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The Net Explodes

From Bruce Jones Thu Oct 25 06:55:51 1990 Subject: Technical links and a growing volume There is one kind of underdeveloped string in this discussion of the net's history that I would like to ask people to develop more fully. (Actually there are about 50 such strings but this one piques my interest most.) What I am curious about is how various systems developed to deal with the ever-expanding volume of the net. Steve Bellovin says that at the beginning the total daily volume over the net was expected to be one or two articles a day. Obviously that didn't last long. I remember when I first began to read the news in late 1984 the people here at UCSD who ran the main machine for news on campus -- sdcavax -- were already talking about turning off news. They complained that UUCP was tying up one of the ports five or six times a day, just to download news. Sdcsvax was the Computer Science faculty research machine and the faculty was getting unhappy with the competition for resources. Two years later when I first sat on the campus committee on computing the issue was still there. The committee recommended that the campus but a machine strictly for news and mail, which is what happened in 1988 or so. If I understand what has been said correctly, this whole thing began with UUCP -- "a poor man's ARPANET"* -- at Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill. What I would like to understand better is how things moved from that start to the present means of handling the news. There has been mention of siesmo as the main news machine for the net, UUNET, the Telebit Trailblazer modem, and the Internet. How did each of these come to be involved in the net and how did the net change as a result? What other kinds of transmission links were there and how did each of these address the growing problem of volume? "The whole world wants to know" :-) bj * "USENET - A General Access" : Daniel, Ellis and Truscott, no date Subject: Re: Technical links and a growing volume Date: Thu, 25 Oct 90 11:13:48 EDT From: Brad Templeton <brad@looking.on.ca> I posted an article a few years ago noting that net growth had almost excactly matched the decrease in cost of bandwidth. It started with 1200 bps, unbatched, uncompressed (300 bps for some) in a day of higher LD charges. Modems got faster, news got batched, news got compressed, modems got even faster, LD got even cheaper. Today's uucp with Telebit sends 40 times as much news for the same dollar as the original in 1980. Since then volume has grown even more, but the new culprit is NNTP. I expect the number of LD telco links that do a full feed to stay more level or even reduce. Compression can improve no more than about 60% in practice. Modems can't get much better on voice lines. Dynamic feeding can only help non-backbones. We are close to the physical limit on voice lines. But other things, such as switched data service and the internet allow that limit to be surpassed. This is why "imminent death of the net predicted" became so common. People predicted the net would collapse under its own weight in 82 and everybody believed it. But each time a new technology saved it. If there is a gigabit network with bandwidth to spare that is willing to carry USENET, it has plenty more growth left. From: Rich Salz <rsalz@bbn.com> Date: Thu, 25 Oct 90 12:01:58 EDT Subject: Re: Technical links and a growing volume Seismo was "everyone's favorite mail relay" as Rick Adams puts it. It really didn't do large amount of news. At least not as large as you'd think it might. :- >/r$ From bjones Thu Oct 25 09:12:00 1990 Subject: Re: Technical links and a growing volume >From looking!brad@watmath.waterloo.edu Thu Oct 25 08:30 PDT 1990 > >Since then volume has grown even more, but the new culprit is NNTP. What is "NNTP"? A little bit out of it today, bj Subject: Re: Technical links and a growing volume Date: Thu, 25 Oct 90 12:59:33 EDT From: Brad Templeton <brad@looking.on.ca> The internet news transfer protocol, developed at UCSD. From bjones Thu Oct 25 11:25:43 1990 Subject: Re: Technical links and a growing volume Thanks Brad. I suppose that I should know about NNTP, given that it was developed here. Oh well, it's been one of those weeks. bj Date: Thu, 25 Oct 90 11:37:02 PDT From: lauren@vortex.COM (Lauren Weinstein) Subject: mail relays Going back even farther, let's not forget the tremendous mail volumes handled for the net by ihnp4 at IH, and before that by harpo at Whippany. One of my favorite arguments, of course, is that the net has tended only to address the traffic *volume* issues, while as a whole not wanting to worry about the "quality" issues. It's the increase in volume, with if anything a continuing decay of the signal/noise ratio, which has driven many of the "old-timers" (including myself) into much more restricted reading of and participation in the net than some years ago. Another largely ignored issue all along has been the legal ramifications of much of the material flowing around. This has become more acute, with sexually oriented pictures (clearly pornographic under various local and state laws) being moved around on the NSF backbone and passed through and in some cases archived on highly visible sites. Remember that serious charges were recently brought against GTE, even though they are an *official* common carrier, for carrying the now defunct American Exxxstacy (sic) X-rated movie service--even though they were simply a third party carrier with no control over the content. They got out of it by dropping the service from the satellite using an escape clause in their contract--in the process destroying not only the X-rated service but other R and PG/G rated services run by the same firm (in fact, they drove the firm out of business). This was all triggered by ONE politically ambitious district attorney (in Alabama I believe), who decided to apply his local community standards to a national service. The vulnerability of the net in this area, or more specifically of major sites that support the net, would seem to be growing. --Lauren-- From bjones Thu