Re: 3B2 Disks

In article <slrngn7rab.5jv.dnichols@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
"DoN. Nichols" <dnichols@xxxxxxxxxxx> writes:
On 2009-01-18, Bill Gunshannon <billg999@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
In article <slrngn5e55.g95.dnichols@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
"DoN. Nichols" <dnichols@xxxxxxxxxxx> writes:
On 2009-01-16, Bill Gunshannon <billg999@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
In article <slrngn0af1.298.dnichols@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
"DoN. Nichols" <dnichols@xxxxxxxxxxx> writes:
On 2009-01-15, Bill Gunshannon <billg999@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
In article <slrngmtmo2.40g.dnichols@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
"DoN. Nichols" <dnichols@xxxxxxxxxxx> writes:

[ ... ]


I keep trying to convince people that we really need to revive this email
system. It offers the best and quickest solution to the SPAM problem but
apparently I am the only one who can see that.

You know -- I think that would work! (Of course, it would bring
most uses of email to its knees given today's user base. :-)

Why? It could, thoretically reduce the amount of email traversing
the network by, easily, an order of magnitude as there is at least
that much junk. If anything, it would increase the performance.
The only shortcoming in the concept of UUCP based Email is eliminated
by the use of the INTERNET as the transport medium. Seriously, what
would you see as the shortcomings of this idea?

What I was suggesting is that the user base would have to be
totally re-educated

Why? this is a change to the method used by MTA's, not MUA's. The
users would continue to read email with Firefox, Netscape, Outlook,
even Pine or Elm, whatever their favorite program is.

How many MTAs automatically generate bang paths these days? And
you would still need a massive database to generate the bang path.

Yes, but pretty much all of them can (except maybe Exchange! :-) In today's
environment, the database would size would be trivial. 1TB disk : $129.00
The database would not change all that often except for minor additions
and deletions. One could even apply SPF algorithms so that the problem
of the disappearing link (something else that while rather common in the
old days would be very unlikely today) would not eb there either.

-- and a lot of them would fight it tooth and nail.

If done correctly, they would never even now a change occured!

Except for the greater number of messages falling through the
cracks as systems are shut down.

Do you mean end-points shutting down? How would that be any differnt than
today? If you mean intermediate links shutting down, just like with News
(which, while using NNTP, still just emulates the same store and forward
model used by the original system) it is unlikely any major player would
have a single connection making routing around failures easy. As a matter
of fact, the reason for only having a few connections under the old UUCP
system no longer exists so having dozens (or even hundreds) of peers is
not really a problem. And once you eliminate the SPAM and other anti-social
practices the system becomes almost maintenance free. Certainly a lot less
maintenance than it takes to run a decent MTA today.

Aside from that -- bang paths are vulnerable to a single machine
in the path going out of service between the receipt of the incoming
e-mail and the sending of the reply.

Considering the nature of connectivity over the INTERNET, there should
be no one of consequence with any single path to any other location.

What would a bang path look like which used the internet for
connectivity? You still need to know names of systems at each end at
the least.

Who needs to know? The user? Not hardly. The MTA's need to know and they
do. That's what comp.mail.maps was for. The MTA's use this data to build
a database of destinations. Just like IP, they really only need to know
the next hop to their destination. The users would continue to use the
same addressing they use today.

One of the nice things about this is one could actually handle email
with both systems and phase the new system in over time. The old
SPAM ridden system could remain for those who prefer to not play
but for those of us who would really like to see email become usable
for real communications again we have the new, clean system.

And IIRC, uucp required that there be no two systems with
the same name -- making a naming problem with the number of machines in
use today.

Same thing exists now. There can not be another anywhere
on the INTERNET. So, what's the problem? Or are you assuming we would
still be stuck with single word names of no more than 8 characters?

After all -- without domain names, it is difficult for a
database to distinguish between systems with the same name to generate
the proper bang path.

Why would we not have domain names?

The example which I showed above only used uucp to get to uunet.
From there, things went by domain name.

Yes, and many of those machines connected by domain name were UUCP
machines. Look at the example I posted earlier of what my address

There's a three part domain style name used in a bag path. yes, it worked
just fine.
And from the ARPANET dise of the house it was:

Both worked just fine. That was 25 years ago. We have gotten a bit better
at doing this stuff since then. :-)

The one thing to remember, is that unlike the days of doing this over
the phone lines there is no additional cost for connecting to any
other location. And you don't have to wait til after midnight when the
rates go down. :-)

So -- how is it done without domain names between the main trunk
servers at least? *Pure* bang paths required the name of every system
between the origin and the destination.

