[TUHS] Early TCP/IP: 3Com UNet

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Fri Jan 27 09:20:56 AEST 2017

Indeed,   It was their first product, it was primarily written by Bruce
Borden (of Rand Ports fame) and Greg Shaw- and I was the first customer for
same @ Tektronix [we debugged it and our own against Stan and my VMS
implementation].   Steve Glaser wrote a HyperChannel driver for it, which
is a pretty amazing piece of work.  BTW:  Somewhere, I have the mailing
envelope that is dated the "32 of December, 1980" because they had an end
of the year clause with their VC's and ran into a problem right before they
shipped it too me.  I thought that was pretty cool, so I kept it.

As for if I have contents of the UNET tape -- i.e. the bits themselves...
 the answer is maybe. I'm not sure to be honest.   The original tape would
have been at Tek but I did have somethings in my archives from those
days, *i.e.
*my home directory which in couple of cases has compressed tar or cpio
images of interesting things.   For instance it was discovered a few years
back that I last known copy of UCDS - which Dennis was able to get released
as a very late delivery of part of V7 and Warren now has in his archives.

The point is,  I do have a box of tapes from those days in my basement that
I have not tried to read in a few years - so assuming I can read them
(which is a huge) if although we did succeed as with UCSD and I have the
information you are looking for ... the status/ownership of the bits is
3Com's -- which makes it sticky.   It's there copy-written IP.

We would need to find someone at 3Com to release it.  Borden might be able
to help as the original author, but he has not worked for 3Com for eons,
plus I have not talked to him a few years, although I may know how to find
him.   Bob Metcalfe might also be able to help, but other than being a
stock holder, I'm not sure what influence he has with 3Com management.
Similarly, I have not spoken to Bob is while either, in fact the last time
I did he was still a Principal at Polaris and one our Board of Directors at
Ammasso -- I think he's now @ UT Austin.


On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 5:04 PM, Paul Ruizendaal <pnr at planet.nl> wrote:

> Just stumbled over another early TCP/IP for Unix:
> http://bitsavers.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de/pdf/3Com/3Com_UNET_Nov80.pdf
> It would seem to be a design similar to that of Holmgren's (NCP-based)
> Network Unix (basic packet processing in the kernel, connection management
> in a user space daemon). In time and in concept it would sit in between the
> Wingfield ('79, all user space) and the Gurwitz ('81, all kernel)
> implementations.
> I think it was distributed initially as a mod versus V7 and later as a mod
> versus 2BSD.
> Would anybody here know of surviving source of this implementation?
> Thanks,
> Paul
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