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Internet Picture (the shooting of)
A course of Network Stages
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The Origin of the Shell

How RUNCOM was created for CTSS and the shell was designed for Multics by Louis Pouzin.
Yannis Corovesis's insight:

A testimony by Internet architecture veteran Louis Pouzin of the reach Christopher Strachey had

 

Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computing Service) was a mainframe timesharing operating system begun in 1965 and used until 2000. Multics began as a research project and was an important influence on operating system development.

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Tech Time Warp of the Week: Bell Labs Computer Center, 1973 | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com

Tech Time Warp of the Week: Bell Labs Computer Center, 1973 | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com | Internet Picture (the shooting of) | Scoop.it
That iPhone in your hand? You can trace its roots all the way back to the late '60s, when two researchers at the famed Bell Labs built a computer operating system they called UNIX.
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Dennis Ritchie: The Shoulders Steve Jobs Stood On | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com

Dennis Ritchie: The Shoulders Steve Jobs Stood On | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com | Internet Picture (the shooting of) | Scoop.it
The tributes to Dennis Ritchie won?t match the river of praise that spilled out over the web after the death of Steve Jobs. But they should. And the
Yannis Corovesis's insight:

Time-sharing Systems were the first "model" for building Networks, MULTICS begat UNIX which was used as the medium to propagate the software that beat all other competing network technologies (IBM's SNA,  OSI, XEROC's XNS etc)

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INWG and the Conception of the Internet: An Eyewitness Account

© The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated (IEEE) Published in the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Vol 33, No 1, pp 66-71
Yannis Corovesis's insight:

International Network Working Group the brainware that build the Net

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Bombe - a machine built by Alan Turing, a step towards the computer

Bombe - a machine built by Alan Turing, a step towards the computer | Internet Picture (the shooting of) | Scoop.it

The Polish cryptologic bomb (Polish: bomba kryptologiczna) had been useful only as long as three conditions were met. First, the form of the indicator had to include the repetition of the message key; second, the number of rotors available had to be limited to three, giving six different "wheel orders" (the three rotors and their order within the machine); and third, the number of plug-board leads had to remain relatively small so that the majority of letters were unsteckered. Six machines were built, one for each possible rotor order. They were delivered in November 1938, but barely a month later the Germans introduced two additional rotors for loading into the Enigma scrambler, increasing the number of wheel orders by a factor of ten. Building a further 54 bomby was beyond the Poles' resources. Also, on 1 January 1939, the number of plug-board leads was increased to ten. The Poles had therefore had to return to manual methods, the Zygalski sheets.

Alan Turing designed the British bombe on a more general principle, the assumption of the presence of text, called a crib, that cryptanalysts could predict was likely to be present at a defined point in the message. This technique is termed a known plaintext attack and had been used to a limited extent by the Poles, e.g., the Germans' use of "ANX" — German for "To," followed by "X" as a spacer.

Rear view of the rebuilt Bombe at Bletchley Park. This shows the patch panels and 26-way cables used to wire up the 'menus'. It includes the 'diagonal boards' which, despite their name are physically rectangular.

The bombes were built by the British Tabulating Machine Company at Letchworth under the direction of Harold 'Doc' Keen. Each machine was about 7 feet (2.1 m) wide, 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) tall, 2 feet (0.61 m) deep and weighed about a ton.[18] On the front of each bombe were 108 places where drums could be mounted. The drums were in three groups of 12 triplets. Each triplet, arranged vertically, corresponded to the three rotors of an Enigma scrambler. The bombe drums' input and output contacts went to cable connectors, allowing the bombe to be wired up according to the menu. The 'fast' drum rotated at a speed of 50.4 rpm in the first models[19] and 120 rpm in later ones,[20] when the time to set up and run through all 17,576 possible positions for one rotor order was about 20 minutes.[21]

Yannis Corovesis's insight:

Alan Hodges in his book "Alan Turing: the enigma" fully documents the birth of the Computer. In the book it is alluded that the typewriter, a machine that somehow mechanizes hand-scribling, played a central role in Turing's mind that invented "the computer" and "computer science". It served him as a model, a starting point for his thinking.

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History of the Internet - Internet History Articles | Internet Society

History of the Internet - Internet History Articles | Internet Society | Internet Picture (the shooting of) | Scoop.it
Interested in the history of the Internet? Visit the Internet Society website for a range of histories from prominent Internet personalities and organizations.
Yannis Corovesis's insight:

There exist several historical accounts about technical achievements, the people and events that built the Internet but this  account differs in that it takes significant short-cuts enabled by the idea to interpret  the evolutionary path traced by the global infrastructure.
http://www.isoc.org/internet/history/

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How Alan Turing set the rules for computing

How Alan Turing set the rules for computing | Internet Picture (the shooting of) | Scoop.it
The Turing Machine gave the world a model for how computers could operate
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Alan Turing appreciation by interviews with Vint Cerf (Internet), Alan Kay (SmalTalk) , Ken Thomson (UNIX) and top university professors associated with ACM's Turing Award

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Computer Resurrection Issue 43

Computer Resurrection Issue 43 | Internet Picture (the shooting of) | Scoop.it

CPL had many innovative features: some of these were just, in Christopher’s phrase, “syntactic sugar”, but a major contribution was the clarification of the concept of L-values and R-values, which can be seen in C and all subsequent languages. (CPL begat BCPL, which begat B and then C and C++: another example of the pervasive influence of Christopher at the time).

