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[ih] What is the origin of the root account?

On Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 8:05 AM, Craig Partridge <craig at aland.bbn.com> wrote:
> A footnote -- this was also true within BBN.  The IMP guys weren't the
> folks who won the TCP contract -- it was the OS (TENEX) guys.

Sorry...not true.  To get the history straight...while I still remember...

The work I did, which included that Unix TCP associated with the ISI
Bakeoff, was done in Frank Heart's division, which also contained "the
IMP guys".  That's where the ARPANET was developed and operated
beginning back in 1969 or so.  The IMP guys at the time (1978 or so)
-- Heart, Walden, Cosell, Barker, McKenzie, Robinson, Roberts, Malis,
(Jim) Herman, etc., all had offices just down the hall.  Heart's group
also included Gurwitz (Vax TCP), Wingfield (11/70 Unix TCP), Nemeth,
Hinden(TAC TCP), Rosen, McQuillan, Malis, and many others that did
both ARPANET stuff and/or Internet stuff.   I'm afraid I'm missing a
lot of names.   The "OS/Tenex Guys" were in another BBN division,
which included Bill Plummer's TCP work (Tenex TCP) as well as a number
of other ARPA "Internet" projects such as Packet Radio, but no
IMP-related work that I recall.  Again, many more names were involved.

The "gateway" work began in the "OS/Tenex" division (Ginny Strazisar,
and I think maybe Ray Tomlinson) to interconnect Packet Radio nets
with the Arpanet.   That work was subsequently moved from the
"OS/Tenex" division to "the IMP guys" division by Vint as we focused
on bringing up the Internet as an operational service (i.e., keep the
gateways/routers running 24x7 like the IMPs were).   In retrospect, I
think that the proximity of "the IMP guys" to "the Internet guys"
(Hinden, Brescia, Sheltzer and others over time) was crucial to
getting the Internet to become a "public utility", by the osmosis of
the ARPANET experience into the Internet machinery being created.  In
those early days, the Network Operations Center ran both the ARPANET
(all the IMPs) and the neonatal Internet (all the "core gateways") on
a 7x24 basis, and the NOC was literally around the corner from both
"the IMP guys" and "the Internet guys".

Some of the history was captured in the quarterly reports that had to
be submitted for each contract.  Here's one from November 1981 --
http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a108783.pdf  -- that covers
some of the TCP development, i.e., the Vax and HP3000 TCPs, and also
the "Internet operations and maintenance" work.   I'm pretty sure I
wrote that one -- Bob Bressler had gotten tired of doing them himself.
 Writing the quarterly report ("QTR") was one of those things I had to
do for a lot of the Internet-associated work, at least until I found
someone else to do it.  The customers were never satisfied and always
seemed to want another just a few months later .... we just wanted to
write code...

You can trace a lot of history by googling for the QTRs associated
with a contract.   Everybody had to write them, not just BBN.   They
often contain much more information about projects and milestones than
things like RFCs and IENs that might have been published later down
the road.  It was always somewhat amusing that our contracts hardly
ever required us to actually deliver much of anything tangible - like
an actual TCP implementation.  They often only required us to deliver
Quarterly Technical Reports - that's what we were being paid to do.
Deliver a few pieces of paper every few months, and we'll send you a
boatload of cash.

To answer another question from this thread... I don't believe anyone
had "an ARPA contract".  As I recall, ARPA never entered into a
contract, but got someone else to do it - like DCA or the Army, Navy,
Air Force, etc.  See page 2 of that 1981 QTR for the contracts under
which several of those "reference" TCPs and the Internet Operations
were done.    However, regardless of whose name was on the contract,
the *funds* might have come from different sources within the
government, e.g., ARPA's budget in the early stages when the work was
"researchy" and DCA's budget in later stages, when the work was
"operational", or the Navy's budget if they really really wanted to
use the results on a ship, etc.    So any specific contract might have
had funds from many sources, changing over time.  We had contracts
through DCA as well as the Army, Navy, and others.  Of course we
techies couldn't really tell the difference.  But for years I was the
"Program Manager" and/or "Principal Investigator" of some of these
contracts, and had to deal with the bizarre world of contracts and its
bureaucratic flora and fauna.  And you think networks are complicated!

if you somehow didn't send the QTR to the right place, they simply
didn't send the check.  Literally.  Didn't even ask why they didn't
get the QTR.  Been there, done that.  Could have put BBN under.  As
the saying goes... Follow the money.

/Jack Haverty