early desktop TCP/IP implementations (was Re: "first" computer on the internet)

Phil Budne phil at ultimate.com
Thu Jul 24 13:30:02 CDT 2008

Brad Parker <brad at heeltoe.com> wrote:
> mmm.  it's coming back to me.  The pc based tcp/ip work done at
> MIT. That was the first tcp/ip on a pc I think

This would be Romkey's PC/IP;

I think the original version handled only a single TCP connection at a

Romkey went on to co-found FTP Software (whose clients (ie; FTP) bore
a charming resemblance to their old-time (PDP-10) counterparts).

> The pc/tcp code was ported to the Macintosh (at Dartmouth I think) for
> use with the early gateways like the fastpath (and before that the
> gateway based on the old SUN - as in Stanford - boards).

I think PC/IP was also used as the basis for "NCSA Telnet" on the Mac,
which despite it's name, also had an FTP server (there was a hotkey to
send an FTP command to establish a connection (back) to the Mac's FTP
server).  I also seem to recall a PC version of NCSA Telnet.

I still have a tote bag from the May 1992 InterOp in Washington D.C.
The social was at the Smithsonian Air&Space Museum, and the sponsors
(either of the social, or the event) were FTP Software, InterCon, and
TGV -- all suppliers of third party TCP/IP (DOS, MacOS, and VMS

My favorite 3rd party MacOS classic TCP/IP tool (probably MacTCP
based) was Dartmouth's "Fetch", whose "working on it" active cursor
was a running dog.  I think someone reincarnated the "Fetch" name in
recent history.

Neon Software also made TCP/IP tools for the Mac (Apple Supplied only
MacTCP-- the transport, but not any tools).  The principal was Michael
Swan, one of the original principals at Kinetics, orginators of the
FastPath (a repackgaing of the Stanford SeaGate, which used a SUN
(Stanford University Network) 68000 multibus card, and a hand wired
SCC-based AppleTalk (LocalTalk) card.  Intercon may have also been
founded by one of the Kinetics guys...

> The ip-over-appletalk working group inside the IETF was very active in
> the late '80s.

Ah yes, I remember it well.  Shiva and Cayman (Brad's company) were
both Boston based, and we joked that the developers of US AppleTalk/IP
gateways could be wiped out in a single plane crash.

Phil Budne
(Shiva FastPath 5 project leader)

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