See comments above. The biggest problem I am having selling this idea
seems to be that rather than looking at what it would take to make it
work everyone I talk too just assumes because we did it 25 years ago
and don't do it now it must not be possible. Stop looking for problems
and start looking at solutions.

But it would sure make it easy to track down the originator of
spam -- or at least the compromised machine sending it out. :-)

It certainly would. Which is why I mentioned the ability to assign
civil liability. Because no one could send email without going through
a legitimate MTA (no more need for RBL's to try and figure out if that
machine is a dial-up residential connection) the responsibility for
controlling users falls on the service provider. If he wishes to
remain in the email network, he controls his users. If he chooses
not to, he will find himself with no one willing to peer with him.
He is out of business.

If the ISPs would simply block port 25 for all DHCP and dial-up
systems, you would have the same conditions.

Yes, but they don't and won't. Because my system requires the exchanging
MTA's to be peers, all the rules are set up ahead of time. You agree to
do certain things in order to be a part of the network. Don;t agree, you
don't get to play. Agree and then violate the agreement, civil liability
for breach of contract. There are really no agreements for ISP's to join
the INTERNET. That's why nothing can be done. They can always fall back
on the argument that there is nothing wrong with what they or their users
are doing. A social problem, requiring a social solution.

[ ... ]

I dumped all my big disks (RA-series and Fuji Eagles) but VAXen can
use smaller, more modern disks. I have a number of VAXStation-3100's
that use SCSI and sit on a desktop running VMS quite well.

Sure -- but he had multi-bay machines which he could never run
as well. :-)

I have some VAX 4000's. I haven'y used them lately, but that is mostly
because of a lack of time and no current project requiring that kind of

O.K. Did you ever run ultrix on a system? My friend has the
tapes for that acquired from one of the systems he got.

Not only have, but still do. My systems were used by Frank da Cruz to
build the last couple of binary C-Kermit programs at Columbia.

Of course,
I think they were also the ones who gave us "Eunice". :-)

Oh yes -- the only experience with "Eunice" that I have is the
comment from Larry Wall's "configure" script "Oh good! You're not
running Eunice." which told me that it must be pretty bad. :-)

Probably the first attempt at what later became known as POSIX. :-)
Actually, it worked OK. It was near the resource hog the first Ada
compiler was!! :-)

Hmm ... I remember being shocked when I heard that DEC claimed
POSIX compliance for VMS. :-)

They wrote a POSIX system that ran on top of VMS (exactly the way EUNICE
worked) that met the requirements. As far as I know, they later abandoned
the project.

O.K. Before DEC abandoned doing business entirely.

Well, I meant DEC and theiur successors. The POSIX Kit was around for
a while, but I believe thay have dropped it at this point.

And, IIRC, the major problem with running unix-inspired things
on VMS was that process creation on unix was dirt cheap -- just a
"fork", However, on VMS, it was quite expensive, so a program which was
quite happy on even an old v7 unix machine would bring VMS to its knees.

Worse than that, while exec() is doable on VMS a real fork() is not.

Right -- thus the computational cost of emulating fork().

Ummm.... No. Can't be emulated. There is no way under VMS for a new
process to share open file descriptors or devices. The beauty of fork()
is the idea that the fork()ed process is an exact clone of the original.
VMS can not do that.

[ ... ]

It grew gradually to become
the center of USENET and the non-AT&T UUCPNET. Then one day, someone
at the government realized that the machine, in a government site, run
by the government, consuming government resources was not doing government
business and ordered it to be shut down.

Hmm ... this reminds me of what happened to the system running
TOPS-20 -- a major repository of open source software. Ah yes -- I
remember the name now -- simtel20. Many's the time I telnetted to that
from work -- and even some from home eventually.

That was handled much worse. I rbnelieve the the guy who used to run
SIMTEL was actually let go when they shut down the machine. :-)

Ouch! Was he let go because of the shutdown, or did he retire,
and nobody else was competent to run the system?

He was much too young to retire. When the machine was shut down they no
longer saw a need for his services. Think of it like a library. If you
shut down the library you don't have much need for the librarian.

[ ... ]

UUNET seems to be dead, but still is out there -- it
just hasn't been updated in years.

Domain belongs to Verizon. ;-(

Sigh! So does the copper that my T1 comes through. And they
keep trying to push me onto FIOS -- but won't offer me static IPS, and
especially a Class-C block of IPs.

Probably because there are none left available. :-) Have to wait
for the arrival of IPv6.

