Network visibility

Michael Thomas mike at
Wed Oct 20 19:09:43 UTC 2021

I think the issuing of rfc 791 was much more important than the flag 
day. ARPAnet was a tiny, tiny universe but there were a lot of people 
interested in networking at the time wondering what to do with our neat 
new DEUNA and DEQNA adapters. There was tons of interest in all of the 
various protocols coming out around then because nobody knew what was 
going to win, or whether there would be *a* winner at all. Being able to 
get a spec to write to was pretty novel at the time because all of the 
rest of them were proprietary so you had to reverse engineer them for 
the most part. It may be that alone that pushed IP along well before the 
public could hook up to the Internet. We had lots of customers asking 
for IP protocols in the mid to late 80's and I can guarantee you most 
weren't part of the Internet. They were using IP as the interoperating 
system glue on their own networks.

Also: the flag day was pretty much an example of how not to do a 
transition. as in, let's not do that again.

Mike, trying to remember when CMU shipped their first version of their 
IP stack for VMS

On 10/20/21 11:47 AM, Miles Fidelman wrote:
> Since we seem to be getting pedantic...
> There's "The (capital I) Internet" - which, most date to the flag day, 
> and the "Public Internet" (the Internet after policies changed and 
> allowed commercial & public use over the NSFnet backbone - in 1992f, 
> as I recall).
> Then there's the more general notion of "internetworking" - of which 
> there was a considerable amount of experimental work going on, in 
> parallel with TCP/IP.  And of (small i) "internets" - essentially any 
> Catenet style network-of-networks.
> Miles Fidelman
> Mel Beckman wrote:
>> Michael,
>> “Looking into” isn’t “is” :)
>>  -mel
>>> On Oct 20, 2021, at 10:39 AM, Michael Thomas <mike at> wrote:
>>> On 10/20/21 8:26 AM, Mel Beckman wrote:
>>>> Mark,
>>>> As long as we’re being pedantic, January 1, 1983 is considered the 
>>>> official birthday of the Internet, when TCP/IP first let different 
>>>> kinds of computers on different networks talk to each other.
>>>> It’s 2021, hence the Internet is /less/ than, not more than, 40 
>>>> years old.  Given your mathematical skills, I put no stock in your 
>>>> claim that we still can’t “buy an NMS that just works.” :)
>>> Pedantically, IP is 40 years old as of last month. What you're 
>>> talking about is the flag day. People including myself were looking 
>>> into internet protocols well before the flag day.
>>> Mike
> -- 
> In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
> In practice, there is.  .... Yogi Berra
> Theory is when you know everything but nothing works.
> Practice is when everything works but no one knows why.
> In our lab, theory and practice are combined:
> nothing works and no one knows why.  ... unknown
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