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Act one - the poems.
J. Postel, L. Kleinrock, V.G. Cerf, B. Boehm. September 1989.

 
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Network Working Group J. Postel (ISI) Request for Comments: 1121 L. Kleinrock (UCLA) V. Cerf (NRI) B. Boehm (UCLA) September 1989 Act One - The Poems Status of this Memo This RFC presents a collection of poems that were presented at "Act One", a symposium held partially in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the ARPANET. Distribution of this memo is unlimited. Introduction The Computer Science Department of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) organized a Symposium on Very High Speed Information Networks as the first in a projected series of meetings on Advanced Computer Technologies, thus ACT ONE. The time was chosen to also commemorate the 20th anniversary of the installation of the first Interface Message Processor (IMP) on the ARPANET which took place at UCLA. The Symposium took on a theatrical theme and a few of the speakers could not resist the temptation to commit poetry. This memo is an attempt to capture the result. The Poems WELCOME by Leonard Kleinrock We've gathered here for two days to examine and debate And reflect on data networks and as well to celebrate. To recognize the leaders and recount the path we took. We'll begin with how it happened; for it's time to take a look. Yes, the history is legend and the pioneers are here. Listen to the story - it's our job to make it clear. We'll tell you where we are now and where we'll likely go. So welcome to ACT ONE, folks. Sit back - enjoy the show!! Postel & Kleinrock & Cerf & Boehm [Page 1]
RFC 1121 Act One - The Poems September 1989 ODE TO A QUEUE by Leonard Kleinrock In the 20 years of funding Many fields has DARPA led. But the finest thing that they did bring Was the analytic thread. By that I mean they nurtured Quantitative research tools. And they always felt for all their gelt They got principles and rules. Indeed a wealth of knowledge Was uncovered and was new. And the common thread with which we led Was the analytic queue! Now a queue may have one server. If there's more, they form a team. Its dearest wish is just to fish In a quiet Poisson stream. If you want to model networks Or a complex data flow A queue's the key to help you see All the things you need to know. So the next time you feel lonely And wonder what to do, You'll soon feel fine if you join the line Of an analytic queue! THE PAST IS PROLOGUE by Leonard Kleinrock The past is prologue so they say. So Scene 1 was played today. It set the stage to point the way To high speed nets on Friday. And old slow IMP, a costly link, Codes to fix the lines that stink, Ideas born in tanks that think, Tomorrow's distance sure to shrink. Postel & Kleinrock & Cerf & Boehm [Page 2]
RFC 1121 Act One - The Poems September 1989 But first tonight we'll drink and eat. We'll take some time good friends to greet. Hear Bible class from Danny's seat. Those good old days were bittersweet! THE BIG BANG! (or the birth of the ARPANET) by Leonard Kleinrock It was back in '67 that the clan agreed to meet. The gangsters and the planners were a breed damned hard to beat. The goal we set was honest and the need was clear to all: Connect those big old mainframes and the minis, lest they fall. The spec was set quite rigid: it must work without a hitch. It should stand a single failure with an unattended switch. Files at hefty throughput 'cross the ARPANET must zip. Send the interactive traffic on a quarter second trip. The spec went out to bidders and t'was BBN that won. They worked on soft and hardware and they all got paid for fun. We decided that the first node would be we who are your hosts And so today you're gathered here while UCLA boasts. I suspect you might be asking "What means FIRST node on the net?" Well frankly, it meant trouble, 'specially since no specs were set. For you see the interface between the nascent IMP and HOST Was a confidential secret from us folks on the West coast. BBN had promised that the IMP was running late. We welcomed any slippage in the deadly scheduled date. But one day after Labor Day, it was plopped down at our gate! Those dirty rotten scoundrels sent the damned thing out air freight! As I recall that Tuesday, it makes me want to cry. Everybody's brother came to blame the other guy! Folks were there from ARPA, GTE and Honeywell. UCLA and ATT and all were scared as hell. We cautiously connected and the bits began to flow. The pieces really functioned - just why I still don't know. Messages were moving pretty well by Wednesday morn. All the rest is history - packet switching had been born! Postel & Kleinrock & Cerf & Boehm [Page 3]
RFC 1121 Act One - The Poems September 1989 ROSENCRANTZ AND ETHERNET by Vint Cerf All the world's a net! And all the data in it merely packets come to store-and-forward in the queues a while and then are heard no more. 'Tis a network waiting to be switched! To switch or not to switch? That is the question. Whether 'tis wiser in the net to suffer the store and forward of stochastic networks or to raise up circuits against a sea of packets and, by dedication, serve them. To net, to switch. To switch, perchance to slip! Aye, there's the rub. For in that choice of switch, what loops may lurk, when we have shuffled through this Banyan net? Puzzles the will, initiates symposia, stirs endless debate and gives rise to uncontrolled flights of poetry beyond recompense! UNTITLED by Barry Boehm Paul Baran came out of the wood With a message first misunderstood But despite dangers lurking The IMP's were soon working And ARPA did see it was good. So in place of our early myopia We now have a net cornucopia With IMP's, TIP's, and LAN's Wideband VAN's, MAN's, and WAN's And prospects of World Net Utopia. But though we must wind up the clock With thoughts of downstream feature shock We all be can mollified For there's no one more qualified To discuss this than Leonard Kleinrock. Postel & Kleinrock & Cerf & Boehm [Page 4]
RFC 1121 Act One - The Poems September 1989 Notes The Symposium was held August 17 & 18, 1989, a Thursday and Friday. "Welcome" was presented on Thursday morning during the Overture. "Ode to a Queue" was presented in the Thursday morning session on "Giant Steps Forward: Technology Payoffs". "The Past is Prologue" was presented at the end of the Thursday afternoon sessions. "The Big Bang!" was presented during the after dinner events on Thursday night. "Rosencrantz and Ethernet" was presented at the morning session on Friday on "Communication Technologies in the next Millenium" (note that this version may differ slightly from the actual presentation since it was reconstructed from human memory several weeks later). The untitled poem by Barry Boehm was presented in the Friday afternoon session on "Impact on Government, Commerce and Citizenry". Barry gave his talk on "The Software Challenge to Our Technical Aspirations" then introduced the next speaker with this poem. Security Considerations None. Authors' Addresses Jon Postel USC/Information Sciences Institute 4676 Admiralty Way Marina del Rey, CA 90292-6695 Phone: 213-822-1511 EMail: Postel@ISI.EDU Postel & Kleinrock & Cerf & Boehm [Page 5]
RFC 1121 Act One - The Poems September 1989 Leonard Kleinrock University of California Computer Science Department 3732G Boelter Hall Los Angeles, CA 90024-1600 Phone: 213-825-2543 EMail: lk@CS.UCLA.EDU Vinton G. Cerf Corporation for National Research Initiatives 1895 Preston White Drive, Suite 100 Reston, VA 22091 Phone: 703-620-8990 EMail: VCerf@NRI.RESTON.VA.US Barry Boehm University of California Computer Science Department 3732 Boelter Hall Los Angeles, CA 90024-1600 Phone: 213-825-8137 EMail: boehm@CS.UCLA.EDU Postel & Kleinrock & Cerf & Boehm [Page 6]

   

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