by Darius Kazemi, October 10 2019
Jobs for TIPs
RFC-283 is titled “NETRJT — Remote Job Service Protocol for TIPS”. It's authored by Bob Braden of the UCLA Campus Computing Center. It's dated December 20, 1971.
The technical content
This RFC updates RFC-189 which was an interim set of specifications for the Remote Job Service at UCLA. In particular this update has to do with the Terminal IMP (TIP), which I've discussed before. It is essentially a cheap, read-only terminal that lets people who don't own a computer access the ARPANET by bypassing the “middleman” of a computer and going straight to the IMP.
The author says that despite the massive limitations of a TIP, including its inability to support file transfer, there could be a way for a TIP user to use the remote job service. Recall that the RJS lets you send computer programs to a remote computer in batches that are processed at some later time and then the results are returned to you. If a printer were connected to a TIP, then programs could be sent to RJS and then RJS could send the results back to the TIP's printer, which would print them out. (He outllines a couple other ways it could work but I don't understand them!)
The big differences between NETRJS and this new NETRJT for TIPs are that:
- NETRJT actively sends data to the TIP when the data is ready
- NETRJT does not assume that the user can “speak” the Data Transfer Protocol, and provides some of this functionality itself
The document closes with a detailed specification of how NETRJT is implemented.
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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.