Merton Campbell Crockett (
Fri, 11 Sep 87 07:13:47 PDT

Vicky, Dan, et. al.:

If you can get access to the Request For Proposal (RFP) and the vendor propos-
als for LONS, RAPIDE, UTAIN/MAIS, and ULANA; you may find some of the answers
to the questions that you have raised.

LONS and its predecessor LONEX (Local Office Network Experiment) are probably
more in line with what you want to do. LONEX has been operational since the
early 80's at Rome Air Development Center (RADC), Griffiss AFB and has links
to and facilities at Hanscom Field and Wright-Patterson AFB. This message is
being generated from home on a Tandy 2000 linked to the LONEX development and
maintenance network at EATON IMSD in Westlake Village, CA which is also linked

LONEX was originally designed for a broadband with dedicated links to Hanscom
and Wright-Patterson; however, the broadband has been replaced with Ethernet
and the dedicated links are being replaced by the MILNET. The original plan
was to support a large number of users using VT100 or VT100 compatible term-
inals; however, that is also changing with many of the organisations using
LONEX replacing them with PC's.

PC's are not as fully integrated as you would like and generally use terminal
emulation packages to interface with the network. I, personally, use the
Softronic's SoftermPC package on which I have implemented a seamless disk
capability so that disks on the network look like local hard disks to my PC.
I can tell you from experience it can be painful--applications developed for
MS-DOS choke if you have to use UNIX pathnames to get to your data. For
some silly reason they attempt to parse switches whenever they see a "/".

Anyway, the LONEX system runs on anything that can run on any processor that
supports 2.9bsd or 4.3bsd. It goes "boom" on System Vanilla. It supports
several of the more popular spreadsheet programs and databases and depending
on the size of your spreadsheets moves the processing to more appropriate
machines. Users in essence always execute from their home processor regard-
less of where they may be and for the most part its transparent to the user.
If you normally work at Hanscom but are temporarily at Wright Patterson, you
may notice some latency. (This feature is probably the biggest reason why
there hasn't been a stronger hue and cry for more fully integrating PCs into
the system. As long as you can get to a TAC, you can work on your reports
from anywhere in the world. You don't have to lug the PC along and if you're
forced to fly commercial, you avoid the hassle at customs where they try to
extract the import duties on your PC).

Enough this. Request a tour and briefing from RADC to determine if it is
useful and to find the pitfalls.

Merton Campbell Crockett
AN/GYQ-21(V) Program
EATON Information Management Systems
31717 La Tienda Drive, Box 5009
Westlake Village, CA 91539

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