Oct 25 13:00:42 1990 Subject: Re: mail relays > >From vortex!lauren@rand.org Thu Oct 25 12:40 PDT 1990 > >One of my favorite arguments, of course, is that the net has tended >only to address the traffic *volume* issues, while as a whole not wanting >to worry about the "quality" issues. While my earlier message came out of my curiosity about technical solutions to the volume of traffic, I am also curious about what kinds of attempts have been made address Lauren's issue -- quality. I know that this was part of the impetus to the renaming but have there been other changes over time that tried to address the quality issue? (Aside from things like kill files etc.) bj - From: karl_kleinpaste@cis.ohio-state.edu Date: Thu, 25 Oct 90 16:18:41 -0400 Subject: Re: mail relays Date: Thu, 25 Oct 90 13:00:44 pdt From: bjones@ucsd.edu (Bruce Jones) have there been other changes over time that tried to address the quality issue? 4-line limitation on .signature. It can't prevent the user who reads in his monster .signature by hand, but it stops a _lot_ of trash. "included more text than new text" error to prevent excessive quoting. (I have this memory of Brad chastising Larry Wall fairly severely in 1985 or so for creating F/R commands in rn.) by the user. All B News-only, I believe. That's unfortunate, IMHO. Little things, but they help. --karl From: smb@ulysses.att.com Subject: Re: mail relays Date: Thu, 25 Oct 90 17:07:17 EDT > >From vortex!lauren@rand.org Thu Oct 25 12:40 PDT 1990 > > > >One of my favorite arguments, of course, is that the net has tended > >only to address the traffic *volume* issues, while as a whole not wanting > >to worry about the "quality" issues. > While my earlier message came out of my curiosity about technical > solutions to the volume of traffic, I am also curious about what > kinds of attempts have been made address Lauren's issue -- quality. > I know that this was part of the impetus to the renaming but have > there been other changes over time that tried to address the quality > issue? (Aside from things like kill files etc.) > bj > - There have been two primary ways to deal with quality. First, moderated groups were created for just that reason. Even with moderators, I'm sure it comes as no surprise that quality still varies widely, depending on how good the moderator is. Second, there has been a return to mailing lists for some news-like traffic. That also acts as a volume filter, simply because the knowledge of the lists' existence is limited. From: henry@zoo.toronto.edu Date: Thu, 25 Oct 90 17:31:59 EDT Subject: Re: mail relays >Second, there has been a return to mailing lists for some news-like traffic. >That also acts as a volume filter, simply because the knowledge of the lists' >existence is limited. This rather brings to mind a syndrome that sometimes occurred when an old Arpanet mailing list got gatewayed to a Usenet newsgroup. After a little while, some Usenet novice would commit some faux pas, a furious Arpanaut would flame violently about how Usenet was nothing but bozos who didn't understand How Things Should Be Done and the gatewaying was a stupid idea, and the list maintainer would quietly observe that the gatewaying had indeed produced problems, but it was also producing most of the real content... Henry Spencer at U of Toronto Zoology henry@zoo.toronto.edu utzoo!henry Date: Thu, 25 Oct 90 19:21:02 EDT From: Thomas Lapp <thomas%mvac23.uucp@udel.edu> Subject: RE: IHNP4 Lauren Weinstein <lauren@vortex.com> writes: > Going back even farther, let's not forget the tremendous mail volumes > handled for the net by ihnp4 at IH, and before that by harpo at > Whippany. This is showing my net.age, I know, but I started networking over internet around the same time that inhp4 was "retired" from being THE way to route traffic. (I was a BITNETer for several years before that). I had thought that it was a machine at Bell Labs in Columbus, OH. But you mention IH (International Harvester?). Who, or what was, inhp4? - tom -- Subject: Re: IHNP4 Date: Thu, 25 Oct 90 19:19:26 EST From: Gene Spafford <spaf@cs.purdue.edu> inhp4 was at AT&T Indian Hill, Illinois (outside Chicago - Naperville). Some of the other list participants can probably explain this better, but most of the AT&T machines were named with a location code, a function code, and a unique id to differentiate multiple machines. At least, that was the idea, although to an outsider it didn't always seem to be that way. Thus, ihnp4 was Indian Hill Network Processor #4 mh was Murray Hill. ak was the Atlanta Wire Works, sb was Southern Bell, cb was Columbus (Mark Horton was mark@cbosgd for a long time) plus others. Then there were the machines in the lab that had (and have) names like bonnie, clyde, ulysses, research, allegra, lento, harpo, chico, etc. From: smb@ulysses.att.com Subject: Re: IHNP4 Date: Thu, 25 Oct 90 20:48:42 EDT > Thus, ihnp4 was Indian Hill Network Processor #4 > mh was Murray Hill. ak was the Atlanta Wire Works, sb was Southern > Bell, cb was Columbus (Mark Horton was mark@cbosgd for a long time) > plus others. Yup, Columbus Operating Systems Group D, as I recall. > Then there were the machines in the lab that had (and have) names like > bonnie, clyde, ulysses, research, allegra, lento, harpo, chico, etc. Ulysses was once mhb5b for email. But we called it ulysses. Shortly after I got there, I got tired of mhb5c being circe, mhb5p being penelope, but mhb5b not being something with a 'b'. For that matter, I didn't think that Murray Hill Building 5 made a great prefix for a computer name, so I rammed through a name change. Folks with very old pathalias databases will find that the aliases remain. Date: Thu, 25 Oct 90 17:59:37 PDT From: lauren@vortex.COM (Lauren Weinstein) Subject: RE: IHNP4 The BTL Columbus machines, in general, used (and use) the cb* convention for naming. BTL Indian Hill (just west of Chicago) used ih* naming. So "ihnp4" was "Indian Hills Network Processor 4". Its rise to fame was very much the work of Gary M. When he left IH, ihnp4 dropped its major role in the network very quickly. This brings up an interesting point, which is that