hostcvt is a tool that helps you with your initial BIND configuration by converting your /etc/hosts file into master files for named. It generates both the forward (A) and reverse mapping (PTR) entries, and takes care of aliases and the like. Of course, it won't do the whole job for you, as you may still want to tune the timeout values in the SOA record, for instance, or add MX records and the like. Still, it may help you save a few aspirins. hostcvt is part of the BIND source, but can also be found as a standalone package on a few FTP servers.
After setting up your name server, you may want to test your configuration. The ideal (and, to my knowledge) only tool for this is dnswalk, a perl-based package that walks your DNS database, looking for common mistakes and verifying that the information is consistent. dnswalk has been released on comp.sources.misc recently, and should be available on all FTP sites that archive this group (ftp.uu.net should be a safe bet if you don't know of any such site near you).
Thu Mar 7 23:22:06 EST 1996