Yannis Corovesis's insight:

the archetypes for C/UNIX are C.Strachey's SmallOS/CPL

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ΔΙΑΔΙΚΤΥΟ - Internet developments in Greece: Πως έγινε το OSI reference model

Yannis Corovesis's insight:

In IFIP 6.2 great minds meet to discuss concepts and practice of Networking

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UNIX History

UNIX History | Internet Picture (the shooting of) | Scoop.it
A Unix history's diagram
Yannis Corovesis's insight:

a pre-condition for the emergence of Computer Networks and Cyber Culture

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Strowger Switch -The mother of all man-machine mechanisms of global scale

Strowger Switch -The mother of all man-machine mechanisms of global scale | Internet Picture (the shooting of) | Scoop.it

According to legend, Almon Strowger, an undertaker, was motivated to invent an automatic telephone exchange after having difficulties with the local telephone operators, one of whom was the wife of a competitor. He was said to be convinced that she, as one of the manual telephone exchange operators was sending calls "to the undertaker" to her husband.

He first conceived his invention in 1888, and patented the automatic telephone exchange in 1891. It is reported that the initial model was made from a round collar box and some straight pins.

 

 

Yannis Corovesis's insight:

 

Internet Picture starts with the Strowger Switch. The mother of all man-machine mechanisms of global scale.

http://tinyurl.com/strowgerAlmon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strowger_switch

A system devised to replace the manually operated Call Center in the 19th century, a system that removed the intermediate factor of the human operator. There are several other events , for example the wiring of the Atlantic, the telegraph, the invention of the telephone set that constitute the period I designate as the starting point of "Network Stage Zero".

 

"PPTplex" is made of such items

 

In late 80s on a visit to my City's "PTTplex" (as in Googlepex), the Telecoms operator, I had the chance to see and hear (*) a costellation of analog switches operating in full swing processing calls originating from home or office telephone sets and terminating likewise.

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Network Stage Zero: the global telecoms and its switching centers

Network Stage Zero: the global telecoms and its switching centers | Internet Picture (the shooting of) | Scoop.it

An Internet Picture

 

Overarching my  story telling lies a conceptual pattern: stages of evolution and the mechanism of their formation. Something like the "Darwin story of the Network".

 

I call it a "a picture" because it admits visualization in several aspects and it conveys the essence of an emerging wholeness. It is the very nature of this entity that I want to explore and understand.

 

Internet Picture presents  an interpretation based on the huge  pile of  data deposited by social processes that built the infrastructure to serve society with general applications such as Email and the World-Wide-Web (WWW) while an uncountable number of new ones keep coming.

 

The community of developers has been adding mechanisms in a layered way adding  more functionality atop older mechanisms under the banner "more scaling".

 

The Stages of the evolving infrastructure appear to form a sequence of automation tasks. Every such task adds functionality that constitutes an innovation brought about by a technical community. It occurs in a certain place and it propagates throughout the infrastructure which is in a constant state of flux.

 

We read in the Standards (RFCs)
that specify and document this evolution     "....The principle of constant change is perhaps the only principle of the Internet that should survive indefinitely" 

http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc1958.txt
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Request_For_Comment

 

There exist several historical accounts about technical achievements, the people and events that built the Internet but this  account differs in that it takes significant short-cuts enabled by the idea to interpret  the evolutionary path traced by the global infrastructure.
http://www.isoc.org/internet/history/

 

 

Internet Picture starts with the Strowger Switch. The mother of all man-machine mechanisms of global scale.

 

http://tinyurl.com/strowgerAlmon

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strowger_switch

A system devised to replace the manually operated Call Center in the 19th century, a system that removed the intermediate factor of the human operator. There are several other events , for example the wiring of the Atlantic, the telegraph, the invention of the telephone set that constitute the period I designate as the starting point of  "Network Stage Zero".

 

Author Stefan Zweig wrote about decisive moments in History, a similar scheme of moments shapes our "film making" assisted by abstraction lenses that identify the cumulative growth of definite technology-layers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decisive_Moments_in_History

 

 

Internet Picture's decisive moments relate to the mechanization of (distributed) procedures carried out over a new medium. Recently, I came across to a similar idea using crowdsourcing to find the "defining moments of Internet"

http://www.internetsociety.org/20th/defining-moments-internet

 

This medium has been morphing by technical advances designed and implemented
by a global community of developers.

