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20 Network Changing Products 178

An anonymous reader wrote to mention a Network World piece about products that have changed networking over the last twenty years. From the article: "SendMail 1998 - Sendmail was key to the e-mail revolution because it was how everyone got up and running with e-mail communications over the Internet. Eric Allman wrote the original version of this open source mail-transfer agent while he was at the University of California at Berkeley in 1979. He stopped development on it in 1982, however, and didn't revisit it until 1990. In 1998 he founded SendMail to sell the software's first commercial version, the SendMail switch."
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20 Network Changing Products

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  • Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

    Sendmail was key to the e-mail revolution because it was how everyone got up and running with e-mail communications over the Internet.

    And Sendmail also happens to be one of the absolute worst widely-deployed programs in the history computer software. Man, I despite that program. How could anyone have thought that configuration file format was a good idea? You know it's bad when you have to have a preprocessor to translate something (semi-)tolerable into its syntax.

    The e-mail revolution succeeded DESPITE sendmail, not because of it, though I give it some small credit for flexibility. It was just barely adequate enough to keep people from writing a replacement (thought we have some now).

    No point to this post, except to voice how much I despise sendmail. :)

    • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by misleb ( 129952 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @08:03PM (#15007334)
      I think the Sendmail cf file made more sense back when computers were slower. It is easier for a computer to parse for routing. At least that's how someone once explained it to me. I honestly don't know how it remained dominant as long as it did. I ditched Sendmail the day I tried Postfix.

      • Re:Ugh (Score:4, Insightful)

        by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @08:24PM (#15007483)
        I think the Sendmail cf file made more sense back when computers were slower. It is easier for a computer to parse for routing.
        Sure, but isn't the cf file only used at load time? It would be crazy to parse the cf file for every email, and equally crazy to impose that syntax on users for a file read only at startup time.
        • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Informative)

          by schon ( 31600 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @08:57PM (#15007656)
          isn't the cf file only used at load time?

          The .cf file is used whenever the sendmail binary is run - on some systems this meant whenever a local user sends email.

          As another poster pointed out, Sendmail is more than just a SMTP daemon.
      • Re:Ugh (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dougmc ( 70836 )

        I think the Sendmail cf file made more sense back when computers were slower.

        No, sendmail's complexity/flexibility made sense because there were oodles of very different mail protocols. Now, almost everything can be sent from point A to B via SMTP, but back then there were lots of different options, and the options were needed to make it all work. (Granted, the options are still available now, but few people use them anymore.)

        And really, it's not that bad once you get used to it.

        And besides, i

    • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lakeland ( 218447 ) <> on Monday March 27, 2006 @08:05PM (#15007348) Homepage
      You have to think back to when sendmail was written.

      There are many different protocols that it supported which are simply not used now. Sure, you can write a SMTP server in fewer lines of code, but I doubt you'd be able to write something that could handle all of the crazy protocols in use at the time (and was flexible enough to be modified for protocols not invented yet).
      • Yes and no. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jd ( 1658 )
        Yes, there were some strange protocols around at the time for mail - X.400 for example. But sendmail probably doesn't support many of these. Besides, even back then, it was considered ugly to design things as monolithic programs. Truly modular designs did not appear until dynamic linking became portable/usable, but basic modularity in the form of program piping has always existed.

        (Indeed, all of the original Unix tools are written as pipelined utilities. If Sendmail had been written in this manner, you woul

        • Re:Yes and no. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by zerocool^ ( 112121 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @11:54PM (#15008435) Homepage Journal

          This is a fallacy, and one that Linus himself debunks in his auto-biography.

          A monolithic program may look more complex and harder to maintain and secure (and I'll admit, I hate sendmail), having a HUNDRED binaries as part of this program would add an order of magnitude of complexity that is entirely unnecesary.

          Think: While it is true that a singular, small program which does one task is simpler than a monolithic giant, the program (as a whole, encompassing all the small parts) will still need to do all the same stuff a monolithic program has to do, except now it has to deal with message passing between small binary executables, queueing or drop files, and a number of other issues where security is a concern.

