The History of Networking: John Chapman and Cable Networks

Before the large cable providers came on the scene, most people accessed the Internet through dial-up MODEMS, connecting to services like America Online, across plain old telephone lines. The entrance of cable providers, and cable MODEMs, allowed the edge of the Internet to explode, causing massive growth. Join Donald Sharp and I on this episode of the History of Networking as John Chapman discusses the origins of the cable MODEM, and the origins of the DOCSIS standards.

Random Thoughts on IoT

Let’s play the analogy game. The Internet of Things (IoT) is probably going end up being like … a box of chocolates, because you never do know what you are going to get? a big bowl of spaghetti with a serious lack of meatballs? Whatever it is, the IoT should have network folks worried about security. There is, of course, the problem of IoT devices being attached to random places on the network, exfiltrating personal data back to a cloud server you don’t know anything about. Some of these devices might be rogue, of course, such as Raspberry Pi attached to some random place in the network. Others might be more conventional, such as those new exercise machines the company just brought into the gym that’s sending personal information in the clear to an outside service.

This is totally random … The Art of Charity

I don’t normally do this, but … I’d like to share a couple of images of watercolors by a friend of mine. She really does do whimsical and impressive work. Link to her site off the images below.

The Hedge Podcast #57: Brian Trammell and PANRG

Brian Trammell joins Alvaro Retana and Russ White to discuss the Path Aware Research Group in the IRTF. According to the charter page, PANRG “aims to support research in bringing path awareness to transport and application layer protocols, and to bring research in this space to the attention of the Internet engineering and protocol design community.”

Technologies that Didn’t: Network Operating Systems

For those with a long memory—no, even longer than that—there were once things called Network Operating Systems (NOS’s). These were not the kinds of NOS’s we have today, like Cisco IOS Software, or Arista EOS, or even SONiC. Rather, these were designed for servers. The most common example was Novell’s Netware. These operating systems were the “bread and butter” of the networking world for many years. I was a Certified Netware Expert (CNE) version 4.0, and then 4.11, before I moved into the routing and switching world. I also deployed Banyan’s Vines, IBM’s OS/2, and a much simpler system called LANtastic, among others.

Hints and Principles: Applied to Networks

While software design is not the same as network design, there is enough overlap for network designers to learn from software designers. A recent paper published by Butler Lampson, updating a paper he wrote in 1983, is a perfect illustration of this principle. The paper is caleld Hints and Principles for Computer System Design. I’m not going to write a full review here–you should really go read the paper for yourself–but rather just point out some useful bits of the paper.

Hedge Podcast #56: Lysa Myers on Burnout and Good People

PTSD is a real thing in the information technology world; it impacts the ability to keep and manage good people. In this episode of the Hedge, Lya Myers joins Eyvonne Sharp, Tom Ammon, and Russ White to discuss PTSD, burnout, and strategies for dealing with them.

History of Networking: Mark Nottingham and HTTP

The HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) carries the vast majority of all the traffic on the Internet today, and even the vast majority of traffic carried on private networks. How did this protocol originate, and what was the interplay between standards organizations in it’s creation, curation, and widespread deployment? Mark Nottingham joins Donald and I on this episode of the History of Networking to answer our questions.