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rfc:rfc302

NWG/RFC #302 UCSB Computer NIC 9074 Research Laboratory

                                         Roland F. Bryan
                                         8 February 1972
                       EXERCISING THE ARPANET

Questions


   1.  Can a technically competent person, initially uninformed
       as to network operation and naive as to the capabilities
       of various time-shared terminal systems attached to the
       Network, be able to develop problem solving competence
       at server sites on the ARPANET?
   2.  What inherent user problems exist that complicate such
       adaptation?
   3.  Once proficient in the use, what aspects of the various
       sites limit the usability and what modifications should
       be considered at both server and user sites to meet
       various needs?
   4.  Should a user select a given site for composing and
       editing all of his files for subsequent transfer to
       other sites for processing or should he learn to compose
       and edit at each of the sites doing his processing?
   5.  What are the problems in starting cooperating processes
       at several sites?  How does a user control such
       processes?
                                                              [Page 1]

Obtaining the Answers


   Under the direction of UCSB Professor James Howard, a test

group of 14 graduate students was formed to pursue the questions above, and any other aspect of ARPANET operation that they might uncover.

   The test group has been given access to the 16 console On-Line

System classroom in the E.E. Department at UCSB. The 16 consoles produce graphic and alphanumeric displays and are tied into the UCSB Host 360-75 which gains them access to the network. Old style Culler-Fried keyboards are being used which provide a limited key set Jim White has managed to program around most of the protocol problems brought about by these keyboards, but some still remain.

   Seminars were given to the test group to familiarize them

with software and hardware aspects of the ARPANET, the local NIC file has been made available to the group, and the group has been allowed to sign onto the Network to pursue any available system.

   Following the initial period of two weeks, during which the

group developed some familiarity with the network, the test group has been divided into working groups with emphasis as follows:

       Patric Timlick      }      BBN-TENEX
       Dave Stearns        }      BBN-TENEX B
       John Pickens        }      SRI-ARC (NIC)
       Doug Beaubien       }
       Dave Whittington    }
       Richard Haraguchi   }      MIT-Multics
       Maria deGraaf       }      MIT-DMCG
       Richard Melton      }
       Su Sung Won         }
       Ronald Varekamp     }
       Jeoff Benson        }      UCLA-CCN    HARV-10
       Hasan A. El. Hasan  }      UCLA-NMC    UTAH-10
       George Engelberg    }      RAND-CSG    LL-67
       Rodney Skinner      }
                                                              [Page 2]

Some Initial Results


   The first real encounters with the ARPANET at large produced

a series of questions and comments. Test group comments are itemized below with additional comments by the author {In braces}. We plan subsequent reports on a periodic basis.

   1.  We find that we need further information about access
       to the NCPs at various sites.  User manuals from the
       sites might provide this.  {Site response is solicited}
   2.  We sometimes cannot sign into UCLA-NMC directly from
       UCSB, but can do so readily by way of BBN.  {Protocol?}
   3.  After running a Fortran or PL-1 program at some net
       location we can only display the results on our consoles
       but cannot store them as files.  {UCSB programming need?}
   4.  When communications break down how can a user be
       assured that he is logged out of some remote site?
       {Need for automatic Log-out?}
   5.  How do we make contact with programmers at other sites
       to develop cooperative programs for file transfer, etc?
       {Jim White?}
   6.  Is there a best time of day for operation at each site?
       Should contact be made with the site operator prior to
       user sessions?   {Server sites please comment}
   7.  UCLA-NMC has assigned a separate user identification
       for test group use.  Would other sites prefer to do
       likewise?  {Comments?}
   8.  Is there information regarding uses made of the
       various time shared systems by internal users at each
       site?  Does a bibliography exist to allow contact
       with such users?  {Check the Resource Notebook}
   9.  MIT-DMCG and BBN provide very good user service,
       especially the site survey.  Also these sites have
       good responses to define events.  Can UCSB provide
       local users with similar information?  {Jim White?}
     [ This RFC was put into machine readable form for entry ]
     [ into the online RFC archives by BBN Corp. under the   ]
     [ direction of Alex McKenzie.                   12/96   ]
                                                              [Page 3]
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