What is "The Internet" TCP/IP or UNIX-to-UNIX ?

Larry Sheldon LarrySheldon at cox.net
Sun Apr 4 11:02:42 CDT 2010


On 4/4/2010 09:57, Jorge Amodio wrote:
>> UUCP is not a descriptor of any kind of a network in any engineering
>> sense that I know of.  It is a point-to-point communications protocol.
> 
> You should revise some of the history behind it. It was a descriptor
> for a very large network, it was even a TLD in the mid eighties when
> the transition to DNS was taking place, the old bang style addresses
> like mine original seismo!atina!pete transitioned for a while to
> pete at atina.UUCP and later to pete at atina.ar.

I agree with some of this and most of the following, but I think the
problem is not so much my history as it is the drift in definitions.

And I do not pretend to any special authority in the area.

But when I think of "network" I think of things like the PSTN, ABC,
Mutual, California's DOJ torn-tape TTY, and FIDO where the message to be
delivered was the focus and the internal works were pretty much
uninteresting to the "user".

> UUCP was not just a point to point protocol. Originally it was a set
> of utility programs to permit copying files between Unix systems (Unix
> to Unix CoPy, hence the name), since electronic emails where
> essentially files UUCP became the transport mechanism for both
> electronic email and later Usenet News.

CoPy is the only decode that ever occurs to me.  And the file view of
the world is correct and I had forgotten it.
> 
> Some referred to UUCP as Unix to Unix Communications Protocol, not
> quite right but yes one of the pieces of UUCP (uucico = Unix to Unix
> Copy in Copy Out) implemented different type of communication
> protocols negotiated during the initial handshake phase and  fine
> tuned to different communication facilities, point to point, telephone
> modems, specific modems such as Telebit Trailblazers with PEP,
> different types of encapsulation using X.28, X25, and obviously
> TCP/IP.
> 
> For several years until we've got a more decent telecommunications
> infrastructure UUCP was all we had in Argentina to let the academic
> and science community reach out and communicate with their colleagues
> around the world, we had an adapted version of the UUCP implementation
> for DOS (some called it UUPC) that became very popular and enabled our
> "UUCP network" to reach over 800 nodes in the early 90's when we later
> were able to get a direct (IP) connection to the rest of the world.
> 
> My .02

Mine is that while "UUCP" took on a networkish patina in recent years (I
know a place here in town that still uses it, or did when I last had
contact with them a few years ago).

But in it origins, UUCP was no more a network function that "cp" is
today.  (Hmmm....interesting digression.  Was there NFS before there was
IP?  Seems like it, but I don't remember how it worked.)

With UUCP you had to dial somebody up, say howdy (sometimes human to
human) and issue the copy command.  Sure enough, frequent users had cron
jobs and scripts to do all that.  And sure enough, co-operative sites
would strip their own names off the beginning of a bang path and pass
the file to the next in line, the next time they talked to them.  Which
might be anywhere from a few seconds to never from now.

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