No -- because they are trying to push it on end users, who will
accept the combination of FIOS for phone, cable, and internet connection
all at the same time. And the box which connects to the internet only
knows how to NAT for a single (dynamic) external IP. I *need* static
IPs, because I run web servers and mail servers.

Then you need a commercial connection and not a residential connection.
I am sure they offer commercial service (FIOS is a purely residential
concept although businesses could probably use the voice and network
part) but you probably don't want to pay the price. Most ISP's I am
aware of specifically prohibit running servers on residential connections.
I know one guy locally who is constantly trying to get around this. I
am surprised the ISP hasn't just terminated his service instead of playing
hide-and-seek with his web server.

I probably could talk to their business account division and get
something more to my liking -- without the cable-TV and phone rolled in.
I particularly don't like the FIOS for phone because there is a limited
time that you can lose power before the local electronics run out of
battery charge.

I have always been leary of these INTERNET Phone services. If your
service goes out, how do you report it? You have to have some alternate
phone service. Considering how seldom I even use my phone at home my
next location may not have landline phone service at all. I carry one
on my belt, why would I need another?

[ ... ]

existed in NEPA. They could not see where anyone would be willing to
pay money for something like Email or News. :-(

Interesting. *I* certainly was willing to do so -- even while
working for an Army lab and getting access to Arpanet at the time.

Yeah, that was a great example of the shortsightedness of people around

Where is "here"?

Northeastern PA. Third or fourth largest metro area in PA.

O.K. You are not that far away, then. I'm just to the West of
DC in Virginia -- just outside the Beltway. And luckily, I don't have a
need to go into DC for the next few days. :-)

I used to work out of Rockville. I know VA pretty well, too. Used to
go to the Pentagon, Arlington and Reston a lot. Many years ago, however.

I had a similar experience with a local PC company who contracted
me to set them up in the ISP business. After many hours of work I showed
up one day, not too long before we would have gone live, to find the
servers I was building wiped and loaded with Windows. I was told they
decided not to pursue that line of business. They gave me a check for
what they thought my work was worth and told me goodbye. I could have
sued them for breach of contract in order to get the rest of my money
but decided it wasn't worth the headache. I have never done any contract
work around here since and never would.

Ouch! You should have used machines which would not support
Windows -- then they couldn't do that. :-)

They were their machines. One of the selling points was the very low
investment to get into the business with a very quick ROI. As an
interesting aside, two ISP's popped up shortly afterwards. One a small
two man operation in a hick part of town and the other a major non-Bell
phone company. Both suffered the same problem. Trying to keep up with
the demand. The two man operation ended out moving into the city as they
quickly exhausted all the available phone bandwidth into their hick town.
The phone company grew to more than 1,000,000 customers in the first year.
At $25.00 a month! Hmmm..... I make that out to be somewhere in the
neighborhood of $300,000,000 gross a year in addition to their already
existing phone revenue. Not bad for something people around here were
telling me there was no business viability and cetainly no liklihood of
profit in!

Hopefully the company which shut down your project is still
kicking themselves now for what they lost. :-)

I doubt it. Idiots never realize their mistakes.

[ ... ]

It *did* make it easier to break into a system which you had
lost the password for. Log in as guest (by default no password), send
yourself some e-mail, then click on the mail icon when it popped up, and
bang out of the mail program to a root shell. :-)

Yeah, I remember that. Kind of like iPhones that all over the world have
the same root password. ;-)

Ouch! I don't have one. Do they even give you access to change
the password?

Sure. it's just a linux box in your pocket. Has an sshd available.

Yes -- but through what path? Does it have an ethernet jack?
Or are you stuck having to expose it to connections over the air?

It's a cellphone. Of course it's exposed over the air. It's also a
WiFi device. Without that it's not an iPhone.

But are logins over either allowed by default? If so, then they
should be forced to allow you to change the root password.

BY default? No. But if you decide to start sshd. And then you have
the possibility that someone will come up with a whiz-bang web site
and when you visit it, iy will start sshd for you. :-) They don't
stop you from changing the root password. It's just that there are
apparently things the phone does that require root access and if you
change the password they don't know what it is and so it stops working.
Swell design. :-)

Do they warn you that it should be changed.

It can't be changed. If you change it, the phone don't work anymore.

That is terrible.

Luckily, there is no daemon accepting incoming connections by default,
but many people turn on ssh. And, one never knows what gets done when
you visit one of those whiz-bang web sites. :-)


Given the number of attacks that I see against ssh I would not
want a system which I had not been able to set a good unique password

No ssh attack needed. If you start sshd anyone can login using the normal

[ ... ]

Yeah, I have a couple of QBUS M68K cards that would make great OS9-68K
machines. And, it's ROMable!!

