then talk to the system administrator about having your new address log to a directory on that system. The problem with this last method is that your address takes on a sumerical suffix, and it ends up looking like this: which is definitely a little unweildy.

Of course, you can just do what I am doing, get yourself a few addresses and hold on to 'em for the day when you do have your own system attached to the Internet. This way, you'll beat those buggers to the best domains and you'll be poised to set up your own

I have made a page detailing my attempts to secure the domain name

There is another page about attaining your own domain name, this one by a commercial venture.
Enlightening and amusing info including a list of Kraft's registered domains for August (,, and Procter and Gamble's (including

personal publishing | technologee writings

justin's links by justin hall: contact