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[ih] Obscure e-mail systems

Telex is still in use in some places, as is Morse Code.

On 3/17/16 12:16 AM, Ofer Inbar wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 16, 2016 at 08:37:15PM -0400,
> "John R. Levine" <johnl at iecc.com> wrote:
>>>> Ooh, let's play mine's older and cruftier than yours!
>>> you may not want to do that.
>> I didn't say I would win.
> I think the airline industry must win that one, with their
> communications protocols that were already old and crufty when
> the Internet was new.
> I think it was less than 5 years ago that I was in a conference call
> when someone at the other end asked me if we would prefer EBCDIC or
> ASCII for the link we were setting up with them.  I'm sure if I'd
> said EBCDIC they would've provided it.
> So on the topic of "obscure email systems", they've still got what
> they refer to as "teletype messages" which can be addressed to go
> directly (well, via store-and-forward through multiple hops) to
> printers intended for humans to read.  Messages in the teletype
> format have a 64 character maximum line length, and are limited
> to the teletype character set (which is all-caps, of course), and
> actually use some of the low ASCII codes for their name-appropriate
> purposes; for example ^B STX marks the start of the message body
> (start of text!) and ^C ETX marks the end of the message body.
> Mostly, tty messages in the airline industry these days are from one
> reservations system to another, generated and parsed by computers, but
> some are still hand-entered by humans, and some are still addressed to
> endpoints such as printers or mailboxes intended to be read by humans.
> It is a sort of email that pre-dates email (and was never called email).
> Addresses are 7 character alphanumeric (all caps!) strings, where the
> last two characters indicate the recipient system, and the first 5 are
> basically the "local part" but follow a standard convention of 3 char
> location + 2 char category/type.  For example CLTRMAA would be
> American Airlines, Reservations Message, Charlotte NC (location is
> generally an airport code, or one of a few standard conventions like
> "HDQ" for "headquarters").
> If you lose a checked bag after a flight and they trace it, chances
> are good that the baggage department's notification that the bag was
> found was sent to them as a teletype message by the baggage department
> that found it at some other airport.  Human-entered, human-read.
> At least there were (probably!) no actual teletypes involved :)
> But there may have been some ASCII->EBCDIC->ASCII on the way...
>    -- Cos
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In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.  .... Yogi Berra