A Hobbyist DECnet Network

Robert Armstrong bob at jfcl.com
Thu Dec 8 17:41:03 CST 2005

  I'm interested in setting up a network of hobbyist DEC machines linked
together in a DECnet phase IV network.  Why?  I suppose there's no really
good reason, but it seems like it would be fun to be able to do "SHOW NET"
or "NCP SHOW ACTIVE NODES" and see a whole long list of machines that aren't
mine :-)  Besides, it would be a good way to share access to real,
non-simulated, VMS/RSX/RSTS and even, maybe, TOPS-10 or 20, machines.

  Does anyone else agree?  Is anyone else interested in participating?

  I know I'm not the first to think of this; in particular, I've had a few
email discussions recently with Johnny Billquist about HECnet,


At some point I'd like to link up with HECnet, but right now Johnny is
having ISP problems and it sounds like HECnet is down to one or two nodes.

  Are there any other hobbyist DECnet associations that are going strong?

  As for technology, it seems like the best thing would be to use the
Internet as our communications medium.  Nobody wants to pay for
point-to-point leased lines anymore, after all.  Multinet, TCPware, and even
DECNet Phase V all have the ability to send DECnet traffic over IP.  Right
now I'm leaning towards Multinet - they have a free hobbyist license
program, and Multinet can create point-to-point virtual DECnet circuits
using UDP packets that can be routed over the Internet.  They're simple to
set up and administer.

  I have a fair amount of Internet bandwidth available at my location, and I
can set aside a VS4000 VLC or model 90 to serve as a dedicated Phase IV
routing node.

Bob Armstrong

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