[ih] Telnet

Alex McKenzie amckenzie3 at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 22 12:45:36 PDT 2016

It is my recollection that Telnet is an abbreviation of "Teletype network."  (I know I'm getting old and my recollections are suspect.)

      From: John Day <jeanjour at comcast.net>
 To: dcrocker at bbiw.net 
Cc: internet history <internet-history at postel.org>
 Sent: Monday, August 22, 2016 11:00 AM
 Subject: Re: [ih] what is and isn't the web, was Rise and Fall of the Gopher Protocol
Well, I kind of new you were making a joke and I agree that ‘telecommunication network’ always sounded to cumbersome to me too. It might have been 'telecom network.’  Looking for it this morning, it certainly looked like it got lost pretty early. There is a lot of talk about it being process-to-process or terminal-to-terminal, but nothing that would get you Telnet.

And of course, it go very confusing when they spun out Telenet.

As for the eunuchs, that even goes to “2nd order’ use!  Unix is of course a castrated Multics. And in 1975, when we put the first Unix up on the Net on our PDP-11/45, the next thing was to strip it down to make it fit on an LSI-11, which of course we called eunix. ;-)

Then there was the Burros MCP. The lowest level languages on the machine were Algol and an extension of Algol for writing OSs called ESPOL.  So all programs looked like procedures.  The OS was just a process with a stack and user processes were simply procedures given their own stack (it was called a cactus stack). The uses process was set up to on completion simply return back to the OS stack. The procedure in the OS that created user jobs was of course called Motherforker.  The schedule queue was called the sheet. So of course there were variables related to it called stackofsheet and pileofsheet.

> On Aug 22, 2016, at 10:12, Dave Crocker <dhc2 at dcrocker.net> wrote:
> 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.[*]
> d/
> [*] 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.
> -- 
>  Dave Crocker
>  Brandenburg InternetWorking
>  bbiw.net
> _______
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