by Darius Kazemi, December 9 2019
No network on Tuesdays
RFC-343 is titled “IMP System Change Notification”. It's authored by Alex McKenzie of BBN and dated May 19, 1972.
The technical content
BBN's attempt to upgrade the IMP system software, as announced in RFC-331, was a failure. The failure was one of project management rather than programming. There are now too many ARPANET sites for BBN to coordinate a simultaneous switchover of software, and the gradual rollout strategy surfaced unforeseen emergent incompatibilities between IMPs running the old and the new software.
They are going to try again with new software. This time they are reserving every single Tuesday until they manage to get it right. So this RFC says: expect the ARPANET to not work super well on Tuesdays until we let you know that we are done with our software deployment.
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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.