Microsoft 3Comm MAC Spec available via FTP

Billy Brackenridge (
Tue 30 Aug 88 16:08:37-PDT

I now have an on-line copy of the Microsoft / 3Comm Media ACcess
(MAC) protocol specification.

This specification is the Microsoft 3Comm proposed standard for low
level networking under MS-DOS and OS/2. If you make any kind of
network hardware for IBM-PC or AT machines or write transport layer
protocols, you should look at this specification.

This file can be obtained via FTP from VENERA.ISI.EDU with the
path name pub/mac.txt. Log in with FTP user name ANONYMOUS and
password GUEST. cd to the directory pub and retrieve the file.

The file is 225K bytes long. No I won't mail it to you unless
exceptional conditions warrant exceptional behavior.

This version is dated 5/14/88. There are minor changes since the last
version I distributed.

Feel free to copy this document. Microsoft has assured me they are
interested in the widest possible distribution.

In the past networking code for the PC has been incompatible. The
various TCP/IP packages have been unable to operate resident in a PC
with the commercial proprietary network packages. If this standard is
adopted by the industry, users should have a wider choice of
interoperating protocol stacks and network hardware.

I would like to assume that part of Microsoft's and 3Comm's
motivation for publishing this specification is to get feedback from
the network community. Unfortunately the specification has leaked out
slowly and in a form that appears to be "take it of leave it". There
have been many objections to portions of this specification. Like
"The Last Temptation of Christ" many of those who cry the loudest
haven't read or comprehended the specification. I have corresponded
with others actually attempting to implement this specification who
have serious reservations and suggestions for improvement.

John Romkey will be running a PC special interest group session at
Interop '88. Many people have expressed an interest in discussing
this specification at that session. Everyone with whom I have
corresponded has expressed an interest in seeing a Microsoft and/or
3Comm representative at Interop '88 who can answer technical
questions about this specification.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Thu Mar 09 2000 - 14:43:14 GMT