Re: Help...looking for network anecdotes
Mon, 1 Feb 88 11:51:44 EST

     In fact, I think E-mail is a great story. What seems mundane to
us is a great leap forward to the rest of the world. A spoecific
example just a few months ago: I am on a security working group
considering the problem of integrity in data processing systems. This
group has both military and commercial security people. When we
started to plan the followup to a workshop, we found ourselves in two
groups: those that could exchange netmail, and those who could not.
The military folks, by and large, had interconnected mail addresses,
and they started proposing actions and schedules that seemed silly to
those with telephone and postal services. At the end, some of the
commercial security folks asked how they could get netmail, as it
seemed essential if they were to keep up with the others.

     Of course, the first netmail story is the building of the network
itself. The builders of the network were its forst users (as is only
fair; they get both the benefit and the pain). It is cldear to me, as
a member of that group, that the group effort necessary to build the
Internet simply could not have succeeded without netmail.

     Another local example is the Clinical Decision Making group at
the Laboratory for Computer Science. They are concerned with computer
support for doctors. They work with computer professionals and, more
to the point, with doctors. The doctors are not at MIT, but at various
medical schools in Boston and elsewhere. Those folks make heavy use of
networks, and in fact caused some of the local med schools to get
attached to the MIT net. Theu use the net for mail, but also for
remote execution of programs, for exchange of data, and for
distributed program interaction. They assert (I just asked them) that
network technology is critical to the way theyu do their work, and
that the patterns of working with remote colleagues would not be
nearly as effective without nets.

     There is nothing special about these stories; they a similar to
many others. But they are local, and real.

Dave Clark

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