[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[ih] Impact of history on today's technology [was: why did CC happen at all?]

On 9/4/2014 14:41, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
> I think there is a rather philosophical history question here,
> all the same.
> What, in general, is the impact of historical technological
> issues on current protocols and practices? To take a completely
> different example, there was a considerable period when handling
> larger than 16 bit quantities in minicomputers was awkward and
> slow, so there was a tendency to design stuff around that constraint.
> Or consider the cost of electronics and cabling in the token ring vs
> Ethernet argument. I'm sure there are a dozen examples of tech issues
> from the 1960s and 1970s that still have significant impact today.

I was not a part of the network-development world except as a "consumer" 
of sorts.

It appears to me, from what was a UNIVAC 1100-centric view of the world 
the the emerging networks stuff--like a lot of earlier 
telecommunications stuff--had a a strong IBM coloration, flavor, and odor.

For example, when the realization dawned that 4, 8, and 16 were not 
natural limits on word size and 8 bits was the only sub-division 
possible, 32 bits (and 8 bits) took over, leaving us who lived in an 
8-bit-36-bit world with some awkward arithmetic.

The unique Characteristics of System Administrators:

The fact that they are infallible; and,

The fact that they learn from their mistakes.