[ih] New journal article on IMPs, modems and gateways

Noel Chiappa jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Fri Jan 25 05:23:04 PST 2019

    > From: Alex McKenzie

    > 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.

Wow, that brings back some memories! The 5th-floor line-printer at Tech Sq was
connected to an TIP port, and the print spooler on MIT-Multics knew how to connect
to it and print things on it. Didn't work great, but it kinda worked.

When we brought up Unix V6 on an -11/40 for early TCP/IP work, we connected
the printer to it too, with an A/B switch. One had to run in, and flip the
switch, but at least the people on the -11 had hardcopy!

Once we finally got Internet (ARPANET) connectivity (which took a long time),
we quickly converted things so the -11 controlled the printer (freeing the TIP
port :-); Multics was changed to use TFTP (! - no TCP on the Unix yet) to
print things. (It TFTP'd the file to be printed, and then a request file, into
the spooler directory on the Unix machine; that required zero changes to the
software on it, other than the TFTP server.) That was the very first
operational application of IP internetting at MIT.


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