          It's not as simple as taking parts out of the whole design and implementing them independantly; adding "parts" to the "whole" creates issues which do not exist in the monolithic.

          qmail is able to do this fairly well, but it only has about 4 or 5 executables, IIRC, and it is compiled very carefully against bernsteins' special stdio and other library files that he's hardened.

          See also: Linux Kernel vs. Hurd or Minix.

          • Uhm, no.

            Message passing and repeated input validation imposes a performance penalty. However, with well defined interfaces, the interdependencies are highly reduced, and maintainance becomes simple.

            A large monolithic program leads to complex interdependencies in the code and maintainance becomes difficult.

            Security is easy to do, if you design it in right from the beginning (see Postfix, which doesn't even have a custom libc, but is simpler to run than qmail and gives better performance).
    • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Funny)

      by Kenrod ( 188428 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @08:08PM (#15007381)

      I love sendmail. It's the reason I became an application engineer instead of a sysadmin.
    • Re:Ugh (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thogard ( 43403 )
      The sendmail config has been considered a binary, machine readable only file for those that know sendmail since the introduction of the m4 preprocessor. Its a binary file that you can use a text editor on if you have a real need.

      I've messed with over 100 email packages in my life and I still use sendmail. Its sill flexible, and you can still add stuff to it for experiments and they still fix bugs no matter how obscure and unlikely they are. Like the recent one which effects nearly every unix bit of code
    • Re:Ugh (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sukotto ( 122876 )
      I find it funny that many of the people posting in defense of SendMail here are the same ones that lambast MS Windows for the very same "features".

      - Huge, bloated software.
      - Hard to configure.
      - Hard to maintain.
      - Has a history of enabling spam and virus propagation (due to users inability to set it up properly).
      - Yet it dominates the market despite all other alternatives.

      Obviously if you're discussing Windows it's BAD!. If it's sendmail, well, it's GOOD!.

      Even more funny is that I do it too. :-(
      • Re:Ugh (Score:3, Informative)

        by dougmc ( 70836 )

        - Has a history of enabling spam and virus propagation (due to users inability to set it up properly).

        I've found sendmail to be as spam-resistant as any of the other MTAs out there at the same time.

        At one point, every mail server was an open relay, because that's just the way things were done, and few people abused it and it was nice. Then the spammers came and ruined that. Sendmail changed to default to `don't relay' approximately as fast as everybody else. From time to time spammers have found

    • Haven't you ever used the mail function of php on linux/unix? That still uses sendmail. Infact I still use sendmail in shell scripts all the time. Considering how old sendmail is and the fact that people, even those as big as php, still use it I don't think the statement that the e-mail revolution happened despite it is fair - just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's bad.
      • Um... no! Many Linux distributions don't use sendmail as their default MTA, but practically every Linux - and I think most other Unices too - will have a sendmail compatibility wrapper which implements the functionality of sendmail as required by php, cgi, shellscripts etc. So when you type 'sendmail' at the command line or use it from a script you're not using the Sendmail package but a compatibility layer for whatever MTA you have installed which happens to emulate Sendmail since it's a fairly universal
        • Errr... okkkk... you must be a debian user (which uses exim) - as an example the following use sendmail as their default MTA:

          Solaris []
          HP-UX []
          RedHat []
          Suse []
          Slackware []
          • Re:Ugh (Score:4, Informative)

            by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @12:27PM (#15011193) Homepage Journal

            The top 10 Linux distros, according to, and their default mail servers are:

            • Ubuntu: Postfix
            • Mandriva: Postfix
            • SUSE: Postfix (you said sendmail, but I just checked my SUSE test systems and they have postfix).
            • Fedora/Red Hat: Sendmail
            • Debian: Exim
            • Knoppix: Exim
            • MEPIS: Exim
            • Gentoo: No real default, but the Handbook seems to recommend Postfix
            • Slackware: Sendmail
            • Xandros: Postfix

            So the score is eight non-sendmail to two sendmail. Three if you count Fedora and Red Hat separately, which seems reasonable since Ubuntu, Debian, Knoppix and MEPIS are counted separately (Red Hat doesn't show up in the distrowatch top ten list, which seems strange). A better way to look at it, of course, is by market share, but decent market share figures are nearly impossible to obtain.