historically, in many locations, the presence of a major site providing lots of network mail forwarding functions would be dependent on the work of one or two people. When those people leave, the machine in question will often return to relative (or total) obscurity. Another example of this is Brian Redman and harpo at BTL Whippany... --Lauren-- Date: Thu, 25 Oct 90 17:51:15 PDT From: lauren@vortex.COM (Lauren Weinstein) Subject: Re: mail relays It's worth noting though, that even though some of us did push hard for moderated groups, we were never able to really get them accepted the way one might have hoped. There would always be the kicking and screaming and totally inaccurate "censorship" cries. I'd find myself spending hours writing messages to try to explain why moderation was important and why this wasn't censorship, etc. I finally got tired of fighting that fight. Sure, there are some moderated groups, but without lots more of them, attracting readers who don't read the unmoderated versions (when they exist) their utility will remain limited. But I still think they can help a lot. As for the return to mailing lists... you're right of course. But it's a sad commentary that we need to rely on "limited membership", virtually "hidden" mailing lists to keep things under control. Take this list for example. If it were an unmoderated newsgroup instead of a limited list, I think we all know what kind of shape it would probably be in by now... --Lauren-- Subject: Re: IHNP4 Date: Thu, 25 Oct 90 20:42:39 EST From: Gene Spafford <spaf@cs.purdue.edu> Lauren's comments about people is right on. "Backbone" sites were usually the result of a specific person at a site where he/she had fairly extensive control over a machine with sufficient capacity to handle news and mail load, and where he actively pursued connectivity. A list of machine/individuals is perhaps worth note (and nostalgia). I'll start it with what I remember: Machine Person Login Rick Adams seismo seismo!rick (later uunet) Larry Auton clyde clyde!lda Fred Avolio decuac decuac!avolio Steve Bellovin ulysses ulysses!smb Scott Bradner husc6 Lindsay Cleveland akgua akgua!glc Erik Fair ucbvax Greg Fowler hplabs hplabs!fowler Ron Heiby cuae2 cuae2!heiby Peter Honeyman allegra Mark Horton cbosgd cbosgd!mark Curtis Jackson burl burl!rcj (later moss!rcj) Robert Lake alberta alberta!lake Gary Murkamani ihnp4 Mel Pleasant rutgers rutgers!pleasant Gene Spafford gatech gatech!spaf Henry Spencer utzoo utzoo!henry Armando Stettner decvax Sid Stuart linus linus!sid Greg Woods hao hao!woods > mcnc I'm sure I've missed others, but these were all important folks/machines Who wants to make the next pass at completing this list? From: Rich Salz <rsalz@bbn.com> Date: Fri, 26 Oct 90 09:19:54 EDT Subject: Re: mail relays >More included text than new reject. Which brought showed an embarassing bug when people tried to post diff's... The original version didn't do "--included" if the line started with < From: Rich Salz <rsalz@bbn.com> Date: Fri, 26 Oct 90 09:19:54 EDT Subject: Re: mail relays >More included text than new reject. Which brought showed an embarassing bug when people tried to post diff's... The original version didn't do "--included" if the line started with < From: Rich Salz <rsalz@bbn.com> Date: Fri, 26 Oct 90 09:32:18 EDT Subject: RE: IHNP4 Gary is now at U of Ill, I believe. He gave a talk on ihnp4 for the Chicago Unix group, and if someone tracks down his mail address he probably still has the viewgraphs on-line; they make interesting reading. He should be on this list anyway. >/r$ From: smb@ulysses.att.com Subject: Re: IHNP4 Date: Fri, 26 Oct 90 09:45:42 EDT > Gary is now at U of Ill, I believe. He gave a talk on ihnp4 for > the Chicago Unix group, and if someone tracks down his mail address > he probably still has the viewgraphs on-line; they make interesting > reading. > He should be on this list anyway. > /r$ Gary is both murakami@cs.uiuc.edu and gjm@research.att.com, as you choose. Gary, wanna join a mailing list discussing the history of netnews? And if you don't have the viewgraphs conveniently accessible, I do and can forward them if you'd like. From: smb@ulysses.att.com Subject: Re: IHNP4 Date: Fri, 26 Oct 90 10:17:23 EDT > Re: mailing list/history of netnews > Sure, please add me to the mailing list. Who wants the viewgraphs? > Feel free to forward them as you like. > -Gary As you saw, Rich Salz suggested that the mailing list might like them. Bruce, could you add Gary and point him at the archives? From: smb@ulysses.att.com Subject: ihnp4/email talk Date: Fri, 26 Oct 90 10:20:19 EDT Here, with permission, are Gary's viewgraphs from his talk about ihnp4 and Usenet. They appear to use the -mm macro package. >(5.61+/IDA-1.2.8) id AA13397; Fri, 30 Jun 89 14:57:52 -0500 >(5.61+/IDA-1.2.8) id AA32096; Fri, 30 Jun 89 14:59:58 -0500 Date: Fri, 30 Jun 89 14:59:58 -0500 From: Gary Murakami <murakami@cs.uiuc.edu> Subject: ihnp4/email talk .S 18 .SA 0 .PH "''''" .PF "'''\s-2ihnp4!gjm (09/24/88)\s+2'" .SP 2 .DS C .I The History of ihnp4 and The Growth of the Email Network .R .DE .SP 2 .DS C Gary J. Murakami University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign uiucdcs!murakami murakami@cs.uiuc.edu AT&T Bell Laboratories research!gjm gjm@research.att.com ihnp4!gjm gjm@ihnp4.att.com .I Chicago Electronic Mail Conference September 24, 1988 .R .DE .SK .H 1 "Mail Foundations" .nf 1700 B.C., Job 9:25 >"Now my days are swifter than a post; > they flee away, they see no good." 500 B.C., Cyrus of Persia, Herodotus >"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night > stays these couriers from the swift completion of > their appointed rounds ..." posts "posta" (Italian) >posts one day's journey apart .SK .H 1 "Mail History" .nf 1680 London, William Dockwra > charge, 1 english penny 1692 New York City - Boston > Boston Post Road -> U.S. Highway 1 1693 Boston, Richard Fairbanks 1737 Philadelphia, Ben Franklin, postmaster 1798 Portland, ME to Savannah, GA, 40 days > -> 1839, 8 days 1836 Rowland Hill, flat rate, penny paid by sender > (receiver previously charged by distance) 1839 Pony Express, East