Monday, June 26, 2017

News of MIT's NAT saddens me.

I remember when the names iteration.mit.edu and recursion.mit.edu were mine; they pointed to my public IPv4 address 18.238.3.106. I don't claim to have done anything innovative with them, but what I did was very educational. I wrote a minimal http server in C++ and hosted a static website with fractal images I created and a Mandelbrot set Java applet I wrote.

I probably never would have been motivated to learn how to write an http server without such public visibility. Security risks? Yes. (I promptly fixed that one.) Despite this, MIT thrived without a NAT for many years. Even if security risks are greater today, firewalls can be made arbitrarily strict without a NAT.

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