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[ih] We can hang up now, it's all done.

On Nov 22, 2009, at 4:32 PM, John Day wrote:

> The earliest AIM, messaging I am aware of was Jim Calvin's Tenex  
> hack that we used on the ARPANet in 1972.

I have a paper on this very topic that I'm hoping to soon submit to  
IEEE Annals, which I first wrote for a graduate class here at the  
University of Washington in 2006.  I was fortunate enough to be able  
to track down many of the authors of early terminal to terminal  
communications.   As best as I was able to determine, the first  
instance of a terminal to terminal interaction appears to be ".SAVED/ 
WRITE" which was part of CTSS in 1965, and authored by Tom Van Vleck,  
Noel Morris, and Robert R. Fenichel.

In 1965, on the SDS-940, Deutsch and Lampson wrote the "LINK" command  
to allow two terminals to directly communicate.  "DIAL" appeared in  
1966 on the Q-32 as noted by R. Linde and P. Chaney.  DTSS in 1968  
(until it was removed from service) allowed linked terminals, which  
was authored by Sidney Marshall.

Dan Murphy noted a local terminal-terminal feature on TENEX in 1970,  
and in 1970 (or 1974, the date is unsure), Bob Frankston implemented  
"send_message" on Multics.  The "write" command appeared in Unix in  
1971.   As John notes, TENEX appears to be the first to have  
implemented a true inter-system chat, in 1972.

The first instance of this type of capability in a commercial system  
appears to be IBM's CP/67 Release 3 (approximately November 1970) in  
the CP "MSG" command.   David Tuttle and Lynn Wheeler, two of the  
principal authors of the code were kind enough to share their  
recollections in personal email (I'm not sure if either of them is on  
the list).  At that time, the "MSG" command was intra-system only.

PLATO had the first multi-user chat with "Talkomatic" in the fall of  
1973 (written by Doug Brown).  PLATO also supported direct inter-user  
local messaging with "term talk".

Shortly afterwards, remote messaging appears in Multics in 1974 with  
"net_atalk" (written by Kenneth T. Pogran).   And in January of 1975  
(VM Release 2 PLC 11), IBM VM supported remote system chat using the  
"RSCS CMD / TELL" commands over bisync connections (noted by Melinda  
Varian).   The "talk" command in Unix with remote system support seems  
to have arrived in 1983.

So in terms of ARPANET connected inter-system messaging, TENEX in  
1972, Multics in 1974, and Unix in 1983 seems to be how things evolved.

If anyone would like a copy of the current paper, please drop me a  
note.   It's quite "rough around the edges" since it was an academic  
work, produced under deadline, and could easily have filled twice the  
length; it became apparent even while writing it the whole thing would  
need to be reworked for clarity.   I'm hoping the Annals submission  
will be much more readable.


(an EIES programmer from NJIT in the early '80s -- thanks to Larry for  
remembering us :)