I actually have such as set of Qbus cards too.

Integrated Solutions?

I don't know. The cards are out in /dev/barn01, with a lot of
stuff which I would need to move to reach them, and I don't have the
cage to plug them into.

You want one? :-) of course, you'll need more QBUS modules if you
actually want to use it.

Which -- the backplane? Yes, I would like one.

I have quite a few, including some that aren't even DEC.

There was a
suite of about four or five boards with it.

It would be interesting to know what they are.

IIRC, there is a ribbon
cable bus on the outside edge of the cards to supplement the Q-bus.

Actually, that's probably the cable from a disk controller to the disks
which would be in a differnt box and maybe even a different rack. 8"
floppies or RL02 disks.

Nope -- this just connected the several cards together -- and
the multi-connector cable was there with the boards, ending at the last
board on each side. I think that it was either implementing dual-ported
memory, or adding data bus width. What is the maximum address bus
width on Q-bus? Could it even approach the 16 MB of the 68000, let
alone the 4GB of the 68020 and later?

Not sure what these are but they are not what I have. The VAX used a
ribbon cable as well as the QBUS to connect memory. Some PDP-11's
used PMI Memory which went into certain slots of a particular backplane.
The memory actually came in front of the CPU but I have never had any
PMI memory so I don't know how it worked exactly. Your systems sound
more like a MicroVAX than an M68K.

Now that I think of it -- it had apparently run Sys-III, and
I've still got a box of the OS manuals out in /dev/barn02 on top of a
rack full of stuff.

While not overly thrilled with having yet another version of Unix I
would still be interested in any software you might have.

No software -- just the cards and the manuals. My friend got it
for the Q-bus cage.

Sadly, if
these are in fact the same thing I have I fear your's are also with
Unix boot PROM's.

I suspect so. Any chance of getting sufficient documentation
about the boards so you could write your own boot PROMs?

Sure, I have all that. But it would be a lot easier if I had the MIKBUG
PROM's as could then just use MIKBUG and download whatever code I was
working on. Kinda like using ODT with either Kermit or VTServer.

I know that the COSMOS CMS-16/UNX was very well documented, but
it lived in Intel's MultiBus.

Right now -- even if I had lights in that building -- I would
not go out. It is bloody cold out there right now,

Not as cold as here. I had pipes wrapped with an electric heat-tape
and insulation that were frozen this morning. Got to move south!!

Ouch! Where is "here"? I'm in Northern VA, FWIW.

Scranton/Wilke-sBarre, PA

And how much colder did it get than here? We saw a low of 7 F
late at night (about 2:00 AM).

We went below 0. In the very northern rural areas as low as about -17.

Of course, this house was re-built, expanded, and insulation
improved about fifteen years ago.

And my house is just one big mistake. Kitchen was expanded outside the
foundation with no insulation and no heat where the pipes run. Previous
owner was a real genius. Just another reason why I am not staying here
when I retire. Going where 50 is considered cold. :-)

[ ... ]

If so, which PROMs? They had two. One booted a
version of Unix (which I have not been able to find) and the other was
MIKBUG (I think). Mine have the Unix boot PROMs. :-(

How do I tell? Especially without a card cage to run them in.

Well, you can read the label on the PROM if it's still there, otherwise,
you have to fire ut up and see what you get for a prompt.

Depends on whether the PROMs just had a label stuck on (which
may have faded or blown away) or whether they were metal-capped PROMs or
something with a MelInk stamped identifier. Hmm ... not EPROMs, but
bipolar single use ones?

Mine have EPROM's. I suppose that was the easiest as they offered more
than one version of firmware.

O.K. I'll see what I have when the weather warms up a bit.

[ ... ]

Yep! And the later CoCos actually had 128K of RAM, and ran
Level-2 OS-9.

Yeah, I got that, too. :-)

I never did pick up one of the expanded ones. About that time,
I was digging into multiple unix boxen, starting with the COSMOS

I've got more than enough Unix boxes. As nice as Unix ism some of the
other OSes had a lot to offer as well. Like OS-9 and RSTS.

Yes. Though I have no experience with RSTS. What hardware
would I need to run it? Dual-wide LSI-11, 64 MB of RAM, quad serial
port board, and floppy controller board? Plus the card cage which just
barely hold all of that. I need to hook a power supply to it, and see
what it does.