cost to St. Louis > 12 mph, 3x charge 1847 Stamps in U.S. 1858 Street mailboxes 1860 Pony Express, St. Joseph, MO to Sacremento, CA > ended Oct. 1861, $5 -> $1/ounce > fastest trip 7 days 17 hours 1864 Mail sorted on train .SK .H 1 "Early UNIX mail at Bell Laboratories" .nf 1979- \fBmail (1)\fR >UNIX V7, Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ >UUCP - UNIX to UNIX copy >usend - IBM RJE network > nusend - NSC HYPERChannel (1982) 1979 \fBUUCP - UNIX to UNIX copy\fR >D. A. Nowitz, M. E. Lesk, >\fIA Dial-Up Network of UNIX Systems,\fR >in \fBUNIX Programmer's Manual, Seventh Ed.,\fR 1979 >transport - uuxqt rmail >queuing - /usr/spool/uucp .SK .H 1 "UCB Mail and ARPANET" .nf 1982- \fBSMTP\fR >J. Postel, >\fISimple Mail Transfer Protocol,\fR >\fBRFC821,\fR Network Information Center, >SRI International, Menlo Park CA, 1982 1982- \fBUCB Mail, delivermail\fR >Kurt Schoens (Berkeley Mail) >D. H. Crocker, >\fIStandard for the Format of ARPA Internet Text Messages,\fR >\fBRFC822,\fR Network Information Center, >SRI International, Menlo Park CA, 1982 >Mail - user agent >delivermail - routing/delivery agent > aliases .SK .H 1 "AT&T Corporate Electronic Mail Project" .nf >Gary J. Murakami 1982- \fBemail --> paper mail\fR >opr -mail > print paper mail, delivery to office 1982- \fBpost(1) name server\fR >Mike Lesk, Ruby Jane Elliot >address email by people names 1982 \fBCorporate Electronic Mail project\fR >computer originated mail to all recipients > post (1) > Mail (1 UCB), mailx > opr -mail >corporate database > electronic addresses > office addresses for paper mail > (output bin, local printer) .SK .H 1 "ihnp4 and Action Central" .nf >Gary J. Murakami <ihnp4!gjm> 1982 \fBihnp4 installed\fR, Naperville, IL > "Indian Hill Network Processor #4" 1982 \fBHistorical UUCP meeting\fR >Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ 4/82 >HoneyDanBer (HDB) UUCP initiated >Action Central announced 1982 \fBAction Central - Bell Labs UNIX Registry\fR >centralized UUCP information >ihnp4, fix hourly "prank" phone call > dialcode conventions > chicago 9= chicago 9=1312 >AT&T internal machines fully connected > $10,000,000 savings/year 1988 ihnp4 "deinstalled" > powered-down 02/89 > 6-7 years of service > computer museum donation? .SK .H 1 "Netnews and USENET" .nf 1982- \fBnetnews\fR >A news - UNC (N. Carolina) >B news - M. R. Horton >ihnss, Bell Laboratories, Naperville IL >batching, DBM(3) indexed history > 1983 \fBUSENET (netnews network)\fR >backbone organized >increased UUCP load >large queues, slow large dir search >execution bottleneck >very long mail paths for replies .SK .H 1 "HoneyDanBer UUCP" .nf 1983- \fBHDB UUCP\fR >Peter Honeyman <allegra!honey> >Dave Nowitz <attunix!dan> >Brian Redman <harpo!ber> >connection improvements > Devices - multi-network > Dialers - chat scripts >queues - directory per host >uuxqt - per host performance, security >Permissions - improved security >lockfiles - improved (PID in lockfile) >DBM(3) indexed Systems file > Larry Auton <clyde!lda> .SK .nf 1983 \fBdomains, gateways, other networks\fR >P. Mockapetris, >\fIDomain Names - Concepts and Facilities,\fR >\fBRFC882,\fI Network Information Center, >SRI International, Menlo Park CA, 1983 >ARPANET, CSNET (ucbvax, seismo) >BITNET >Eric Allman, >\fISENDMAIL - An Internetwork Mail Router,\fR >in \fBUNIX Programmer's Manual, >4.2 Berkeley Software Distribution,\fR 1983 >configuration - rewriting production language > domain routing > transport interface > route optimization >aliases >SMTP >queuing >complex, incomprehensible .SK .H 1 "Pathalias" .nf 1984 \fBpathalias - email route generator\fR >Peter Honeyman, Steven M. Bellovin, >\fIPATHALIAS or The Care and Feeding of Relative Addresses\fR >paths host!user -> path!host!user >domains host.domain!user domain!user >gateways > arpa .gov, .csnet > ulysses .homer.att.com(0) >media media:path > NET-DK = { ihnp4 ... } > via-dk NET-DK(DEDICATED+HIGH) > ihnp4 via-dk:(0) .SK .H 1 "Mapping and Routing" .nf 1984 \fBUUCP Mapping Project - pathalias input\fR >M. R. Horton, K. Summers-Horton, and B. Kercheval, >\fIProposal for a UUCP/USENET Registry Host,\fR >in \fBProc. Summer USENIX Conference, Salt Lake City, 1984\fR > 1985 \fBtransport addresses\fR >UUCP Project >unambiguous > host!domain!user 1985 \fBsmail\fR >M. R. Horton >"simple" domain routing/delivery agent 1985 \fBupas\fR >D. Presotto, >\fIUpas - A Simpler Approach to Network Mail,\fR >in \fBProc. Summer USENIX Conference, Portland, 1985\fR >routing/delivery agent >regular expressions .SK .H 1 "Other email developments" .nf 1983 \fBnetword - ECOM (U.S. Post Office)\fR >email -> paper mail >defunct 1985 \fBpathparse\fR >P. Honeyman, P. E. Parseghian, >\fIA Parser for Electronic Mail Addresses,\fR >in \fBProc. Winter USENIX Conference, Dallas, 1985\fR >disambiguate problematic routes > e.g. down!bruce@asburypark >graph traversal 1986- \fBATTMAIL\fR >commercial email service, paper mail > UUCP compatible, inter-networked >MCI MAIL (not UUCP compatible) 1987- \fBNNTP - Netnews Transfer Protocol\fR 1987- \fBC News\fR - efficient batch processing 1987 \fBUUPC - UUCP for PCs (home computers)\fR >increased growth of the UUCP network .SK .H 1 "ihnp4 configuration" .nf \fBhardware (approximate)\fR >AT&T 3B20S >16 dialin modems (8 external/8 internal) >2 dialout ACUs >16 Datakit(R) TY lines (in/out) >1 Datakit multiplexed host interface > dialout modem pool >1 RJE link 19.2 Kbps >1 NSC HYPERChannel interface \fBihnp4 software configuration\fR >post, Mail >HDB UUCP > local domain handling > AT&T host optimization > name server escape > path/media routing > post name server >make - autoconfig \fBaddresses\fR >path ihnp4!system!user >domain ihnp4!host.domain!user >name ihnp4!gary.j.murakami .SK .H 1 "ihnp4 statistics" .nf \fBcapacity\fR >50 MB/day UUCP traffic >50 MB/day (n)usend traffic >O(100) hosts queues/day >O(1000) jobs-messages/day \fBnetnews neighbors\fR .ft CW > 67 news > 55 att (4 non-IH) > 3 backbone (1 att) > 7 chicago > 1 other (stolaf) .ft P \fBemail neighbors\fR .ft CW > 2486 all > 1870 att (AT&T) > 536 ext (non-AT&T) > 57 nsc (HYPERchannel) > 1233 dk (Datakit VCS) > 432 asp (RJE network) > 1279 cor (internal dialup) > 1815 acu (external dialup) > 1302 nac (Action Central) > 16274 paths (pathalias routes) .ft P .SK .H 1 "Other experiments at ihnp4" .nf 1985 \fBUUCP Transport Interface\fR >network library interface (e.g. NSC NETEX, TLI) 1985 \fBdistributed UUCP\fR >Portable Distributed UNIX (PDU) > network file system >ihnp1, MYNAME=ihnp4 > Datakit mux interface >mkdir, uudemon.hour rmdir problems > (SVR3 mkdir system call fix) .SK .H 1 "Email Vision" .nf \fBnetworks\fR >UUCP persistence - UUPC on micros >internet - expanded, FDDI >global fabric - COLAN, ISDN >minimize store and forward hops \fBemail software\fR >smail/pathalias >upas/pathalias \fBaddresses\fR >bang persistence >some progress toward domains \fBcommercial services\fR >UUNET >attmail \fBnews\fR >centralize > commercial BBS (e.g. well) > single news server > network file system >continued growth > scaling problems Date: Fri, 26 Oct 90 10:37:27 pdt From: bjones@weber.ucsd.edu (Bruce Jones) Subject: Another name for the list > >From spaf@cs.purdue.edu Thu Oct 25 18:49 PDT 1990 > >A list of machine/individuals is perhaps worth note (and nostalgia). >I'll start it with what I remember: > >Machine Person Login >[List deleted] > >I'm sure I've missed others, but these were all important folks/machines > >Who wants to make the next pass at completing this list? I'll add a name or two (note that I'm not sure about their old logins) : sdcavax Brian Kantor sdcsvax!brian sdcavax Greg Hidley sdcsvax!greg Date: Fri, 26 Oct 90 17:13:39 EDT From: tower@bu-it.BU.EDU Subject: mail relays Date: Thu, 25 Oct 90 17:51:15 PDT From: lauren@vortex.COM (Lauren Weinstein) I'd find myself spending hours writing messages to try to explain why moderation was important and why this wasn't censorship, etc. I finally got tired of fighting that fight. --Lauren-- Another facet of 'policing the net', which bears some mention in any history of USENET. I don't remember any particular person standing out, though many, including myself, have taken part. It be interesting to enumerate the methods and techniques used. -len Date: Fri, 26 Oct 90 14:56:51 -0700 From: The Wandering Phew <chuq@apple.com> Subject: History in the making? Sort of related to "policing the net", I wonder if maybe history is in the making. A couple of things that are happening as we speak: o Apple has, as of the last 24 hours, killed off alt.sex.* on the internal networks (not apple.com. Why not? Hell, I have no idea) because it was determined its very existence made apple liable for sexual harassment by some of the management. o As part of the hurricane that this is just starting to cause (you can guess, right?) someone leaked a memo from Xerox. Evidently Xerox has decided that as of Jan 1, ALL recreational/personal (i.e. non-work oriented) mailing lists are going away. They are, according to the memo, giving plenty of warning so that network managers can deal with the expected negative reaction of the users to this (that goes without saying). They're reason is that the volume of traffic and the cost of the equipment needed to keep it all going has just gotten too large, and something has to give. So the toys (so to speak) go. I'm assuming this memo is legitimate -- it looks like it to me. I've been sort of expecting stuff like this to start happening, and maybe this is the beginning, maybe it's two more isolated cases in a continuing stream. But sooner or later (probably sooner, and no, this isn't the end of the net coming...) USENET is going to have to come to grips with two things: + the "if I want it it's okay" mentality that brought us stuff like alt.sex.*. At some point someone's going to do something that's going to make people say "enough" and start cleaning house. I think alt.sex.graphics, if not putting places over the edge, is really making lots of folks uncomfortable. + volume. Over the years there's been a lot of "how can the technology handle this traffic?" whimpering -- the traditional "end of the net as we know it" stuff. But the restriction at Xerox is financial -- they can't AFFORD to continue the recreational stuff (or at least it's become non-trivial enough they won't support it any longer. This isn't IBM we're talking about that has always been actively hostile to recreational groups, either. Xerox has a strong user community and history). How much farther can USENET grow in technology before "hiding it in the budget" stops working? These both tie into the same thing for me: at some point USENET is going to have to grow up -- become responsible for its content and be aware of its use of resources. And, knowing USENET's history, it will do so kicking, screaming, stomping on the ground, turning blue and screaming censorship all the way. More and more, I'm seeing places that used to be "whatever, however" in attitude take new looks at things. At some point, USENET outgrows it's financial usefulness. Then what? (and how close is that?) Date: Fri, 26 Oct 90 18:40:44 EDT From: Mark Verber <verber@pacific.mps.ohio-state.edu> Subject: Re: History in the making? I have to agree with chuq... and that usenet will have to grow up or we all will have trouble justifying it to our orginizations. I had turned off anything below alt.sex almost a year ago because it seemed that there were people in my department that would object to alt.sex, but would be truly upset with some of the groups below it. I concluded, better a bit of censorship, than to lose everything. I know that Karl is doing the same thing on tut.cis.ohio-state.edu. Sigh, Mark Date: Fri, 26 Oct 90 18:55:31 EDT From: tower@bu-it.BU.EDU Subject: History in the making? Date: Fri, 26 Oct 90 14:56:51 -0700 From: The Wandering Phew <chuq@apple.com> These both tie into the same thing for me: at some point USENET is going to have to grow up -- become responsible for its content and be aware of its use of resources. And, knowing USENET's history, it will do so kicking, screaming, stomping on the ground, turning blue and screaming censorship all the way. More and more, I'm seeing places that used to be "whatever, however" in attitude take new looks at things. At