            It appears to me that however you count it, the GP is right in saying that most Linux distributions/installations do not use sendmail by default. They all have a /usr/bin/sendmail utility, of course, but that doesn't mean they use the sendmail package.

            Of the major Unixes, it appears that Solaris, HP-UX, IRIX, and the BSDs use sendmail, but AIX and OS X Server use Postfix, so sendmail appears to be the winner there.

  • From TFA:

    This proprietary peer-to-peer telephony application provided the first real quality VoIP product (did we mention it's free here?) that has built a cult following and spurred industry questions about why corporations can't move to convergence more quickly. Skype picked up both business clout and deep pockets when eBay bought the company in the fall of 2005

    Hello? Asterisk anybody?

    Open source? Check
    Open standards? Check ( note: skype is not open in this regard )
    Quality product? Check check check
    Huge business impact? Check

    Not to mention asterisk isn't burdened with weird restrictions fueled by marketing concerns. Digium is the company behind it, and they do make hardware that works with it, but it's hardly locked down to *that* specific hardware.
    • AIM messenger! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Spy der Mann ( 805235 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `todhsals.nnamredyps'> on Monday March 27, 2006 @08:13PM (#15007405) Homepage Journal
      I agree with you on something. Remove skype and add MSN/YIM/AIM/ICQ.

      These non-anonymous chat services changed the way we relate to people on the web, replacing the untrusty anonymous IRC. It gave the ability to chat to every joe user.
      • /mode #chan +R

        As you were saying... ?

        • 472 R : is unknown mode char to me

          As you were saying... ?

          Fails on Efnet, Undernet. On IRCnet --

          345 #fodfd : End of Channel Reop List

          I don't think that's what you were referring to ...

          Dalnet won't let me in, it's like all the servers are down or something, so I can't check that ...

          Perhaps this is part of why IRC isn't the killer application -- AIM, Yahoo, MSN etc. are. IRC was great when I discovered it in 1990 or so, but people now want instant gratification, and IRC isn't that.

    • Yes but Asterisk isn't nearly as popular as Skype, therefore Skype wins when it comes to influencing networks.
    • by Bizzeh ( 851225 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @08:26PM (#15007500) Homepage
      why is open source high on your list of what makes something good? open or closed, a product can still be better than something else...
    • Open source? Check
      Open standards? Check ( note: skype is not open in this regard )
      Quality product? Check check check
      Huge business impact? Check

      Market penetration? Ease of use?

      Skype is VOIP that any Joe can install for free, and has widespread useage.

      Asterisk, on the other hand, is a royal headache to install, configure and maintain. The VoIP phones I've seen that are supposed to work with it are generally pretty clunky and not very resilient. And unless something has changed since I last looked at it, the
      • 1. Consistency, a working out-of-the-box configuration? Check out asterisk@home

        2. No GUI by default? Are you saying that traditional PBX systems DO?

        3. Ease of use: It's easier to parse a couple of .conf files (or install AMP and use that) than to memorize and navigate voice or beep menu prompts

        4. Who can maintain it? Anyone who can RTFM, read English, and navigate vi, pico, or nano -- or a web browser if AMP is installed

        5. re: The consequences of this are that that no two Asterisk installations will likely
  • Ok, maybe I'm a Unix guy, but was this really something that changed the network? I know a lot of people have it installed, and run webservers, etc on it (usually because they are forced to or don't know any better), but if you want to put this on there it just seems like there are others that should be there like Solaris, Red Hat, Suze, FreeBSD just to name a few.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Hey, the title says "20 Products The Changed Networking". No one mentioned "changed for the better".
    • They did mention open source, so that kinda covers Linux and FreeBSD. But yeah, I don't really see why Windows 2000 was so special. It had active directory, well Netware was doing directories years before Win2k. The article did mention CodeRed, so I guess that is Win2k's contribution.. the Internet crippling worm.