Isn't the cardcage in a box with a power supply and front panel?
What you need is a real PDP-11 box!! As for RSTS, no hobbyist
program for any of the non-Unix OSes. But, maybe someday.

[ ... ]

T-368? :-)

Probably. I don't remember the model, as I never saw it. I
only heard about it years later.

I used to be a radio teletype operator int he Army and remember that
one well. I know a number of them have ended out in surplus and went
to ham operators. There's a group that meets on 80M that runs AM and
I know at least one of these guys is using one. Draws more power than
my biggest old iron computer!!

Hmm ... how much power did it put into the final?

Don't remember exactly, several hundred watts.

Not a full gallon, then.

No. It was designed more for key down time than total power. Remember it's
use. In the military you really want to run minimum power cause you make
a great target sitting on top of that mountain advertising you location to
the enemy. :-)

And could run keydown all
day long. We used to send some really long teletype traffic and it never
even flinched.

O.K. And that was FSK, so constant broadcast of a pair tones,
flicking back and forth between them.

[ ... ]

I have a SCSI one that I use quite a bit. The other would be usefull
as Pertec shows up as a different device than the SCSI one.

Pertec was also a front-loading self threading system, IIRC. I
had one of those connected to my first unix box -- the COSMOS

Pertec is the interface. Two 50 pin connectiors. DEC TS style tapes.
My SCSI looks like a TK50 or TU81+ tape drive but some stuff assumes
TS tapes because of the boot block on it. My SCSI tape is front-loading

[ ... ]

Does SUNBlade 100 sound familiar? I think that might be what it is.

O.K. One of the ones which used IDE drives. I have one, with
not enough RAM to really make it happy.

I thought it just used PC SIMM/DIMM's?

Mine I was running SunOs 4.1.4 for a few years after the other
boxes started to get Solaris 2.x in them.

I never liked Solaris. I think they should have stayed with SunOS.

Well ... there was a tradeoff. On the older machines, I
preferred SunOs 4.1.4 (or SunOs 4.1.1_U1 for the Sun-3 machines), but
for the Ultras, Solaris 10 is quite nice -- especially with zfs in there
giving me a very nice RAID-5 or two on a couple of systems.

zfs could have been used with a BSD based system.

Yes -- if it was written into the kernel.

I just never like
SYSV and I worked with it from the very beginning. And RAID is better
handled in hardware, anyway.

Hmm ... I remember several hardware RAID systems at work which
were rather fragile -- starting with the Sun one which had three sticks
of ten SCA interface drives each. We had to do corrective work every
time power went down for longer than the UPS could supply, and we
typically had that happen two or three times per year -- including with
snakes comitting suicide in the big transformer farms on post. :-)

I use PCI Adaptec SCSI Raid with no problems. I have also used Promise
IDE RAID cards. All that stuff is usually on the motherboard today. I
also have a StorageWorks cabinet that used to be connected to a VAX
Cluster using CI bus that I will be using via SCSI for otther systems
now that the VAX are all gone. But that's a SAN and a bit more than your
average RAID. :-)

The only one which we tried which seemed bulletproof was the one
by DEC.

But I have three A-1000/D-1000 boxes -- one converted to JBOD,
the other two hardware RAID -- and the latter need special management
programs in Solaris which are not upgradable to Solaris 10 (and not
available at all for OpenBSD.

But the zfs seems to be *very* reliable on either a Sun Blade
2000 or a Sun Fire 280R.

I've used Vinum to get software RAID and it was OK, but recovery seems
to go much better with hardware RAID. At least in my experience.

Run BSD at work all the time. Never saw a reason for 15 partitions.

Well ... perhaps with the new 1 TB and 2.5 TB drives. :-)

Nope, still don't see a need for all them partitions. If I have a need
for multiple partitions it is much better to use multiple drives.

I think that machines like the Sun Blade [12]000 and Sun Fire
280R are not going to work as well on any available BSD as they do on
Solaris 10.

But that is because Sun is able to put stuff into Solaris that BSD
can't. If Sun had stuck to BSD then their version of BSD would
perform just as well and probably better.

[ ... ]

But suffered fromt he same problem that IBM found with their idea to use
the M68K. :-)


Yes. Came from the same vendor as the M68K.

So they did not like the Vendor? Nothing to do with the

It was not a matter of like or dislike as much as a matter of control or
not control.


Bill Gunshannon | de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n. Three wolves
billg999@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx | and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
University of Scranton |
Scranton, Pennsylvania | #include <std.disclaimer.h>