 

This story telling follows closely the evolutionary scheme of Cybernetician and Computer Scientist Valentin Turchin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentin_Turchin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metasystem_transition

 

In late 80s on a visit to my City's "PTTplex" (as in Googlepex), the Telecoms operator,       I had the chance to see and hear (*)  a costellation of analog switches operating in full swing processing calls originating from home or office telephone sets and terminating likewise.

 

Telecoms infrastructures receive consequitive waves of technological progress.

 

Network Stage Zero has to wait for the emergence of another phenomenon to take its place in the moving Picture scripted here, the Digital Computer.

 

Alan Hodges in his book "Alan Turing: the enigma" fully documents the birth of the Computer. In the book it is alluded that the typewriter, a machine that somehow mechanizes hand-scribling, played a central role in Turing's mind that invented "the computer" and "computer science". It served him as a model, a starting point for his thinking.

 

The book elaborates how  he mechanized  crypto-analysis, the construction of Turing's Bombe machine, later the Colossus machine and the ACE as important events.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing

http://www.turing.org.uk/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colossus_computer

 

Remote operation of the computer using the telecoms network was envisaged from the days of Alan Turing. Chistopher Strachey Turing's fellow student operated (often late at night) remotely the computer at his lab at Oxford University in mid 60s (**).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Strachey

He laid the groundwork for the programming language C and operating system UNIX, tools that play significant role in the development of the digital network as well as to the next Network stage of the story here: Network Stage One.

Computing applied to telecoms produced the global digital telecoms network consisting of digital switches connected in a mesh topology globally.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_switch

Note that the operating system UNIX was developed at BELL LABS, a telecoms laboratory in USA.
UNIX embodies key ideas from C.Strachey.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix

 

 

Thus the final scenes of Network Stage Zero put the global digital telecoms network ready to host a second wave of innovation, namely the Computer Network, overlaid upon it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_network

 

 

In early 60s the vision of the Computer Network was put forward by J.C.R Licklider

as  "man machine symbiosis" or "inter-galactic network"

http://memex.org/licklider.html
http://www.livinginternet.com/i/ii_licklider.htm

 

 

Pioneer Paul Baran and packet switching co-inventor says it was the automation associated with hooking remote terminals made by different vendors to Mainframe computers that effected the first Computer Network to be constructed.

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.03/baran.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packet_switching

 

 

I formed a vision to interpret Internet key development steps as a sequence of mechanization tasks associated with man-computer interaction over this global infrastructure which happens to be its own message.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_medium_is_the_message

 

My vision to "film" the evolutionary process of construction got inspiration from the following note of R.Khare on IEEE's Internet Systems:

 

Reflections on the Wizard of TPs By Rohit Khare

October 19, 1998, Aboard United #163 -- The last time I was flying into Los Angeles, I was also facing a blank screen entitled Seventh Heaven. Two months ago, though, I relied on a fellow passenger to help me frame the twenty-five year design history of the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) into a neat evolutionary tale -- its author, Jon Postel. I never quite got around to accepting his invitation to drop by ISI and set to documenting the further (technical) history of Internet protocol design. Someday, I thought, the "DNS Wars" will be over, a rechartered IANA born, and all the time in the world (or at least the interminable horizon of a doctoral program!) to listen to the old griot's tales of Transfer Protocols.

....
http://www.xent.com/FoRK-archive/oct98/0245.html

 

 

I proceed with harvesting the Net for resources to help my story telling but with great caution as to the meaning of my approach in light of the work carried out by IAB, IETF, IRTF etc.


A second moment of inspiration came from IETF's chair Fred Baker who  called for the creation of “IETF Pseudo-Areas”  something different to  the "true" Areas where IETF work gets organized into. One such will stay at a distance from development work done   as far as details and deep involvement is concern but otherwise  may monitor the progress and the general state of things worked out in places like IEEE.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Engineering_task_Force

 

http://www.enterprisenetworkingplanet.com/netsp/article.php/600411/IESG-Working-Group-Actions-January--February-2001.htm

 

 

Eureka ! This will be the method to develop my scenario. I will shoot the film keeping a certain informational distance from the actual happenings.

 

So, Network Stage Zero cuts complete with vision and method, look out for the automation patterns that this story has to tell. Next, is Network Stage One.

 

 

 

Notes

(*) what a noise ! the only similar experience I can think of is inside a cloth-spinning manufacturing plant.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinning_machine

(**) David Turner told me this story. He invented Combinators as machine code, a novel programming technique that influenced my story telling here. A Combinator can emulatate any of the basic symbol shifting tasks for example the application of a function to its arguments. The most fascinating example is the “Y-combinator” which emulates recursion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Turner_(computer_scientist)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combinatory_logic

 

This background provided the reference model I was looking for upon which to bootstrap my understanding of the Network phenomenon.

My vision was to interpret Internet key development steps as a sequence of mechanization tasks associated with man-computer interaction enabled by this global infrastructure which is its own message.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_medium_is_the_message

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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