    • Well, how else could somebody have scored 10's of millions of credit cards, hollywood phone numbers, origin point of millions of spam a day, etc. After all, you do have to give credit where due.
    • How long was LDAP the 'next big thing' in enterprise networking? Guess which OS actually brought LDAP to most of the worlds enterprise networks.

      Out of your list, only Solaris really deserves to be there as far as world changing OS's and even then saying genuine, generic Unix would be more correct. FreeBSD does not have a huge earth shattering install base, and Linux only began to see large scale adoption when it became good enough to replace existing Unix deployments. That was because it was free.
  • NCSA httpd? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeffrey Baker ( 6191 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @08:04PM (#15007339)
    I'll grant them most of these entries, but Apache was clearly not the first free web server. NCSA httpd was the first, and Apache is a derivative of that. The two coexisted for a few years, during which period it was possible to switch between them without even changing the config file. I think NCSA httpd project finally expired around 1996.
    • I think the CERN webserver predated even NCSA. It never got lots of traction. Any one know the timelines better?
      • Here [] is a pretty good "internet" timeline reference. Not much specific to web servers but does mention CERN and the first web server in 1991.

    • I ran the CERN webserver. At random intervals it would suck up all the available CPU and memory. Was glad to change that for Apache!
    • NCSA httpd was the first, and Apache is a derivative of that.

      Hence the name, of course - Apache is "a patchy" webserver, as it started off life as a bunch of patches to NCSA httpd.
      • Hence the name, of course - Apache is "a patchy" webserver, as it started off life as a bunch of patches to NCSA httpd.

        Well according to the Apache group this isn't actually true, although I believe it is - I just think they're trying to get away from the original meaning of the name.

        In relation to the parent post, if I remember correctly they started creating Apache as NCSA had stopped being developed.
  • by dotpavan ( 829804 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @08:04PM (#15007346) Homepage
    1) Myspace
    2) facebook
    3) friendster
    4) hi5

    these greatly improved my network ;)

  • by heatdeath ( 217147 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @08:05PM (#15007350)
    Where's SQL server 7.0? It changed the way we thought about worms and default passwords. :-D
  • OK, that was the good things. Now let's remember the bad things and how they started.

    - Adware. Ah.... the Gator download manager (TM). Didn't you love this thing? It was free! Only it began displaying some ads in your computer. What could possibly go wrong?

    - SPAM. Funny, the other day i began receiving mails about mortgage rates. Idiots, I'm too young for that. I'll ignore it, they're 1 in a 100.

    - Popups. OK, this is getting annoying. I'll have to block images from these free websites like XOOM, Geocities, Angelfire and so on.

    - Web viruses. The other day something weird went on. I went to a porn website, and the next day my PC began opening popups. WTF?

    - Email viruses. Ack! All I did was open my mail on Outlook express!

    It's funny. We take these things for granted, but I remember the days when they didn't exist AT ALL. It was a wonderful era. Also worthy of notice is that all of them (except popups) were possible thanks to Microsoft Windows(TM).
    • It's funny. We take these things for granted, but I remember the days when they didn't exist AT ALL. It was a wonderful era. Also worthy of notice is that all of them (except popups) were possible thanks to Microsoft Windows(TM).

      Eh hem, it's

      Microsoft® Windows®

      You don't want Steve Ballmer to throw a chair at you, do you? :)

      See MS Trademarks []

    • I think Canter and Siegel would have done their crap with or without Windows, so SPAM is another that wasn't courtesy of Microsoft. I'm thinking that Adware probably would have popped up for different platforms if, say, 99% of everyone was running a Mac at the time. Email Viruses though, that's sticky, anything that is so crazy about trying to tie kitchen-sink functionality into one app is asking to get burned. I guess by that logic, EMACS has been asking to get burned for 20+ years.
    • - Email viruses. Ack! All I did was open my mail on Outlook express!

