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Encyclopedia > Bitnet Relay

Bitnet Relay or officially The Interchat Relay Network or simply Relay was a precursor to today's Internet Relay Chat and various online chat systems. It was developed by Jeff Kell, JEFF@UTCVM (now jeff-kell@utc.edu) (University of Tennessee, Chattanooga) in 1985 in REXX. BITNET was a cooperative U.S. university network founded in 1981 under the aegis of Ira Fuchs at the City University of New York (CUNY) and Greydon Freeman at Yale University. ... Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a form of real-time Internet chat or synchronous conferencing. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Chat room. ... The University of Tennessee (UT), sometimes called the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT Knoxville or UTK), is the flagship institution of the statewide land-grant University of Tennessee public university system. ... Chattanooga is a city located in United States of America. ... 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... REXX (REstructured eXtended eXecutor) is an interpreted programming language which was developed at IBM. It is a structured high-level programming language which was designed to be both easy to learn and easy to read. ...


Even before Relay was implemented, one could send an instant message (called MSG) to someone on another computer if one knew the other person's userid (i.e., screen name or login) and the name of the remote computer system the person was logged into. This was a basic function of BITNET systems. A screenshot of PowWow, one of the first instant messengers with a graphical user interface Instant messaging or IM is a form of real-time communication between two or more people based on typed text. ... MSG or msg may stand for: Monosodium glutamate — used as a food additive A shortform of the word message Indian classical violin maestro M. S. Gopalakrishnan Madison Square Garden MSG Network Marine Corps Security Guard Master Sergeant MSG may also be an acronym for Mean Subject Grade, a result measurement... BITNET was a cooperative U.S. university network founded in 1981 under the aegis of Ira Fuchs at the City University of New York (CUNY) and Greydon Freeman at Yale University. ...


Relay was a chat service running on a special id on several suitable hosts in the Bitnet. To use it, one would send a MSG to a userid called RELAY. The Relay program running on that userid would then provide multi-user chat functions, primarily in form of "channels" (chat rooms). The MSG could contain either a command for Relay (prefixed by the ever since popular "/" slash character command prefix) or a message for one or more real persons at a remote host (typically mainframe computers). It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Online chat. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Here's an example session:

 /SIGNUP robert harper * Thank you for signing up, robert harper. * Now use the /SIGNON <nickname> command to * establish a nickname and to logon Relay. /SIGNON rob Welcome to the Interchat Relay Network, Rob. Your host is RELAY@FINHUTC (Finland). Your last logon was at 08:39:23 on 03/17/89. There are 67 users on 27 relays. /HELP **************** Relay Commands *************** /Bye . . . . . . . . . . . . Signoff from Relay /Channel <num> . . . . .Change to channel <num> /COntact <host-nick> . .Show Relay contact info /Getop . . . . . Try to summon a Relay operator /Help. . . . . . . . . . . . . Prints this list /INFo. . . . . . . . . . . Send RELAY INFO file /Invite <nick> . . .Invite user to your channel /LINks . . . . . . . . . . .Shows active relays /List. . . . . . . . . . . List active channels /Msg <nick> <text> . . . .Sends private message /Nick <newnick>. . . . . . Change your nickname /NAmes <channel> . . . . .Show users with names /Rates . . . . . . . . . .Display message rates /SErvers <node>. . . . Show relays serving node /Signon <nick> <channel> . . . .Signon to Relay /Signon <nick>,SHIFT . . Forces uppercase shift /Signon <nick>,UNSHIFT . Forces lowercase shift /Signoff . . . . . . . . . . Signoff from Relay /SIGNUP <full name>. Signup or change full name /STats . . . . . . . . Display Relay statistics /SUmmon <userid>@<node>. . Invite user to Relay /Topic <subject> . . . . Topic for your channel /Who <channel> . . . . Show users and nicknames /WHOIs <nick>. . . . . . . .Identify a nickname /LINKS RELAY Version 01.24x0 Host RELAY@FINHUTC (Finland) Relay RELAY @ CEARN ( Geneva ) -> Finland Relay RELAY @ DEARN ( Germany ) -> Geneva Relay RELAY @ AEARN ( Austria ) -> Germany Relay RELAY @CZHRZU1A ( Zurich ) -> Geneva Relay RELAY @ HEARN ( Holland ) -> Geneva Relay RELAY @TAUNIVM ( TAUrelay ) -> Geneva Relay RELAY @EB0UB011 (Barcelona ) -> Geneva Relay RELAY @ ORION (New_Jersey) -> Geneva Relay RELAY @ BITNIC ( NewYork ) -> New_Jersey Relay RELAY @JPNSUT10 ( Tokyo ) -> NewYork Relay RELAY @ VILLVM (Philadelph) -> New_Jersey Relay RELAY @NDSUVM1 (No_Dakota ) -> New_Jersey Relay RLY @CORNELLC (Ithaca_NY ) -> New_Jersey Relay RELAY @ UTCVM (Tennessee ) -> Pittsburgh Relay RELAY @UIUCVMD (Urbana_IL ) -> Pittsburgh Relay RELAY @CANADA01 ( Canada01 ) -> Ithaca_NY Relay RELAY @ AUVM ( Wash_DC ) -> Va_Tech Relay RELAY @ VTVM2 ( Va_Tech ) -> Ithaca_NY Relay RELAY @UALTAVM ( Edmonton ) -> Canada01 Relay RELAY @NYUCCVM ( Nyu ) -> New_Jersey Relay RELAY @ UWF (Pensacola ) -> Va_Tech Relay MASRELAY@ UBVM ( Buffalo ) -> Ithaca_NY Relay RELAY @CMUCCVMA (Pittsburgh) -> Ithaca_NY Relay RELAY @PURCCVM ( Purdue ) -> Pittsburgh Relay RELAY @UREGINA1 (Regina_Sk ) -> Canada01 Relay RELAY @ GITVM1 ( Atlanta ) -> Tennessee 

