by Darius Kazemi, August 2 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.

Checking more boxes

RFC-214 is titled “Network Checkout”. It's authored by Eric Harslem of RAND and dated August 21, 1971.

The technical content

This is an update to RFC-193, which was RAND's survey of the protocols and software implemented at a bunch of host sites.

In RFC-193, five weeks prior, it looked like 7 out of 10 sites implemented NCPs that are compatible with the RFC-107 Host-Host Protocol, but apparently this is misleading. The author complains that they haven't done a thorough check of the Host-Host protocol, “mainly due to the tedium of such a process”, and that they are waiting on BBN to finish writing an automated testing tool. So the high degree of completion (now 9 out of 11 sites) is only based on very minimal tests.

Compared to five weeks ago, almost every site (barring three) now has a Telnet server, and 7 out of 11 sites have a Telnet client. It was less than half last time, so this is a huge improvement.

This isn't to say that there aren't problems. Attempting to log in to the host site at SDC causes the system to crash (presumably the remote one at SDC). And SRI NIC has a Telnet server but it doesn't work very well, processing messages incorrectly.

They ask anyone to report discrepancies via a phone call, and promise another survey in a month.

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About me

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.