by Darius Kazemi, Feb 12 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.

A meeting at Lincoln Laboratory

RFC-43 is by Alan G. Nemeth of MIT Lincoln Laboratory, dated April 8th 1970. It's titled “Proposed Meeting”.

The technical content

This RFC is proposing a meeting at Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts to discuss the Local Interaction Language (LIL). It is yet another attempt to provide rich applications over the ARPANET.


I can't find any real records of Local Interaction Language in significant use anywhere outside of MIT L.L., which leads me to believe it was mostly dead in the water like the Decode/Encode Language and the Network Interface Language.

Further reading

The full paper from Licoln Laboratory describing Local Interchange Language can be found in their May 31st 1970 semiannual technical report titled “Graphics”.

Here's a photo of Alan Nemeth working with Carma Forgie at Lincoln Laboratory, date unknown:

"The TX-2 computer was often used in a time-sharing mode. Carma Forgie is working at a dual-storage scope station with a custom color-coded keyboard; Alan Nemeth is using a graphics display. On the left is a small part of the logic frame."

Since this is, according to the caption, a photo of people doing time-sharing on the TX-2, the photo is probably from the early 1960s. Fun fact: the TX-0 and TX-2 computers were the basis for DEC's PDP-1, the first of which was purchased by BBN in 1960 for $150,000, approximately $1.2 million in 2019 money. It was even leased rather than purchased outright, and as recalled by Leo Beranek (the second “B” in BBN), the company bought the computer because they knew it would be useful, but they didn't have any contracts for it at the time. They had to go out and get the money to pay for it after the fact.

The photo is from the 2011 MIT Lincoln Lab retrospective that I've linked here before, and the BBN tidbit is from this history of BBN edited by Dave Walden and Ray Nickerson.

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About me

I'm Darius Kazemi. I'm a Mozilla Fellow and I do a lot of work on the decentralized web with both ActivityPub and the Dat Project.