[ExI] fermi question alive and well

Dave Sill sparge at gmail.com
Mon Apr 1 13:12:54 UTC 2019

On Sun, Mar 31, 2019 at 10:18 PM <spike at rainier66.com> wrote:

>  Hi Dave, cool thanks.  I don’t know what is an IMP, and am well over 40.

>From  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interface_Message_Processor

"The Interface Message Processor (IMP) was the packet switching node used
to interconnect participant networks to the ARPANET from the late 1960s to
1989. It was the first generation of gateways, which are known today as
routers.[1][2][3] An IMP was a ruggedized Honeywell DDP-516 minicomputer
with special-purpose interfaces and software.[4] In later years the IMPs
were made from the non-ruggedized Honeywell 316 which could handle
two-thirds of the communication traffic at approximately one-half the
cost.[5] An IMP requires the connection to a host computer via a special
bit-serial interface, defined in BBN Report 1822. The IMP software and the
ARPA network communications protocol running on the IMPs was discussed in
RFC 1, the first of a series of standardization documents published by the
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)."

In the early days of networking, networks were proprietary: Sperry systems
talked to other Sperry systems and IBM systems talked to other IBM systems.
IMPs enabled networking different physical networks together:
internetworking. It was internetworking that caused physical networking to
explode because it made it vastly more useful. It's great that you can move
files from server A to server B at your workplace without physically
transferring a disk or tape but it's absolutely game-changing that you can
send files around the world quickly and inexpensively.

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