[ih] Re: This history of "talk"

Dave Crocker dhc2 at dcrocker.net
Thu Dec 19 15:53:40 PST 2002


Thursday, December 19, 2002, 12:51:13 PM, you wrote:
Bob> This is a long time ago and I am a bit fuzzy, but I think I first saw
Bob> the linkiong concept on John McCarthy's PDP/1 (?) time sharing system
Bob> when I went to work at Stanford in 1966.  It was certainly present in
Bob> Englebart's NLS system in the mid 1970s, and I believe it existed in
Bob> the ITS and Multics system, probably in the mid 1960s.

I first met Engelbart in the Arpanet coming out part, at the first ICCC, in
the Fall of '72, via the BBN Tenex link function. (Never mind
"demonstrating" Talk, then. It was an essential event coordination tool. I
met Doug because I needed help with a portion of the demo and he was the
only NLS guy visible on the SRI system. It took a few minutes to discover
that he was not back home at SRI, but was about 50 feet away from me at the

A year or so later, my brother and I spontaneously invented pre-smiley
technology (-U- for smile, -M- for frown, -W- for smirk) while using Tenex

I have a vague recollection that the SMTP Send command, that Perry cites,
was derived from an existing function, but do not remember the details.

As others have suggested, CTSS and ITS would be the likely place to look for
first prior art.

Thursday, December 19, 2002, 1:58:00 PM, you wrote:
John> Jim's original teleconferencing program really was just an interface
John> to allow more than 2.

Saying "teleconferencing" opens the door to the considerable set of work
initiated by the 1972 gas crisis.  There was a burst of work and systems
over the next 6 years.  As I recall, all were centralized systems, rather
than doing protocol exchanges among servers.

 Dave <mailto:dhc2 at dcrocker.net>
 Brandenburg InternetWorking <http://www.brandenburg.com>
 t +1.408.246.8253; f +1.408.850.1850

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