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Re: STUPID DIGITAL QUESTION



>The original Internet was a cooperation between the military
>industrial industries and those Universities benefiting from their and
>government dollars.  It was a backbone connecting think tanks.  Geeky,
>nerdy, running on UNIX boxes.  Nobody had access without clearance, an
>ID, and a long password.  We had access at the U of I back in the 70s.
>At the same time we were saving our programs to punch tape, we could
>communicate with associates at other universities on this closely
>guarded exclusive system called the Internet.  It was cool.  We were
>cool.  We were geeks.

I think you're confusing the Internet with the ARPANET. Yes, the
ARPANET was exclusive, though the most popular host computer type on
it wasn't UNIX, it was the DECSYSTEM 10 and its little brother the
DECSYSTEM 20.

The Internet was different. By definition, the Internet consisted of
all computers that used the Internet Protocol (IP). Hosts directly
connected to the ARPANET all switched over to using TCP/IP on January
1, 1983. At that moment, you no longer had to be connected directly to
the ARPANET to use it; the ARPANET became the backbone of a much larger
and more varied Internet.

The first implementation of IP for a personal computer the average ham
could afford appeared circa 1984 (the MIT PC/IP package for the IBM
PC). My own KA9Q NOS stack appeared early in 1986, first on the Xerox
820, then on the PC. Meanwhile, on the west coast, the Berkeley folks
were implementing TCP/IP in their version of UNIX. Anybody who used
these networking implementations were, by definition, "on the
Internet" (though they may have been isolated islands of
connectivity).

> The Internet has become a very hostile and unfriendly place.  It's
> certainly not like it was when it was populated by only Unix geeks.  :-)

On the other hand, we're (still) allowed to use cryptography to defend
ourselves on the Internet. Not so on ham radio, which is one of the
many reasons it lost its appeal to those interested in doing real
networking.

Phil

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