DECNET/8 (was Re: RTS-8)

Johnny Billquist bqt at
Wed Oct 22 12:35:21 CDT 2008

Ethan Dicks <ethan.dicks at> wrote:

> On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 07:54:04AM -0400, djg at wrote:
>>> Does anyone actually have a copy of the DECnet-8 software
>> I have disk images which seem to be it.
> I will poke around in that tomorrow when our sat rises.

That definitely looks like DECNET/8. Fun!

>> The first two are from disks which were labeled decnet 1 and decnet 2
> Sounds promising.
>> All the RTS docs I have seen are from dbit.
> After looking all day, I finally found the doc file I recently
> discovered (most likely from dbit).  It's an ASCII file named
> 'decnet8.doc', internally designated "AA-5184A-TA", and happens
> to briefly reference a couple of other DEC docs, "DEC-08-ORTMA",
> and "DEC-8E-HMM3A".
> The primary doc file describes programs like TLK and LSN and NIP.
> TLK and LSN are a line-at-a-time messaging pair.  NIP (Network
> Information Program) prints network status and diagnostic information.
> At first pass, DECNET/8 appears to support local traffic (process-to-
> process or terminal-to-terminal) as well as a variety of interfaces
> for node-to-node traffic.  One list includes the KL8E, KL8J-A, KL8A,
> KL8M, DP8E (interprocessor buffer), and DKC8-A (parallel).
> So to amend my previous speculations, DECNET/8 appears to provide a
> basic messaging utility and user-written applications, but does not
> come with any bundled file transfer capabilities.

That matches my impression as well.
There is a DDCMP implementation in there as well.

I wonder if the TLK and LSN programs are compatible with the ones on RSX.

Someone asked about compatibility between phase III and phase IV, which 
Paul Koenig answered.
I have another question, though.

As I've read it, phase III nodes can talk with phase II nodes, just as 
phase IV can talk with phase III. But can phase IV talk with phase II?
Since DECNET/8 is phase II, this is somewhat interesting...

I doubt I'll have time to look more into this any time soon, but unless 
someone else manage to get this working I definitely will try it sooner 
or later.

Could anyone put up the files for convenient access with ftp?


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