Technical Writing Fail – Guernsey Press

I know Jason was going to cover this at his blog over at deedoubleyou.net, but he hasn’t. And this was posted on the 4th of Febuary, back when the IPV4 exhaustion thing was current. So I thought I would write a little something about this before its entirely outdated.

Everybody knows we are running out of IPV4 address, and has read about it on about a million technical sites. Well our local paper decided do a small section about it in its ‘world news’ section.

As an IT Professional/Technical person, reading this explanation was painful to say the least. Now, I know they are writing for a non-technical audience, but a small attempt for some sort of accuracy would have been nice.

So without further ado, look after the break for a copy of the article, and my points after reading it.

Oh, and Guernsey Press, keep away from technical writing for a bit please

Guernsey Press IPV4 article - 4/2/11

Guernsey Press IPV4 Exhaustion article - 4/2/11


Please read through the article, on the bits that I have highlighted. You should be able to click on it, to get it full size. Then each of these numbered points below address my comments on that highlighted part.

Fail 1 – Web Address

Web addresses:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_address
We are running out of IP address not Web address, I’m pretty sure every perceivable domain, on every single TLD isn’t about to be taken.

Fail 2 – Internet Numbers

Internet numbers is a fail, I’m pretty sure somebody with even a basic idea of networking could explain it better than that. An internet address would of been better, or internet postcode. That would have made a lot more sense.
Also 192.168.1.1 isn’t an internet address, as it is reserved for internal use. So I wouldn’t call it an internet number/postcode at all.

Fail 3 – Wrong number

The number of address is actually 2^32, which is more like 4,294,967,296. Unless they have taken out broadcast address etc, although judging by the standard of the rest of the article, I doubt they would know what they were.

Fail 4 – Lying

http://ipv6-test.com/validate.php – if you run that on channelisles.net, then it fails all tests and says that even their website isn’t IPv6 ready.

Fail 5 – NATing exists

Fridges and cookers would be behind your router; unless you have 4,000,000,000 devices connected to your personal LAN isn’t going to be an issue. NATing, it works bitches.

Fail 6 – More Lies

IPs aren’t necessarily unique, especially ones connected to private numbers. Please don’t set your router’s IP to 192.168.0.1, that’s one I use for mine!
You’ll break the Internets!

Conclusion

Well kids, this is why technical writings should be limited to technical people.
Another point I would like to make, is if you are ‘dumbing’ down a technical subject, for a non-technical audience, please keep it accurate.
There is no point in mis-information.

So in final conclusion:
6 technical fails in a few hundred words is pretty appalling, although it did give me and the rest of the IT team at work some laughs. Well played Guernsey Press.

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