[TUHS] Happy birthday, symbolics.com!

George Michaelson ggm at algebras.org
Thu Mar 15 09:31:01 AEST 2018

I was at UCL-CS when we turned on DNS in 85/6 -This was the eastern
end of the spiral arm of the galaxy, feeding MoD and Goonhilly downs
and the Post Office, as well as a rather odd service mapping ARPAnet
to JANET via kermit amongst other things.  Smoke filled rooms with
spooks in dark glasses and men with ribbon-chest-boards were mentioned
in passing when UCL staff went to SRI for meetings. Odd times. I never
went. Bob Braden came over for some liaison meeting at the end of
SATNET (2meg satlink, huge for the day) and was grumpy because due
deference was not shown. Mike Lesk came for a long residency. he was
nice, chatty, obsessed with Tristram Shandy. I liked him more.

At one level, "nothing happened" because mail and news still flowed as
it used to. But random connects in FTP and Telnet now had subtly
different underpinnings. Before this turn-on, when we used
/etc/hosts.txt in anger we could wind up being delayed beyond the 30
second login timer and fail to connect for service because lookups
files timed out. After this turn-on, we connected more reliably more
often.  I was doing OSI code work, and had to share some files with
people at BRL and UDel and other places, it was a real pain in the

The fuzzball had been turned off in favour of a BBN butterfly. oooooh
multiprocessing. sexy. Also flakey as hell.

I had root on some of the boxes, two or three flicks of configuration
changed from one t'other and back again.  It was hard to get excited
about it because ubiquitous meant still having serial-line
communications with UUCP and dealing with Jacob Palme in his
not-quite-USENET world of research mailing lists, and bitnet.  mmdf
and news looks the same if you ship the bytes on tape, in the end.

On Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 9:22 AM, Warner Losh <imp at bsdimp.com> wrote:
> nic.ddn.mil post-dated symbolics.com registering by a couple of years. They
> had a complicated form to fill out to get a domain name after the less
> formal system became too burdensome to scale.
> Warner
> On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 4:14 PM, Angus Robinson <angus at fairhaven.za.net>
> wrote:
>> According to wikipoedia, .com was setup in January of 1985 and was
>> administered by the US Department of Defense. Although they contracted SRI
>> International, which in turn created DDN-NIC (SRI-NIC), which was found at
>> nic.ddn.mil.
>> Assuming they registered it under SRI-NIC.
>> On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 2:18 PM Pete Wright <pete at nomadlogic.org> wrote:
>>> On 03/14/2018 14:14, Dave Horsfall wrote:
>>> > The first Internet domain, symbolics.com, was registered in 1985 at
>>> > 0500Z ("Zulu" time, i.e. UTC).
>>> >
>>> This was well before my time, so pardon my ignorance here, but who was
>>> the registrar that they used to register this domain?
>>> thanks!
>>> -pete
>>> --
>>> Pete Wright
>>> pete at nomadlogic.org
>>> @nomadlogicLA

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