[ih] DEC Ethernet packet capture box

Craig Partridge craig at aland.bbn.com
Wed Mar 18 16:26:12 PDT 2015

To try to job memories more, here's what I remember.

There was a relatively expensive standalone box that printed
out packets.  It was exhibited at whatever the annual DEC product
conference was (DECUS?) shortly after I joined BBN (so late 1983 at
the earliest and probably more like 1984 or 1985) and the story that came back
was that Ken Oleson looked at the demo, saw passwords appearing on
the screen, and said something akin to "I'm not sure I like this."

My recollection was, ironically, that this was a DEC product.  But perhaps
it was a third party box?  I do remember it was expensive for the time
and a standalone device.  It led to great interest in figuring out how
to use regular boxes to capture packets off shared media networks like the
Ethernets of the 1980s.



> On 3/18/2015 3:14 PM, Paul Vixie wrote:
> > what i know from 1988 is that i wanted an ethernet capture box for DEC
> > WRL, and i had to buy a whitebox PC and install FTP Software's LANWatch
> > product on it, because there was nothing available in the product
> > catalog. so, i'm very interested in any information anyone might turn up
> > as to what ethernet capture box DEC may have been selling in 1984.
> oh boy.
> In 1986 we put TCP/IP on the Ungermann-Bass 'smart' Ethernet card and
> during the project I discovered someone had done an ethernet capture
> module, which symbolic display of the UB XNS packets.  So I re-coded it
> to interpret TCP/IP.  As far as I could tell, it kept of with ethernet
> flows adequately.
> When I moved to Wollongong in 1987, I had an equivalent product built,
> using regular (3Com, or whatever) cards.  It performed adequately too.
> d/
> -- 
> Dave Crocker
> Brandenburg InternetWorking
> bbiw.net
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Craig Partridge
Chief Scientist, BBN Technologies
E-mail: craig at aland.bbn.com or craig at bbn.com
Phone: +1 517 324 3425

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