[TUHS] Research Datakit notes

Marc Donner marc.donner at gmail.com
Tue Jun 28 23:13:34 AEST 2022

In the mid-1980s I returned to IBM Research after finishing up at CMU.  I
smuggled a bunch of Sun machines in and strung Ethernet between my office
and my lab so that the desktop could talk to the server.

Then I went around IBM giving talks about TCP/IP and why IBM should commit
to it.  At the time IBM Research was the center of development of IBM's SNA
stuff, so there was some (!) tension.  (Particularly because Paul Greene,
one of the key leaders of the SNA work, was very close to my undergraduate
mentor, so I had socialized with him.)  They proposed running TCP/IP
encapsulated in SNA, but I told them that the best they could expect was to
encapsulate SNA in TCP/IP.  That turned out to be what happened.

My perception of the debate at the time was that it pitted proprietary
networking (SNA, DECNet, ...) against open networking (TCP/IP).  The
hardware vendors wanted proprietary networking to lock customers into their
equipment, but that dog would not hunt.

Meanwhile, our community had recently discovered how horrible proprietary
tech was for our careers ... the mid-1980s recession led to serious layoffs
in the system programmer community and the newly unemployed geeks
discovered that the skills so assiduously honed were not portable.  Enter
FSK and the open source movement.

It was pretty clear that except for the clever encapsulation stuff that
Vint had done with IP, the TCP/IP world was quick and dirty and quite
slapdash.  But it was non-proprietary and that is what won the race.

What I don't understand is whether Rob's observation about networking is
*fundamental* to the space or *incidental* to the implementation.  I would
love to be educated on that.

mindthegapdialogs.com/home <https://www.mindthegapdialogs.com/home>

On Tue, Jun 28, 2022 at 8:48 AM Rich Morin <rdm at cfcl.com> wrote:

> > On Jun 28, 2022, at 05:36, Rob Pike <robpike at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > I am not a networking expert. I said that already. The issue could well
> be a property more of sockets than TCP/IP itself, but having the switch do
> some of the call validation and even maybe authentication (I'm not sure...)
> sounds like it takes load off the host.
> Some years ago, we set up a front end email server to reject incoming
> message attempts that didn't match our list of valid users.  This resulted
> in a better then 90% reduction.
> -r
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://minnie.tuhs.org/pipermail/tuhs/attachments/20220628/e49c3a68/attachment.htm>

More information about the TUHS mailing list