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Comment Re:Freenets? (Score 1) 116

Yes, before my time, but Freenet has/had another meaning besides freenetproject.org

I.e., there were Freenets other than the one based on Ian Clarke's design?

(perhaps inspired their name though?)

Yes, I think the domain name "freenetproject.org" was chosen by the Freenet developers because they wanted a domain name containing "freenet".

(I.e., "freenetproject.org" appears to be the domain name for the Freenet Project; it's not just a bunch of people who liked Freenet and decided to have a domain name with "freenet" in it.)

Comment Re:Freenets? (Score 1) 116

As I stated, I used Archie, Gopher and IRC.. and as I just remembered EW-Too chat prgrams and MUDs/MUSHes/Etc... and was connecting to them directly from a shell account.... so by your definition that falls under ISP.

OK, I guess I didn't make it clear enough.

If you can send IP packets over your dialup connection and have them routed onto the Internet, and have IP packets from the Internet routed to your machine over the dialup connection, you're dialed into an ISP.

If you have to dial up a host and log in to getty over that dialup connection, then you're dialed up to a UNIX shell service provider, not an ISP, even if the UNIX host you've logged into happens to be connected to the Internet.

If a UUCP program on your machine has to dial up a host and log into a UUCP account over that dialup connection, then you're dialed up to a UUCP service provider, not an ISP, even if the host you're connecting to via UUCP can route emails to the Internet.

So unless you were using Archie and Gopher and IRC clients running on your machine at home, with those clients sending IP packets out over a SLIP connection and receiving IP packets from that SLIP connection, you were not dialing into an ISP.

Comment Re:Definitely not the first (Score 1) 116

"but they aren't sufficient to make you an ISP."

Of course they were. What does the I in ISP mean? "Internet".

If what you offer can interoperate with the network, you're an ISP.

If you can route packets from clients to the Internet, you're an ISP.

If you can only route mail messages and Usenet mail postings to the Internet, with your clients using UUCP to send them and receive them, and perhaps provide the ability to download and upload files using UUCP and maybe other uux-based services, you're a UUCP service provider, not an ISP.

Comment Re:Not the first, just the most egotistical. (Score 1) 116

Why? The IP network was tiny back then and the uucp network was enormous ans had all the apps. There were no people passing packet back then because nobody wanted to - they didn't need to. You could get everything the network had to offer via uucp.

OK, so there wasn't much of a market for ISPs back then, and most organizations offering dialup services weren't ISPs, they provided UUCP access or UNIX shell access or a BBS or....

So, if neither agora nor PDxs nor Teleport offered your machine the ability to directly transmit IP packets to and receive IP packets from hosts on the Internet, they may have offered very useful services, but they weren't ISPs, and thus do not count as evidence that The World wasn't the first dialup ISP.

If you want to prove that The World wasn't the first dialup ISP - not "the first dialup service provider", Barry's smart enough not to claim that The World was that - you're going to have to find an organization providing dialup direct Internet access before they did.

Comment Re:Freenets? (Score 1) 116

No. UUCP was the 'internet' until TCP/IP became more popular. The first personal computers used UUCP to connect to the internet. By internet, I mean the hardware and lines. TCP/IP is not the internet. It's an internet protocol. A way to tonnect to communicate vie 'the internet'.

The Internet, with a capital "I", as in "Internet Service Provider", uses the Internet protocol suite (IP, UDP, TCP, etc.), not UUCP, although UUCP can run over TCP. I don't care what you mean by "internet", with a lower-case "i"; as we're talking about who was the first Internet-with-a-capital-I service provider, what you mean by "internet" is completely irrelevant.

Here, let me help you out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U...

Here, let me help you out. You may recognize a name that appears several times on that page; why giving me the URL of a page that I have edited several times doesn't "help me out", if by that you mean "informing me of something I didn't know". I'm quite familiar with UUCP, having used it in the 1980's and early 1990's, and having managed it at some of the companies at which I worked.

Comment Re:Not the first, just the most egotistical. (Score 1) 116

Portland had "agora" in 1985. PDxs and Teleport joined in 1987.

With all three of them routing packets between a host on the other end of a dialup SLIP connection (not PPP, the first RFCs for that came out in 1989) and the Internet? If not, they weren't ISPs, they were providers of other dialup services.

Comment Re:Is my memory failing or ... (Score 1) 116

Before I got a Sysop account at Compuserve, I paid $9.95 if memory serves. All the companies were there to download updates from, you could download libraries, utilities, examples, FAQs and Howtos, talk with the programmers, whine to the quality assurance people, you could buy books, jeans and coffee an some other stuff, play multiplayer games (all text) send email to the world, read usenet newsgroups, get email newsletters (tweets with no limit, for the young whippersnappers amongst you) and later also use the web.

Why would people pay the double for what exactly?

The ability to connect to an arbitrary Internet-based service with a client program that connects using TCP?

Perhaps what you describe was adequate for the vast majority of users, but somebody who wanted direct access to the Internet, including, for example, the ability to (perhaps slooooowly) FTP to an available Internet FTP site would welcome it.

Comment Re:Definitely not the first (Score 1) 116

I don't know who was first but I was on Wetware Diversions, a dial-up ISP in San Francisco connected to the Internet in as early as 1987 and it was up before then ...

DNS wasn't even in use at the time

RFC 882 and RFC 883 were published as early as 1983, so I really doubt that DNS wasn't at use at all in 1987.

I recall as e-mail addresses still needed to use bangs ("!") for routing

That's a UUCP convention, not used on the real Internet. Perhaps the service that you used required bang paths and didn't use DNS, but DNS was most definitely in use by people connected to the Internet (as opposed to people connected to a dialup service that gatewayed email onto the Internet).

