[ih] Why TCP?

Jack Haverty jack at 3kitty.org
Wed Aug 31 16:53:15 PDT 2016

Wow.  So many serendipitous interconnections that we weren't even aware 
of back then.  That paper that Bob got from Steve is probably what Bob 
showed us back at MIT.  Both Bob and I were in Licklider's group, which 
had the ARPANET IMP and did lots of associated networking projects, 
e.g., Bob designed and built the IMP interface for the PDP-10.

Alohanet had more probability in its genes than East Coasters were used 
to -- so it seems "undisciplined".  But IMHO Alohanet couldn't be done 
on the East Coast because we didn't feel the same pain there as those in 
Hawaii.  Too many separate islands in Hawaii with very deep ocean 
separating them.  Wires were out of the question, so radio was the only 
choice if they wanted to communicate.

That was the "scenario" that motivated creating whatever they could get 
to work and try unconventional, undisciplined, approaches that weren't 
needed where you could easily get more wires from the phone company.  If 
all the states east of the Mississippi were separated by deep submarine 
canyons, Alohanet might have been developed there...


On 08/31/2016 04:34 PM, Dave Crocker wrote:
> On 8/31/2016 2:43 PM, Jack Haverty wrote:
>> AlohaNet was also the inspiration for Ethernet.  In
>> the early 1970s, Bob Metcalfe's office at MIT was three doors down the
>> hallway from mine as he wrote his thesis that spawned Ethernet.  I
>> remember hearing about AlohaNet from him.
> As I've heard it, Bob was staying at my brother's place and during their
> chatting, Bob outlined the problem he was trying to solve. Steve had a
> copy of the Alohanet paper handy and showed it to him.  (Steve says that
> Bob confirms this story.)
> At the time, I was living 2 doors down from my brother and was not just
> uninvolved but mostly unaware of the various datacom efforts that were
> underway. However Steve got quite excited when he heard about Alohanet,
> and almost stormed into my place describing it to me.  Then he paused as
> said this was why it was important to fund research in lots of different
> kinds of places.
> I was confused by the transition from details of a project to a
> higher-level theory of research funding and asked for an explanation.
> He said Alohanet was completely undisciplined and could never have been
> invented east of the Mississippi...
> d/

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