some point, USENET outgrows it's financial usefulness. Then what? (and how close is that?) This is beyond the scope of this mailing list. You are discussing the future not the past. I suggest you take this discussion elsewhere. Ask me off the list, if you like suggestions. What is happending at Apple and Xerox has happened in the past. Not everyone carries alt. Many sites don't carry talk. USENET has adjusted in the past to this site-by-sire de-selection of hierarchies. It has made USENET less unified and more patchy over time, but that's part of the anarchy and freedom USENET has always striven for. (and you can extrapolate my expectations for the future from this ;-). enjoy -len Subject: Re: ihnp4/email talk Date: 27 Oct 90 15:08:33 EDT (Sat) From: mark@stargate.COM (Mark Horton) >1982- \fBUCB Mail, delivermail\fR > > Kurt Schoens (Berkeley Mail) > > D. H. Crocker, > \fIStandard for the Format of ARPA Internet Text Messages,\fR > \fBRFC822,\fR Network Information Center, > SRI International, Menlo Park CA, 1982 > > Mail - user agent > delivermail - routing/delivery agent > aliases One minor correction: Kurt wrote Mail (aka mailx) but Eric Allman and was similar in many ways. >Mark Subject: Re: Technical links and a growing volume Date: 27 Oct 90 15:05:16 EDT (Sat) From: mark@stargate.COM (Mark Horton) >sdcavax I trust you mean sdcsvax. > >If I understand what has been said correctly, this whole thing began >with UUCP -- "a poor man's ARPANET"* -- at Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill. >What I would like to understand better is how things moved from that >start to the present means of handling the news. There has been >mention of siesmo as the main news machine for the net, UUNET, the >Telebit Trailblazer modem, and the Internet. How did each of these >come to be involved in the net and how did the net change as a >result? What other kinds of transmission links were there and how >did each of these address the growing problem of volume? There was a strong mentality that the main cost was the phone bills, and since nobody saw the phone bills, it was free. In the early days the net was kept alive by a few SA's who followed Grace Murray Hopper's immortal words: "It's much easier to get forgiveness than permission" and just did it. Getting a dedicated machine required money which required permission and justification - this is happening now in many places but was hard early on. The first key machines in this regard were research (for mail) courtesy Dennis Ritchie and Tom Truscott, and vax135 (for Netnews) courtesy Howard Katseff. (Of course, duke was key sooner than that, but it was official at duke, and they didn't pay the phone bills. Ditto for ucbvax (courtesy many people for email but I was SA for Netnews), which was a west coast hub but didn't dial anybody.) After vax135, chico (later harpo) courtesy Brian Redman, and then Armando Stettner put decvax in as the major phone-bill hub. After that, the backbone started to form and many sites pitched in, but the cast of characters changed over time as the SA who kept a particular machine alive left and the machine gradually decayed or *whoomp* vanished as management pulled the plug. Many times downstream sites suddenly found themselves without a feed and had to make sudden arrangements. ihnp4 was different. It had official support from the beginning, thanks to Gary Murakami. However, when Gary left, it didn't vanish, because it had official support. Doug Price stepped in and did an outstanding job. ihnp4 finally went away, not because a person left, but because of a change in heart from management. AT&T decided to support Netnews (indeed, I lead that project right now) and provide dedicated machines for it, but at the same time wanted to get off the backbone. A department head bought a piece of shrink-wrapped software and found it contained instructions to get support by email: mail to ihnp4!system!support. He was so tee-ed off at this, and got agreement from other dept heads, that pass-through email was banned. We were told to become a leaf, which we largely have done. ihnp4 was finally decommissioned when att became available as an officialy sanctioned and supported gateway to take its place (but not forward 3rd party email.) >Mark From: Rich Salz <rsalz@bbn.com> Date: Mon, 29 Oct 90 13:15:32 EST Subject: Re: History in the making? I'd prefer we kept this list mired in the past... From werner@rascal.ics.utexas.edu Mon Oct 29 10:32 PST 1990 Date: Mon, 29 Oct 1990 12:28:14 CST From: Werner Uhrig <werner@rascal.ics.utexas.edu> Subject: Re: History in the making? > I'd prefer we kept this list mired in the past... > > >well, as I was reading the traffic, it occured to me that there >really is every reason to have a FUTURES-list....(but most people >on this list should also be on *THAT* list, too ... for, what I >consider, obvious reasons ;-) werner@cs.utexas.edu / werner@astro.as.utexas.edu / werner@UTA3081.bitnet UUCP: uunet!cs.utexas.edu!werner OR ...!utastro!werner >...it's THAT time of the year again... >(what time? time for IBM top-of-the-line mainframes to > SHOW THEIR STUFF !@#%& ) (note on the local IBM-mainframe) 26OCT90 Due to the time change this weekend the system will be restarted Sunday morning, 10/28, when system load is light. From bjones Mon Oct 29 10:38:38 1990 Subject: Past and Future >From: Werner Uhrig <werner@rascal.ics.utexas.edu> >Date: Mon, 29 Oct 1990 12:28:14 CST >Subject: Re: History in the making? > well, as I was reading the traffic, it occured to me that there > really is every reason to have a FUTURES-list....