netblazer Was: baiting

Robert E.Seastrom rs at
Tue Jan 18 16:10:37 UTC 2005

Eric Brunner-Williams in Portland Maine <brunner at> writes:

> In this period of time, the White Knights built the InterOp shownets and
> we had comparative access to quite a lot of vendor product, and know that
> the red buttons on Wellfleets were correctly positioned on the front, for
> easy access. We used NetBlazers for dial-up outbound (we were topologically
> quite diverse by '91, our last show in the San Jose facility) and I don't
> recall anything ... resembling the behavior that I could characterize as
> POS like function.

My recollection of that show was "T-1 to BARRnet", not
bonded-Netblazer-dialout, but I didn't "work the show" until the
following spring, so my recollection could be at fault.

I wouldn't characterize Netblazers as being particularly cruddy
compared to other options available at the time.  Remember that this
was the era of the Cisco ASM, the Encore/Xylogics Annex (Wellfleet
hadn't changed their name to Bay yet, much less bought the Annex
product line), some nasty 3com terminal server of which my memory has
thankfully purged most details and the gone but not lamented Cisco
TRouter.  The Netblazers worked pretty darned well when plugged into
Telebit modems.  Third party modems, well, there were a lot of knobs
you could twist, and not the best in the way of documentation on what
to do with 'em.

Based on my experience with them, I'm quite sure they were fabulous
devices capable of being configured in the field to do just about
anything, if you had the level of familiarity with their internals
that someone who worked QA for them would have had.


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