Novice sysadmins

Miles Fidelman mfidelman at
Tue Dec 5 18:31:16 CST 2017

Umm.. back in the day, only researchers & engineers used the ARPANET, 
and secretaries, and administrators, and very quickly lots of military 
ratings, ... By the time networks were connected to form the Internet, 
and particularly once university LANs and CANs were connected, you had 
students, hackers, pretty much all types using the Internet.

And among those of us who actually built pieces of the thing, I don't 
remember a lot of PhDs - to much interesting work to be done for people 
to stay in school.

On 12/5/17 11:15 AM, amuse wrote:
> Back in the day, only Ph.D's used the internet, so they were the sysadmins.
> These days, I recommend that system administration be only allowed for
> card-holding responsible people who have proven their technical abilities.
> Then, when you get awarded your Ph.D, they can take your sysadmin card back.
> On Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 8:33 AM, Leo Bicknell <bicknell at> wrote:
>> In a message written on Tue, Dec 05, 2017 at 06:49:43AM -0800, Stephen
>> Satchell wrote:
>>> The NSF in particular ran the 'Net like bouncers do in a strip club:
>>> you break the rules, you go.  No argument.
>> I'm not sure I've ever seen a more inaccurate description of the NSF.
>> What in the world are you talking about?
>>> The original trust model for the Internet was based on this unrelenting
>>> oversight.  You didn't expect Bad Things(tm) because the consequences of
>>> doing them was so severe:  banishment and exile.  Also, the technical
>>> ability required to do Bad Things(tm) wasn't easily won.  Accessing the
>>> 'Net was a PRIVILEGE, not a right.  Abuse at your own peril.
>> Oh wait, you took the BS to a new level.
>> There was no banishment and exile.  This was before we knew of buffer
>> overflows, spoofing, and so on.  I remember the weekly sendmail buffer
>> overrun bugs, the finger back bombs, the rlogin spoofing attacks.
>> Turns out bored college students were very good at creating mischeff.
>> There was no banishment.  There were plenty of bad things.
>>> Ok, I'll shut up now.
>> Good plan.
>> --
>> Leo Bicknell - bicknell at
>> PGP keys at

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.  .... Yogi Berra

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