[ih] New journal article on IMPs, modems and gateways
vint at google.com
Thu Jan 24 20:02:04 PST 2019
yes that is the repot- i see I was off by a couple of years!
It was requested by DARPA and we offered a way to distribute ownership of
the ARPANET but ARPA rejected the idea and handed control to DCA in 1975.
On Thu, Jan 24, 2019 at 10:41 PM Fenwick Mckelvey <
fenwick.mckelvey at concordia.ca> wrote:
> Hi all,
> Thanks Alex for the comments. I really appreciate the 'nit-picky'-ness. We
> posted the article on the list to get feedback, so the comments are
> wonderful. I'll reply in-line.
> 1. We struggled when writing the paper about how serious AT&T considered
> taking over ARPANET. We eventually cut this argument, because it was beyond
> its scope and we didn't have a clear opinion. Howard Frank's quote at the
> start of the paper suggests there were meeting that didn't go anywhere. In
> JCR Licklider's archive, I found a mention that AT&T didn't like the idea
> of taking over the ARPANET because of privacy, but I could never check or
> qualify the comment. For discussion, the note was a summary of a panel
> discussion on National Networks held at the Interuniversity Communication
> Council Annual Meeting on 15 October 1970. It noted that AT&T did not want
> to take ownership of ARPANET because its design violated the company’s
> privacy obligations as a common carrier. A summary of the panel states,
> "the design of the IMPs creates a special security problem. On its way from
> the sender to the recipient, data pass through an IMP in the possession of
> a third party, who has access to it. The carrier traditionally has
> responsibility for the security of transmission; thus AT&T find the current
> situation unacceptable". I never found any more details or context for that
> 2. Agreed, that sentence is unclear. We're not claiming ARPANET's design
> led to the break up of AT&T. We're providing some context about the
> broader movement toward decentralization and markets not ARPANET itself.
> 3. I'll look into how I can revise that description. Much appreciated.
> Reading the old documentation is great, but it can be a challenge to
> Vint, are you referring to the ARPANET: A Management Study:
> https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/777747.pdf You given some
> context, but I'd welcome any more details.
> Fenwick McKelvey
> Associate Professor, Communication Studies, Concordia University
> Director of the Algorithmic Media Observatory
> Member of the Center for the Study of Democratic Citizenship
> *From:* Vint Cerf <vint at google.com>
> *Sent:* Thursday, January 24, 2019 9:54 PM
> *To:* Alex McKenzie
> *Cc:* Fenwick Mckelvey; kdriscoll at virginia.edu;
> internet-history at postel.org
> *Subject:* Re: [ih] New journal article on IMPs, modems and gateways
> AT&T was not approached to take over the ARPANET as far as I know - they
> were invited to participate in it and declined.
> Around 1972 Paul Baran and I did a study for ARPA about distributing its
> IMP assets to various parties rather than making
> it monolithic. ARPA declined that idea. Eventually it was handed to DCA in
> 1975 to operate as a service.
> Bell Labs was interested in its own Bell Data Network design but not
> interested in taking over ARPANET.
> On Thu, Jan 24, 2019 at 7:43 PM Alex McKenzie <aamsendonly396 at gmail.com>
>> Thank you for posting the pointer to this article to the Internet History
>> list. I've finally had a chance to read it, and I have a few comments.
>> 1. Your paper investigates ARPANET IMPs (and internet gateways) as
>> boundary devices, insulating two technical spheres ("computer people" and
>> "telephone people") from each other. This, in my opinion, is absolutely
>> correct. But then you go on to suggest that these two spheres are not
>> really so distinct, and that "it was not inconceivable that control of the
>> publicly-funded ARPANET would be transferred to the national
>> telecommunications monopoly. ... While it is unclear how seriously AT&T
>> considered taking over ARPANET." I believe that AT&T DID seriously
>> consider taking over ARPANET and firmly rejected the idea as of no
>> practical interest to their mission. For example, in the Computer History
>> Museum transcript of an interview with Dr. Lawrence "Larry" Roberts [
>> page 14, Larry says about AT&T: "They were formally approached. The
>> Washington division was excited. They said to me there was a lot of
>> revenue they were getting from the leased lines; they thought it was great.
>> They got excited about it, and Bell Labs got involved, and they had a
>> huge committee, and I presume they went over and over it, and they kept
>> on looking at it, and eventually -- they never gave a response, because
>> that was their way of doing business, but I found out that Bell Labs had
>> said: 'No, it was not compatible with the plan.' " I understand this
>> to mean that leasing lines with data modems was within the plan, but
>> actually fussing with any of the data going over the lines was outside the
>> plan. This seems to me entirely consistent with the AT&T philosophy of
>> "carrying signals is our business, understanding the signals is NOT our
>> 2. On page 14 you suggest that the "market-oriented logic" of the
>> internet concept led to the break-up of the Bell monopoly. I believe this
>> is incorrect. I believe AT&T proposed the break-up (to the court hearing a
>> US Department of Justice lawsuit for antitrust violations against AT&T) as
>> a strategy to avoid losing its anti-trust case. I do not believe the logic
>> of the internet design had anything to do with the outcome of this case.
>> Can you cite any evidence to support your viewpoint?
>> 3. Your description of the TIP (page 8) is slightly incorrect. The TIP
>> had 64 ports, but due to a program limitation only 63 of the ports could be
>> used. Any port could be connected to either a modem or a directly-wired
>> terminal. Your description suggests that at most 16 modems could be
>> connected, but in fact 63 modems could be connected (if there were no
>> directly-connected terminals) but this never happened. The directly-wired
>> devices were not restricted to "teleprinter or video terminals"; some TIPs
>> had line printers or other non-interactive devices attached to some ports.
>> I know this is all a bit pedantic and nit-picky, but I hate to have the
>> historical record distorted by misunderstandings in the printed literature.
>> Alex McKenzie
>> BBN 1967-1996
>> On Sun, Jan 6, 2019 at 10:44 PM Fenwick Mckelvey <
>> fenwick.mckelvey at concordia.ca> wrote:
>>> Kevin Driscoll and I are happy to share our new article on the interface
>>> message processor, modems and gateways published in the special issue on
>>> ARPANET in the Internet Histories journal.
>>> You can view the article for free at:
>>> Our article focuses on the IMP’s relation to the telephone system – all
>>> its work connecting nodes through long lines and modems – and to the
>>> history of gateways. We hope the article inspires more interest in our
>>> fields on gateways and other devices at the margins that connected computer
>>> networks over the years. As media historians, we are hoping to collect more
>>> examples, especially specific gateways, and welcome suggestions of where to
>>> look next.
>>> For me, the article was also a chance to focus more on IMPs in context,
>>> building on some insights from my new book Internet Daemons,
>>> If you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear them.
>>> Finally, a big thanks to Dave Walden for his feedback in writing this
>>> manuscript. His website, book and comments made this publication possible.
>>> All our errors are our own.
>>> Hope you enoy!
>>> Associate Professor, Communication Studies
>>> Concordia University
>>> internet-history mailing list
>>> internet-history at postel.org
>>> Contact list-owner at postel.org for assistance.
>> internet-history mailing list
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