[ih] Internet-history Digest, Vol 2, Issue 16

Vint Cerf vint at google.com
Wed Nov 6 06:59:46 PST 2019

i think a lot of the interconnections were application layer gateways -
such as email relays.
Early USENET wasn't Internet if by this we mean TCP/IP based. UUCP was't
using TCP/IP
either. Xerox argues that it had multiple LANs running PUP and that is a
kind of internet,
but not using TCP/IP.

I think I am still inclined to argue for the PRNET/ARPANET connection as
the earlier of the TCP/IP style internets but even then the initial
implementation was TCP only (with gateways re-routing based on the Internet
addresses embedded in the TCP packet format)


On Wed, Nov 6, 2019 at 9:52 AM Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Nov 5, 2019 at 7:00 PM Dave Crocker <dhc at dcrocker.net> wrote:
>> On 11/5/2019 2:38 PM, Joly MacFie wrote:
>> > When was the first actual inter-network message sent using packet
>> > technology?
>> Might be interesting to seek some agreement about the biggest milestones
>> for creating what we experience as the Internet.
>> First, what are the criteria for a milestone?  Conceptualization?
>> Demonstration?  A degree of production operation?  Mass market adoption?
>> Second, what are the easy milestones: packet switching and TCP/IP are
>> obvious.  What others?  (I'm entirely biases towards wanting major
>> applications to be added but, well, I'm biased.)
>> Third, what are some less obvious but still essential milestones?  I'll
>> suggest NSFNet because it enabled both a standard for multiple
>> backbonbes and an operational approach to infrastructure that became the
>> foundation for the commercial Internet.
>> Thoughts?
>> d/
> Dave,
> A very good question, i.e. I think you nailed it.  You need to agree on
> what an '*internet*' is before you can start to define when '*The
> Internet*' was birthed.
> Frankly, I'm not sure what the right answer is here as it was an evolution
> and I'm not sure if there was any one particular event (like a dinosaur
> kill off from an asteroid strike) that we can enumerate.  But I think I can
> postulate some other things that might be defined as an 'internet'  and I
> suspect other on this list can offer other examples, too.
> e.g. As a minimum using TELNET, SUPDUP or the like, I know that CMU and
> MIT built something internally to connect local hosts and allow them to
> connect to the directly connected ARPANet hosts that had IMP connections.
>    CMU called this work the "distributed front-end", which replaced the
> original "front-end" that was the directly connected glass tty's attached
> to ASYLs on a PDP-11 which was also connected to each local ARPA host with
> a DR-11B (the problem with the original FE implementation was each PDP-11
> was connected to specific set of hosts so if you wanted to talk to host,
> you needed a line to that specific FE).  IIRC MIT used ChaosNet protocols.
> For the DFE we used LSI-11 and original built something that was
> ethernet-like (which we called ethernet at time but was a local hack) but
> eventually morphed to 3M Xerox when we got access to the Xerox board and
> transceivers (but started out as a local hack).  FWIW: The CMU
> distributed front end was originally implemented on LSI-11, but around
> 1976 switched to Multibus 8085's and later after I left Stanford SUN
> boards ??I'm guessing 1980/81??.
> Someone from MIT like Noah can explain more, but IIRC: the Chaos stuff ran
> on UNIX, LISP machines and much wider set of HW.
> FTP and email was not allowed in the first versions, just remote
> terminal, so we can argue that it will not complete inter-networking
> solution.  I personally think an important aspect of more formal 'internet'
> is that things like the original DFE was basically unidirectional and the
> hosts on the 'CMU side' were not exposed.   So I think that somehow that
> idea of packets flowing both ways needs to be in the definition of a full
> 'internet.'
> That said, once an early IP stack started to appear, the distributed
> front-end started to look more like a modern router as more and more
> support for it went into each 'host" - it became a very similar in
> architecture to the original CISCO AGS -- *i.e.* each local LAN became
> its own network.  Once that was done, support for things that exposed the
> remote host to the other network became possible and things like email/ftp
> etc.
> As I said, MIT did the same sorts of things with Chaos and I think went
> farther than we did early on to be honest.  I also I think Stanford had
> something similar, but I never knew the folks involved.
> Also for the sake of argument, what about the UUCP network?  It did not
> support remote login, but it did support remote file transfer, email and
> remote execution of jobs?  It was bi-directional, al biet since routing was
> explicit, was much harder to use than the ARPAnet protocols.  My question
> is, when hosts like ucbvax, decvax, or some of the other later CSNet hosts
> 'bridged' - does that count as an internetwork?
> Clem
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