[Dale.Moore@PS1.CS.CMU.EDU: ]

Mon 23 Nov 87 17:05:27-EST

Some people might be interested in the latest status of our VMS TCP/IP package.

        Vince Fuller, CMU-CSD

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Date: 23 Nov 1987 17:00:19 EST
From: Dale.Moore@PS1.CS.CMU.EDU
To: cmu-tek-tcp@C.CS.CMU.EDU

I thought that some of you might appreciate hearing what is going on
here at CMU-TEK IP/TCP world headquarters. I figured I'd take some
time and write you all a note. A Christmas Card sort'of.

The current release of the software is V6.2. If you don't have
it, you probably want to get it. V6.2 has some unique problems of its
own, but it is in a bit better health than the old V6.0. To get the
V6.2 of the software, please send snail mail to

        CMU-TEK IP/TCP Requests
        4910 Forbes Av.
        Computation Center
        Carnegie Mellon University
        Pittsburgh PA 15213 USA

Last week, we had over 450 sites liscensed for this software.
We do not keep track of how many machines at each site.
Many of the requests we receive come from Europe, New Zeland and
Australia. Perhaps someday, we'll have to see if we can get
some travel out of this.

We personally get many requests for help. Some of it quite difficult
and some easy. Since this is not a real product, almost everyone
is absolutely delighted with any help we can find the time to give them.
The best collection of information and help is a mailing list we've set
up called "CMU-TEK-TCP-Requests@C.CS.CMU.EDU". Actually that's the
address you use to get added/removed from the list. The actual
mailing is something else, but too many folks send mail to the mailing
list, when they really want added to it. Since we can't spend to
much time hand holding with the users, the other folks who are on the
mailing list can often add their own insight to your views and problems.

Some folks expect us at CMU to do extensive answer/question sessions.
We get phone calls that go like "We got our first VAX last week and we
couldn't get your stuff to work and my boss told me to call you." and
"Ok, push down the Control button. Got it pushed down? Now type C."
Some consultants earn over $300 per day. Good ones are probably
worth it. If you need more than just a little help, I recommend that
you purchase a supported IP/TCP, or get some professional help.

Currently, there are three of us at the CMU-TEK IP/TCP world headquarters.
Two of us are working on the software. Actually, we are only working on it
part time. I know of no plans of increasing the amount of technical support
that CMU is giving this software. We have other responsibilities and
commitments that we must take care of here.

We have a clerical and administrative staff of one, really one half.
He has other responsibilities also. We will probably this to one full
time position, to better respond to the increasing load.

Vince Fuller, one of the two member technical staff, will soon be leaving
CMU for the better weather of California. Vince has done a wonderful
job with all the work to the ACP and lately NAMSRV.
Whether Vince will find time, at his new position, to continue to do
development and maintenance remains to be seen. We will miss him and
wish him the best at his new job.

We hope to get the V6.3 release into beta test sometime in the next few
months. If you have
        - excellent communication and technical skills,
        - are on the Arpa/Internet,
        - have a liscense for Bliss-32,
        - have a variety of Vax hardware,
        - are already running V6.2 of the software, and
        - are running VMS V4.6.
we might appreciate it if you'd be a beta test site. If you only have
5 of the 6 above we still might appreciate it. Please don't
volunteer because you want the latest greatest version with the
whizziest functions. Do it because you want to help us get something
out that has many fewer problems that the last release.
This time we hope to do a more extensive beta - testing in order to
avoid some of the problems that we had on the last release.

Some of the things that we are working to put into the V6.3 beta release
        - a telnet server that is part of the ACP. This will reduce
        traffic and improve performance.
        - many fixes to Namsrv.
        - FTP's ability to handle arbitrary RMS file formats. To my
        knowledge, no other IP/TCP product for VMS does this!
        - User manuals for the various user utilities.
        - More documentation on how to configure your machine.

We have done this software for our own use. It is not our
intention of supporting it as a commercial product. Many have asked
us about implementing other network mediums besides the DEC ethernet
interface, such as Serial Line and X.25. Our access to such testing
is limited. We hope, that by distributing the sources, if others need
such functionality that they'll add it. And if they add it, they'll
return the improvements. If they return the improvements to us, we'll
try to give the improvements to the rest of you.

I'd like to thank the very few of you who have had the time to return your
bug fixes and improvements. We all appreciate it.

The software is popular. It is becoming more popular. We are
working on improving it, but we are limited in the amount of time
that we can spend on it. Some external funding that we were hoping
for did not work out. I think that even though this may not be the
best supported IP/TCP for VMS, it certainly is the best per dollar.

Dale Moore
Research Systems Programmer
Computer Science Department
Carnegie Mellon University


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