      It's funny. We take these things for granted, but I remember the days when they didn't exist AT ALL.

      Ah, yeah, those days... I remember when I did tech support/installations. "Good Times" email "virus" was pretty popular back then, and I used to tell my customers, "Don't worry, ignore that message. There's no way you can get a virus via email unless you open the attachement. Simply reading your mail is perfectly safe".

      This was in the day
  • Wasn't Cabletron the early leader in the 10BASE-T hubs? That's seems to be my recollection.
    • Re:synoptics? (Score:2, Informative)

      by tomherbst ( 888500 )
      Cabletron and Synoptics were the two major leading competitors as proprietary Ethernet over twisted pair moved to 10BaseT. As I recall, Synoptics sold more and innovated more, but Cabletron kept them honest, especially on price. SynOptics did the heavy lifting on the 10BaseT spec.

    • We're talking how long ago now, though? Maybe I'm just being stupid about this, but it seems way too trivial to be genuinely concerned about who the first leader of 10BASE-T hubs was when you can get a 5-port gigabit switch for your home network for $20. That said, I still remember when I was sure 10/100 didn't mean megabits per second because that was just way too far ahead of 56k.
  • I find that xt, visual xtraceroute, only knows the geographical location of one in twenty hops. This thing [] which is an online visual traceroute somehow does a lot better.
  • w2k server? (Score:2, Informative)

    by jaymzter ( 452402 )
    Am I missing something? How did Widows 2000 Server "change" networking? They mention AD, but if that's the case then LDAP could've been listed just as well. Claiming that Windows was susceptible to Code Red is no big deal either. You could claim the Morris internet worm had a longer lasting effect on networking in the long run.
    • Re:w2k server? (Score:5, Informative)

      by misleb ( 129952 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @08:31PM (#15007529)
      As mentioned in the article, Novell was doing hierachal directories long before (and better than) Win2k. LDAP in and of itself wouldn't count because it wasn't use to centralize network management like NDS and AD were. Even today, generic LDAP based network management pales in comparison to NDS (now eDirectory).

  • christ almighty, this article is pure fluff. do the people at network world even *use* networks? christ almighty. "skype was a top 20 network changing product"?
    • Re:ugh, fluff (Score:2, Insightful)

      by heatdeath ( 217147 )
      do the people at network world even *use* networks? christ almighty. "skype was a top 20 network changing product"?

      Do you even *read* the news?

      Skype was a pioneer of what will probably become a major unique networking scenario in the next few years. All of the major network software companies are jumping on the bandwagon, and I'm sure it's going to be a scenario that drives a lot of changes.
      • The only innovation Skype did was working around NATs. Beating ugly hacks with ugly hacks just for the sake of short-term luser-friendliness. Bleh.

        We had dozens of VoIP programs a long time before Skype; what made them unpopular were troubles caused by ISPs. The end-of-life announcement of SpeakFreely [] is a good read.

        Basically, the #1 reason why IPv6 is not widely deployed yet is that it makes VoIP and peer-to-peer work flawlessly, something that goes against the concept of tiered internet. Those "major
        • Basically, the #1 reason why IPv6 is not widely deployed yet is that it makes VoIP and peer-to-peer work flawlessly, something that goes against the concept of tiered internet. Those "major network companies" you're speaking of are our enemies, not friends.

          Cue the black helicopters...

  • by InitZero ( 14837 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @08:43PM (#15007587) Homepage
    Yes, it is true. Mike Tyson could probably kick
    Muhammad Ali's ass. Of course, Mike Tyson is also
    nearly 20 years younger. So, who is the better boxer?