(but most people > on this list should also be on *THAT* list, too ... for, what I > consider, obvious reasons ;-) "He who controls the present controls the past. He who controls the past controls the future" >- Geo. Orwell *1984* In the archives here at weber is a file called "usenet2". The file is a collection of messages about what the net might look like the next time around. If anyone wants to start up that discussion again I'd be interested in lurking in the background but I would appreciate it if we stuck to talking about what has happened on usenet itself in this forum. Lord knows there's more than enough material for that discussion without getting off into the future. Thanks, bj - From bjones@weber.ucsd.edu Fri Nov 9 11:34 PST 1990 Date: Fri, 9 Nov 90 10:29:42 pst From: bjones@weber.ucsd.edu (Bruce Jones) Subject: Net.motss?? Well, things being what they are I haven't had much time of late to devote to this activity. I have been slowly editing all the incoming mail into the list, trying to create as complete as possible a sense of the history of the net from your comments. It's extremely time consuming but quite enjoyable. In the mean time I thought I would toss back one of Gene Spafford's questions which got missed. Gene asks: "Is net.motss in this list somewhere as a milestone?" Gene also notes the net.motss was inplace before 1984, which means that it predates my initial involvement with the net. What was it about motss that prompted Chuq to ask: "You know, in the current environment of alt.sex.graphics.very.explicit, doesn't our paranoia over the name of net.motss seem just a bit silly and anachronistic? (just as an aside)." What was the paranoia about motss? I can imagine quite a bit of discussion, given the historical period. I'd like to see some of it. Comments? bj - From: Rich Salz <rsalz@bbn.com> Date: Fri, 9 Nov 90 14:43:59 EST Subject: Re: Net.motss?? motss -- members of the same sex -- was deemd an easier name to hide then net.homosexual Subject: Re: Net.motss?? Date: Fri, 9 Nov 90 15:56:31 EST From: Brad Templeton <brad@looking.on.ca> The discussion referred to is over the obscure "what the hell does that mean?" name that was chosen. Normally, (one would think) one tries to pick descriptive names for groups that everybody will readily understand. It was felt at the time that "net.homosexual" or "net.gay" would be a magnet for negative attention. People would see the name in lists and cause trouble. The use of an obscure name meant that only those who were "in" enough to understand the name would get the message, and they were less likely to complain. Perhaps this was true. After all, names like "alt.sex.bondage" did indeed attract negative attention. Subject: Re: Net.motss?? Date: Sat, 10 Nov 90 18:58:04 EST From: Gene Spafford <spaf@cs.purdue.edu> Well, as I remember, back in about 1983, soc.singles was a wild and crazy newsgroup that had a lot of people posting & reading. It was a "fun" hangout. A few posts occurred asking about same-sex dating problems, activities, etc., and a mild (by current standards) flame war broke out. In an effort to cut down the volume, and to provide a forum for the gay & bisexual netters, there was a suggestion that a separate group be created for them. "net.gay" was proposed, but there was a lot of opposition to the name for fear it would attract flamers from within the community, and attract unwarranted attention from people outside (especially managers without the historical perspective). Many people could just imagine: Searching for new groups. Add net.gay? [yn] Popping up on their manager's screen. Anyhow, after much debate, net.motss was put forth as the newsgroup name. I believe the suggestion was Steve Dyer's. After some controversy, the group was created, and has more or less flourished with little outside attention. An occasional flamer wanders in there, but I believe they ignore them and few problems result. As I said, that's my recollection. You might fire off an inquiry to Steve Dyer for his view on it. I never subscribed to the group.... --spaf Subject: Re: Net.motss?? Date: 13 Nov 90 22:07:56 EST (Tue) From: mark@stargate.COM (Mark Horton) The original request was for net.gay, I think. The paranoia was that if net.gay appeared on the published list of newsgroups, some higher management person who had barely heard of Usenet would see it, raise a fuss, and pull the plug from some backbone machine, and the whole net would come crashing down. The compromise reached was to call it net.motss, figuring all the people on the net would know what it meant but the folks who didn't know much about the net would pass it by. >Mark From bjones Tue Nov 27 11:21:52 1990 Subject: Maps and mapping I'm still sorting all the mail into a single history file and today I'm working through all the traffic on maps and mapping. The "factual" side of the history of this project is pretty complete -- who made the maps, what they looked like etc. There is even a nice collection of early maps in the archive for those who want to see some -- I've separated them from the rest of the stuff. What is not there is much of a sense of why anyone would want or need to map the net in the first place. Someone, I think it is Mark Horton, notes that the maps were used for the "pathalias" program but beyond that one comment, there isn't much. For those of you who were involved in the early mapping project, why did you map the net? Personal interest in cartography? Curiosity? And, what benefits (including the pathalias stuff) were gained from the maps? I know that you all put a lot of time and energy into the project, I think it would be very interesting to know more about it. Thanks, bj - Subject: Re: Maps and mapping Date: Tue, 27 Nov 90 21:08:49 EST From: Brad Templeton <brad@looking.on.ca> You got it right. Mapping was first done to provide input to the pathalias program. Even in a small net it didn't take long before the Path: lines were huge (obviously inefficient for replies) and even worse, simply wrong, since they included paths that did not pass mail. Pathalias, for uucp mailing, was necessary. It never fully worked, of course, and internet domains and forwarding took over eventually. It started with the principle that new sites on the net announced their presence by filling in a standard form found in the news software and posting it to the newsite group. People used to read that group! Then the trend went to filling out the forms in a formal way, so that they could be parsed. I suggested to (I think) Mark that we add longitude and latitude questions to the standard map form, for obvious reasons of making a visible map. It was many years later that the