I did a quick search for "Wetware Diversions" and came up with this long list of ISPs going back as far as 1988:


That says

07/89 415-753-5265^ wet San Francisco CA 3/12/24 24
386 SYS V.3. Wetware Diversions. $15 registration, $0.01/minute.
Public Access UNIX System: uucp, PicoSpan bbs, full Usenet News,
multiple lines, shell access. Newusers get initial credit!
contact:{ucsfcca|claris|hoptoad}!wet!cc (Christopher Cilley)

I see nothing about "Internet" there. I see "uucp", "bbs", "Usenet", and "shell access", all of which can be provided as dialup services, and none of which necessarily imply that they support something such as SLIP or PPP over dialup lines and route packets between the host on the other end of the dialup line and the Internet, that being what being an Internet Service Provider indicates that you do.

UUCP (including UUCP mail and USENET), BBS access, and dialup shell access were certainly very useful services at the time, but they aren't sufficient to make you an ISP.

If you're going to quibble that Barry wasn't the first dialup ISP - not the first provider of dialup UUCP or the first provider of dialup BBS access or the first provider of dialup shell services - then talk about earlier ISPs, not earlier providers of dialup UUCP or dialup BBS access or dialup shell services.

Comment Re:Freenets? (Score 1) 116

I was dialing up to Freenets back in 1988, paying for 'privileged' access (though they were non-profit) and was using email, archie, gopher, IRC, etc... Wouldn't this be considered an ISP?

Only if you could send IP packets directly onto the Internet and receive IP packets directly from the Internet, which would seem to imply that they were Freenets in a sense other than this sense of Freenet ("Freenet is a self-contained network, while Tor allows accessing the web anonymously, as well as using "hidden services" (anonymous web servers). Freenet is not a proxy: You cannot connect to services like Google or Facebook using Freenet." And, no, "Google and Facebook didn't exist at the time" is not a counterargument; replace them with whatever Internet services existed at the time, and if the resulting "You cannot connect to service such as ... using Freenet." remains true, it wasn't an ISP.).

Comment Re:First? (Score 2) 116


1984 ?

BITNET routed IP packets onto the Internet in 1984?

(Remember, unless you Provide a Service that routes packets onto the Internet, you're not an ISP. You may be a UUCP service provider, you may be a BITNET service provider, you may be a BBS service provider, and that all may be very important, but you're not an Internet service provider, as per the "ISP" in the title of this article, unless you let your customers send IP datagrams onto the Internet; relaying mail onto the Internet, while an extremely useful service, is not sufficient to qualify you as an ISP.)

Comment Re:more like 1987 (Score 2) 116

Yeah, not the first. There were multiple public ISPs in Portland in 1989. PDxs, agora, Teleport...

One is still around, nearly 30 years later - Raindrop Laboratories http://www.rdrop.com/ still has its "vintage" mid '90s web page, too. (It has been around since 1985.)

If you follow the "Alan Batie" link from RainDrop's home page, and then follow his "agora" link from "I work at Peak Internet, a local ISP in Corvallis, Oregon. I also run a small ISP in Portland, Oregon, called RainDrop Laboratories. It started in 1985 as a public access system called Agora, while I was working at Intel.", it speaks of agora's RainNet Internet access starting in 1990 - "Now that our subject had SVR4, with TCP/IP and all, and there being several other hacker sorts around town who'd been eyeing the Internet with envy for sometime, it was time to see if something could be done locally. RAINet was thus born in the fall of 1990, and its first connection was a 2400 bps SLIP link between agora and parsely (another local public access system, owned by Tod Oace at the time)."

(Remember, unless you actually Provide a Service that lets you send IP packets onto the Internet, you're not an Internet Service Provider. Dialup BBSes don't count, UUCP doesn't count, only SLIP/PPP/bridged Ethernet/PPPoEoAoDSL/PPPoAoDSL/DOCSIS/etc. so that you can splat out one of these things - or one of these things - onto the Internet counts.)

Comment Re:Big problem: Linux won (Score 1) 430

Linux has won. Most Linux users have never used a traditional Unix, and most never will. You say that as though you think it's a bad thing. Think of it as evolution in action.

It's a bad thing for documentation writers who think "{the only XXX tool on your system} is like {traditional UNIX XXX tool} but with these extra options" is adequate documentation for the XXX tool in question.

And it's an unfortunate thing for Linux users (or users of any other UN*X on which the XXX tool documented in that question is the XXX tool) who want complete documentation for the XXX tool in question.

Comment Re:This naming trend has to stop (Score 2) 188

Yeah, "Safari" and "Opera" are such more functional names for a Web browser than "Konqueror".

They aren't better names

If you seriously think I was suggesting that they were better names, you really need to go get your sarcasm detector re-calibrated.

and that is reflected in the fact that nobody uses them.

Presumably by "nobody uses them" you mean "nobody uses those browsers", and by "nobody uses" you mean "most people don't use".

However, you have not demonstrated that there is any connection between the lower market share for those browsers and their choice of name.

Much of Safari's lower market share may be due to its low market share on Windows, an OS to which it was a latecomer and may never have had a chance to be a contender.

You've just weakened your own argument with that statement.

You've just demonstrated that you don't even understand the argument by everything you've said here.

The number one web browser is still Internet Explorer.

According to NetMarketShare, but not according to StatCounter or W3Counter.

(And the statistics for mobile browsers are a bit different.)

Comment Re:This naming trend has to stop (Score 2) 188

Pick more functional names so I don't have to explain to people, "no, dolphin is the file manager and konqueror is the browser.'

Yeah, "Safari" and "Opera" are such more functional names for a Web browser than "Konqueror".

(And "Windows Explorer" is such a functional name for a file manager; it doesn't at all sound as if somebody tried to give it a name reminiscent of their Web browser.)

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