            For as much email has been run through sendmail in
    the last couple decades, I'm always disappointed at how
    little respect it receives.
            I built my first mail server in 1993 using sendmail.
    It brought internet email to my company over a serial
    uucp link. By 1996, sendmail was moving nearly 87,000
    internet messages a day for our company (not bad for a
    486DX4-100 with a whopping 32M RAM (64M?)).
            Saying the latest mail software (qmail, postfix, etc.)
    is better than something written in 1972 - 27 years ago -
    isn't saying much. (Well, maybe: Duh!)
            Heck, 27 computing years is like 350 human years.

            So, before you complain about security holes (one
    in the last two years?) or complexity (like any other
    programming language, practice makes perfect), why don't
    you tell me which mail transport software you used in
    1975, 1985 or 1995. Then, follow that up with which
    transports you expect to see a lot of in 2010 and 2020.

  • by leereyno ( 32197 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @08:52PM (#15007631) Homepage Journal
    This article, like most articles of its type, contains misleading generalities and outright factual errors.

    1) Apache was NOT the first free web server. Both CERN httpd and NCSA's httpd predate it, and both were free.
    2) Netscape and Spyglass's version of Mosaic were the first commercial WEB BROWSERS. The article states that both were the first commercial GUI's. Last time I checked the first commercial GUI was to be found on the Xerox Star circa 1981. Terminology matters, when you do not use a term correctly you create confusion and/or make yourself look like an arse.

    The problem with these sorts of articles, and the magazines in which they appear, is that they're being written by journalists. I can't tell you the number of times over the years that I've had the misfortune of reading something computer related in a magazine or newspaper and discovered multiple serious factual errors. I've come to accept this from periodicals that don't normally deal with computers or technology, but I'm pretty much fed up with finding errors in PC magazine on a regular ongoing basis.

    Who are the people who write these articles? There are some people who are interested in computers but aren't quite there yet in terms of their understanding. Many are not blessed with "the knack" ( []) Others are so blessed, but are still neophytes. Either way they're very good at creating and passing on erroneous information about computers and technology.


    • Apache was NOT the first free web server. Both CERN httpd and NCSA's httpd predate it, and both were free.

      Well, Apache started off as a set of patches for NSCA httpd afer Rob McCool (still the best name in Computer Science) left, so it could be seen as the continuation of NCSA httpd, so, more of a name change than a new product.

  • by drwho ( 4190 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @08:56PM (#15007651) Homepage Journal
    Sendmail is one of the most successful remote-access programs ever.

    Sendmail has provided the essential r00t access for hax0rz to improve their skills in the past. Before Linux was cheap and available, one had to go out, and like a predator, acquire one's operating system privs. Sendmail was teh great enabler. Though I have moved on to better and brighter things, I thank Alman, and Vixie, for their great success in bringing r00t to the large number of adolescents everywhere.
  • subject says it all really.

    I'd say that the two most profound things to happen to networking, aside from it's mere existence, are p2p and wireless. All the other things are just what's necessary in order to have a network (to a greater or lesser degree), but p2p and wireless have fundamentally changed what networking is, not just how we do it.
    • Right there on page 2. AT&T WaveLAN.

      I don't think these are in any particular order, otherwise I'd think webservers and browsers would have rated a tad higher.

      • oh bugger, oops.

        I thought it was time sorted, so having flicked through the whole lot (and missed that one) I went backwards but when I hit win95 I stopped.
        • actually they are time sorted, I just didn't realise wLAN had been around so long..
        • I can't see any rhyme or reason to the sorting, which is fine I guess. It's kind of a messy list as has been pointed out before (Yes SKYPE, no IRC, Yes Cellphone, No VPN?). How about IM, TCP/IP, maybe instead of Skype, how about VOIP as a concept?
  • Citrix? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kahanamoku ( 470295 )
    Although there are many others out there, citrix should've at least rated a mention! it has changed the face of many remote connectivity environments all over the place!
  • by erice ( 13380 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @09:19PM (#15007767) Homepage
    The web began with Cern's browser, of course, but it was not the Web as we know it today. More of an improved gopher. NCSA Mosaic was the first graphical browser and that changed everything.