first visiual maps were made, and Brian Reid of DEC is the current guru. The first ASCII maps were made by hand, just for fun. We all wanted to see what this monster we were creating looked like. Subject: Re: Maps and mapping Date: 28 Nov 90 10:22:35 EST (Wed) From: mark@stargate.COM (Mark Horton) The first maps (10-30 hosts) were for curiousity and to help publicize the net. Shortly thereafter, they had an important role for mail routing; we didn't have pathalias and people would read them to figure out how to manually route their mail. (The maps were of Usenet, not UUCP, but they got used for mail a lot anyway because there wasn't anything else.) After awhile they became very popular at Usenix and people would snap them up, so there was some sense of satisfying the public. It wasn't until about 1985 when the real UUCP map data started to become available in any form useful for pathalias and automatic mail routing. At that point, there was no longer a need for the pictoral map, and it had become a hug amount of work (initially for me and Karen, later for Bill and Karen Shannon.) >Mark Subject: Re: Maps and mapping Date: Tue, 27 Nov 90 22:31:31 EST From: Gene Spafford <spaf@cs.purdue.edu> Well, there were a couple of motivations for the maps I used to make. 1) uucp mail was uncertain at best. The more hops in a bang-path, the more likely it would be to disappear into a black hole. Thus, having accurate maps and a path rewriter might ensure that mail would get through. 2) news sometimes took a looong time to propagate from one end of the net to the other in the days of uucp-only transfer (the impact of NNTP and UUCP-over-TCP is not recognized by many). Having good maps would help identify places where the news flow could be short-circuited to improve propagation *and* reliability. 3) new sites coming on line needed to establish connections. Having good maps helped identify sites where they could hook in. 4) having complete lists of sites helped cut down on namespace collisions in the days before domain naming became commonplace. --spaf Subject: Arachnet Date: 11 Dec 90 08:36:50 EST (Tue) From: mark@stargate.COM (Mark Horton) This is amusing, in light of what happened 9 years ago. There was considerable confusion between Usenet (Netnews) and UUCP (email). Lots of people thought they had a Usenet mailing address. (Some still do.) It was proposed in late 1981 that Usenet be renamed to avoid the confusion. Among the top proposals was Arachnet, because of the amazing spider structure. The proposal was debated at Usenix in Santa Monica in Jan 1982 and a vote taken. By a less than overwhelming margin, it was decide to keep the name Usenet. I guess this left the name Arachnet up for grabs. (If nothing else, it sure made it easy to understand what the title of the movie Arachnophobia was about. :-) >Mark >From clarity.Princeton.EDU!harnad Tue Dec 11 01:22:32 1990 remote from osu-cis Date: Mon, 10 Dec 90 23:43:46 EST From: Stevan Harnad <harnad@clarity.Princeton.EDU> Subject: Arachnet [Forwarded by Stevan Harnad, Princeton University, moderator, sci.psychology.digest] Date: Wed, 28 Nov 90 20:56:23 EST From: Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear <EDITORS%BROWNVM.BITNET@uga.cc.uga.edu> Date: 27 November 1990 From: Willard McCarty <Editor@VM.EPAS.UToronto.CA> Subject: Arachnet: a federation of e-seminars ARACHNET A Loose Association of Electronic Discussion Groups for Scholars in the Humanities and Social Sciences According to a list recently compiled on Humanist, there are now more than two dozen ListServ groups alone devoted to the humanities and social sciences. As more scholars come on-line, the size of these groups, the diversity of material they have to offer, and their total number are all bound to increase. These groups would benefit from a loose confederation that would allow them to share resources easily without imposing any kind of restrictions on their manner of operation. We propose to form such a confederation, which we have named `Arachnet'. Arachnet will consist of a ListServ list, Arachnet@VM.EPAS.UToronto.CA, to which all editors of such discussion groups are invited to be members. On its file-server, Arachnet will contain a current list of its member groups, descriptions of each group, and lists of files they hold. The conversational component of Arachnet will likely be vestigial, but it may be used from time to time as a means by which editors of new groups can receive help from their more experienced colleagues. If you are an editor or owner of an existing group, you are cordially invited to join. Please fill out the attached e-form and return it to <Editor@VM.EPAS.UToronto.CA>, following the format below as closely as possible. Please also circulate this note to whomever would be interested. Willard McCarty Patrick Conner Editor, Ficino Editor, ANSAXNET Editor@VM.EPAS.UToronto.CA U47C2@WVNVM ----------------------------------------------------------------- Please fill in and mail to the editor (Please simply type over what is in parentheses) Lastname, Firstname, Email Address Address: Titles (academic and other as relevant): Professional societies: Describe your email discussion group: Date: Tue, 11 Dec 1990 9:30:10 CST From: Werner Uhrig <werner@rascal.ics.utexas.edu> Subject: Re: Arachnet > There was considerable confusion between Usenet (Netnews) and UUCP (email). >there still is. > Lots of people thought they had a Usenet mailing address. (Some still do.) >they still do. > It was proposed in late 1981 that Usenet be renamed to avoid the confusion. >biggest mistake not having renamed it and renaming it would still >be the right thing to do (anyway, I put it on my Xmas list ;-) >(funny thing you should mention it - over the weekend I was doing some >neophyte coaching and early this morning I was doing some UUCP/USEnet >related reading adn both gave me reason of deploring that the problem >is still with us) >name suggestions? UmailNet and UnewsNet (no, I don't really like >them, but it beats what we have and I certainly will applaud some- >thing better) > ---Werner
 

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