by Darius Kazemi, December 31 2019
In 2019 I'm reading one RFC a day in chronological order starting from the very first one. More on this project here. There is a table of contents for all my RFC posts.
RFC-365 is titled “A Letter to All TIP Users”. It's authored by Dave Walden of BBN and dated July 11, 1972.
The technical content
Continuing the theme of actually maybe documenting the ARPANET for users, this RFC is a kind of newsletter for TIP users. It lets Terminal IMP users know that they will be getting a new edition of the “TIP User's Guide”. New commands have been added. Many are related to users whose TIP is equipped with magnetic tape storage (read/write/delete operations).
There are now 11 TIPs on the network., many of which are installed at US government agencies.
The core TIP software is automatically updated in the background by BBN; they plan to add a notification to users when this has happened and you'll be able to type the
@NEWS command to learn about the new features of your TIP.
The TIP is notable for its limited memory, and in particular available buffer space suffers. A TIP can support up to 63 attached devices but provides only 26 total bytes of I/O buffer on average per device. BBN is happy to help you upgrade the memory for your TIP, and they are also looking into modularizing the TIP software so if your TIP isn't using a given feature, they can remove it from memory, freeing up precious memory for your devices.
Walden also gives updates on the general status of the TIP project: things they are working on, and a road map for features to come. And I love the parenthetical in the last sentence:
If you've got a suggestion (especially if it doesn't take any memory), let me hear from you.
This is it, my last RFC blog in my 365 RFCs series. I'll be writing more posts that do higher level analysis and present related research, but wow, this was such a fun project and I learned so so much. Thank you, especially to those readers who followed along, or at least tried!
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I'm Darius Kazemi. I'm an independent technologist and artist. I do a lot of work on the decentralized web with ActivityPub, including a Node.js reference implementation, an RSS-to-ActivityPub converter, and a fork of Mastodon, called Hometown. You can support my work via my Patreon.