    Netscape was just an improved NCSA Mosaic, albiet a hugely popular one. Smoother, faster, but network changing? I think not. Spyglass was an early ancestor of IE and, I think, AOL's browser but as itself it changed nothing.
  • New Zealand's biggest ISP Xtra is about it implement port 25 blocking, so making Sendmail kinda redundant unless you use the big boy's server: d=204 []

    'Course, a fair chunk of Xtra is owned by Microsoft, but that's got nothing to do with it right?

    It makes people's mail easier to intercept too, if you only have to get it from centralised mail servers.

    It might stop some spam, but then so would chopping the cables.

    Vik :v)
    • If you are running your own mail server outside your ISP's network, you shouldn't be using port 25 in the first place. Configure your mail server to use TLS or SSL with proper authentication, and use port 587 or 465 to send your mail through it.

      I have no sympathy for anyone who whines about port 25 being blocked. Judging from the number of zombied PCs trying to send spam to me, I would say that port 25 should be blocked by default at consumer ISPs.

  • Ethernet - it was and still is a standard that people could afford NAT - It made IP networking affordable VPN - It made remote access more feasible Wi-fi - It gave greater freedom to network users
  • by NullProg ( 70833 )
    Give credit. AOL went from 1 million Apple/Commodore/Atari users to twenty million PC users within a couple of years. Compuserve didn't mail out all the free CDs or the story might have ended differently. Anyone remember Prodigy? []

    Does anyone also remember what it took for that AOL icon to appear on your fresh Windows install?

    Other than that, I question Skype changing the network world.
    I was/still am redirecting/receiving local voice/radio/etc over tcp/ip since 1
  • Nostalgia (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Runesabre ( 732910 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @11:36PM (#15008364) Homepage
    20 years ago I remember taking a high school computer class. The teacher showed us, almost reverently, the 300 baud modem hooked up to one of the TRS-80 computers. I can still remember thinking how cool and impressive that was. None of the students were allowed to come near that "powerful" equipment.

    Today, I have a 5mbit download cable modem and just finished a work order to have a dedicated, full T1 put into my house for my new company.

    Amazing how times have changed. What hasn't changed is how cool it all still is.
    • That was closer to 30 years ago. Trash 80's were long out of date by 1986. Modems were commonly 2400 baud and there were fast modems (trailblazers) introduced around that time. Of course, high schools could have been a decade out of date.

      My first modem was a Prometheus 1200 in 1983. I've had a T1 in my home for over 5 years. Can't wait to get rid of it and stop paying those bills.
  • Without it, we would all be stuck with the BBN implementation of it.
  • smail [] was supposed to be loads easier to set up and use than sendmail, since back around 1986ish.
  • by Foo2rama ( 755806 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @03:56AM (#15009080) Homepage Journal
    Windows 95 was the first OS to make it easy to get on the net. OK, mac system 7.0 circa 1991 had a full ethernet setup and supported tcp/ip which you could change without having to restart(GASP!!!) It took untill XP for windows not to need to be restarted to change tcp/ip settings. Not to mention that dealing with anything network related everything up to windows ME was frustrating and counter intuitive. Any remembersetting up pppoe on those systems? system 7.0 was 32bit set the benchmark for consumer GUI and set the stage for all mac OS's untill the release of osX in 2001. 10 years and the OS was still running strong from a user standpoint (I know the mem codeing was horrid.)

    I am not trying to be a Mac fanboy here but, it took untill at least windows 98 and argueably XP for ease of use consumer networking on windows.
  • Netscape 1.0 [] Unfortunatly only for Windows and many sites won't work.
  • Compuserve
    Encrypted communications in general

    just off the top of my head....
  • It's just outside of the 20 year scope of this article but I don't think anything changed what was to become the Internet more than DNS back in '83. Before that we were all sharing a big hostfile.

    If this weren't /. I would have been surprised that this article even got posted. For example, to mention Skype in the same breath as Sendmail... Sendmail quickly became something that everyone relied upon for email. Skype is just one solution used by some people, but certainly not everyone. Not by a long shot.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.