[ih] what is and isn't the web, was Rise and Fall of the Gopher Protocol
dhc2 at dcrocker.net
Mon Aug 22 07:12:58 PDT 2016
On 8/22/2016 6:31 AM, John Day wrote:
> I always heard that Telnet stood for "telecommunications network.”
Well, I meant to be a bit ironic, but didn't work hard enough at it (or
proofread well enough.) Over the years, I've repeatedly heard that the
origin of the word was lost and that people debated it's meaning.
My own inclination is to be that it really did mean telephone network,
since it directly replaced terminal dial-up service. Besides that,
something like 'telecomunications network' strikes me as more cumbersome
terminology than folks were using for naming on Arpanet stuff.[*]
[*] And 'cumbersome naming' triggers a memory of some naming games
played at the UCLA project in the late 60s, which did an o/s, somewhat
comparable to Tenex. And since my morning caffeine hasn't kicked in
enough yet, residual disinhibitions lead to this recitation: The team
building it included Vint, my brother Steve, Jon Postel and others. They
decided on an 'urban' model for naming. One day my brother asked our
father for help naming one item they were stuck on, describing it as the
component that allocated time to a process and ended the allocation when
the time was up. With no hesitation, our father said "that's the madam".
I'm told that one member of the team got quite irritated by the
continuing effort to come up with clever names and demanded "Let's call
a spade a space". So the team renamed the effort the Spade Working
Group. The computer they were building for was an XDS Sigma 7, so the
operating system became the Sigma Executive, with the obvious acronym.
When I got hired, one of my tasks was to document this effort. The
result was the SEX Manual. The system was always memory bound and the
team located some additional memory for sale, asking ARPA for the money.
Instead ARPA said we should get an access computer -- the first
versions of ANTS and ELF were available -- and use resources around the
net. The version 2 efforts for both access systems were problematic in
various ways, but eventually we installed a new o/s that came out of
Bell Labs. So ARPA took our SEX away and gave us Unix. Predictably the
initial superuser password was indeed eunuchs.
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