[TUHS] networking on unix before uucp

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Wed Aug 27 09:20:01 AEST 2014


On Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 12:36 PM, Jeremy C. Reed <reed at reedmedia.net> wrote:

> On Fri, 22 Aug 2014, Cory Smelosky wrote:
>  Does anyone know if Berknet's design was inspired by this
> "rcs"?  Where can I learn more about it? (as searching for "rcs" is
> ​ ​
> difficult)
​You'd have to ask Eric.   It was certainly there and the CDC box was used
a good bit before the Vaxen showed up, particular in EE for things like

> I don't see any ethernet code in Berknet.

​There would not be any.   As I said, it pre-dated any Ethernet HW at UCB.
  It ran over 9600 bit RS-232C links (usually on a DZ11).​

> they considered an
> LNI, an early token ring (if I understand correctly), device,

​Yes - that is right.   It was a UCI/MIT device -- predates the Proteon
Ring products and Apollo's Ring.​

> and DMC-11
> link, but I don't think berknet was ever extended for those or used
> using ethernet.

> By the way, the early berknet had a symlink to the batch remote copy
> netcp called "rcp" which predated Joy's real-time remote file copy, rcp,
> by a few years.


>  The early version also included a trivial "sendmail" to
> remotely send mail over the batch berknet to another berknet system (by
> running "mail" on the remote system later). It predated Allman's
> unrelated intelligent mailer by around two years. The Berknet tool was
> replaced and renamed with "sendberkmail".

​It was built using Kurt Shoen's "delivermail" which is in 4.1 (and was
what Eric would rewrite - see below).

The historical (hysterical) ​reason was this.

Eric was the main guy behind the 11/70 that the Ingress project had (ing70
on the Berknet) in Cory Hall. In Evans, was Ernie (and later ucbvax).   The
Internet connection was owned by the Ingress Group on a long interface pair
to an IMP at LBL.    UCB did not have its own IMP as CMU, MIT, Stanford
did.   The UUCP network came into Evans via Ernie, but Internet via Ing70.
  So the UCB mail system had to send the messages over the BerkNet to
proper host for import/export from campus.

Similarly, folks in other departments as they joined the Berknet had
private and strange mail interfaces.
Originally, different folks in different departments had been hacking mail,
delivermail etc al to handle different header formats.   Eric was a DB guy,
do he wrote a DB production language to walk headers because it was having
to deal with so much dead mail from unparsable messages that would get sent
to Ingress by the Berknet and then not be able to be delivered.

I have always contended that if he has left the SMTP connection out of
sendmail and called the BBN smtpd, to do import/export the way many other
UNIX MTAs did and left sendmail and as purely a middleware layer that
canonnicalized header, it would have been a different world.    Because it
was also the smtpd, people used it ever though most did not have the N
header problem we had at UCB.

The rest is history.
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