Catching very specific exceptions

Roy Smith roy at
Sun Jan 22 17:17:01 EST 2006

"Harlin Seritt" <harlinseritt at> wrote:
> I am finding that with the many quirks (and really bad foundation for
> Win32 APIs) that I am having to write a lot of voodoo code so to speak.

Yeah, tell me about it.  My current project at work is porting our IPv6 
management package (including ICMP ping) to windows; "many quirks" would be 
a good way to describe it!

> If I use a dummy port... let's say port 10001 for example... I can
> attempt to connect to a machine at this port. If I get an error that
> says "Connection refused", I know that the node is up but is just not
> going to allow a connection.

Maybe.  It could be that some firewall between you and the target is 
blocking things.  Depending on how the firewall is programmed, this may 
show up as a timeout or as a connection refused (although the former would 
be more common).

It's also not always a clear-cut question what "up" means.  Some operating 
systems can get into modes where for all intents and purposes they've 
crashed, but they're still answering pings and/or actively refusing 

The traditional way to tell if a node is up is to send it an ICMP echo 
request, rather than trying to connect to a TCP port.  You might want to 
look into using that instead of trying to connect to random ports.  Not 
that that ICMP doesn't have its own problems :-)

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