[TUHS] Unix NCP protocol stack for ARPANET

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Mon Oct 25 06:25:26 AEST 2021

Sorry for typo and top posting on my iPhone for a few days as I'm traveling
W/O a computer.

Some thoughts.

There a number of pdp11 stacks for ip and I assume we the ncp but they were
not all sourced by bbn.  A number were in assembler

As Noel pointed out the first widely distributed Unix implementation for
the ncp was the uici version.  But there was a Rand stack around the same
time and III ty hink Holmgren ended up at UCSB after his time at UICI.  Im
fairly sure there was cross polinartion but I don't know how much.

In the IP space the 11 assembler version was the first u knew about.  The
first C version was the Haverty stack that became what knew of as the
portable IP stack originally for the Nova.   Rob Gurwitz (working) for Jack
did the 4.1 code and was the original official Vax stack for DARPA.  Joy's
reimplementation for 4.1a was sort of unsanctioned and caused a bit of a
rift as it was not a complete rewrite and officially BBN was doing the
network support for the VAX for DARPA. CSRG was just supposed to being
doing base OS.

But the joy version is derrived from the Gurwitz/Havert work - For instance
the famous mbuf code came from the DG Nova implementation a few years
earlier.  [I was once told mbufs came from Brown, but Jack said on the IH
mailing list in the last year or so, he worked on them before Rob started
his work].

Stan and I only had assembler and BLISS and Fortran on the Vax under VMS so
I started at the DG version when we did something similar in the Tek
version [it was not as elegant or as complicated and probably not as good].

As for other NCPs, PARC had MAXC on the net, but I thought it had
originally a DG Nova front end that was replaced with an Alto.  But the NCP
ran as Nova code in BCPL in both.

On Sun, Oct 24, 2021 at 3:30 PM Warner Losh <imp at bsdimp.com> wrote:

> On Sun, Oct 24, 2021 at 12:41 PM Ron Natalie <ron at ronnatalie.com> wrote:
>> There were definitely as many PDP-11's (most running UNIX) as there were
>> DEC 10s in the glory days of the Arpanet.   VAXes only rolled out toward
>> the end of the NCP era.
>> However, the last NCP host table shows this statistic for DEC machines on
>> the NCP Arpanet
>> VAX (UNIX):  58
>> PDP11(UNIX): 59
> So as of 1980-12-31, you had 7th Edition and 32V in the wild. 3BSD was
> late 1979 or early 1980. 4BSD was late 1980.
> The Columbus Unix was also running on VAXen, but I don't have great dates
> for that and most (all?) of those machines
> were confined to internal AT&T.
> I recall reading, but don't recall where I read it, that the Urbana
> networking was ported to 7th Edition. I tried to find
> such source, but couldn't 18 months ago. 32V is basically the same as 7th
> Edition, so would make a good candidate
> for such a port, though 3BSD isn't so radically different, except in
> buffer mapping, that it couldn't run there w/o much
> effort.  The VAX never had a V6 port that I've read about anywhere, though
> I'll defer to others with better sources.
> I'd bet some $$$ that BBN did the port, but I have no good source for that
> either.
> Warner
> --
Sent from a handheld expect more typos than usual
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