The Relay servers were connected between each other in a rudimentary multicast fashion, so messages would travel hop by hop along the network of servers. A behaviour that inspired the name of the system to be Relay. Routing Schemes anycast broadcast multicast unicast Multicast is sometimes also used to refer to a multiplexed broadcast, although that is a very different thing and should not be confused. ... During a relay race, members of a team take turns swimming or running (usually with a baton) parts of a circuit or performing a certain action. ...


The time it took for a message to get to a recipient varied. Most of the time messages within the United States didn't take more than a few seconds. Sometimes, however, messages could take many minutes or even hours to arrive if network links were down, because BITNET would store and forward them later. Store and forward is a communications technique in which messages are sent to a intermediate station where they are kept and sent at a later time to the final destination or to another intermediate station. ...


A downside to Bitnet Relay was that it got enforced network-wide as the only permitted chat system. Users were not allowed to develop alternate chat systems, be it for personal research, fun or a craving for privacy. Experimental chats like Galaxy Network or VM/Shell were asked to shut down before they gained popularity. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Chat room. ...


Bitnet Relay was used mostly in the late 1980s when Valdis Kletnieks at Virginia Tech released a Pascal version from scratch that consumed far less CPU time and early 1990s when Smart Relay appeared which allowed more impressive handling of message delivery. The 1980s refers to the years of 1980 to 1989. ... This article or section should include material from Virginia Bioinformatics Institute. ... Pascal is an imperative computer programming language, developed in 1970 by Niklaus Wirth as a language particularly suitable for structured programming. ... CPU Time is the amount of time a computer program uses in processing on a CPU, often measured in clock ticks. ... This article is 150 kilobytes or more in size. ...


Kell himself once predicted the demise of Bitnet Relay, his prophecy proved true for reasons far different then the ones he himself gave. TCP/IP and the advent of the Internet spelled the end of BITNET entirely and Unix did not have a similar socket mechanism. However the Relay Chat itself was somewhat closely replicated by Jarkko Oikarinen's Internet Relay Chat. The Internet protocol suite is the set of communications protocols that implement the protocol stack on which the Internet runs. ... BITNET was a cooperative U.S. university network founded in 1981 under the aegis of Ira Fuchs at the City University of New York (CUNY) and Greydon Freeman at Yale University. ... Filiation of Unix and Unix-like systems Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX®) is a computer operating system originally developed in the 1960s and 1970s by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and Douglas McIlroy. ... Jarkko Oikarinen, known on IRC as WiZ, was the developer of the first Internet chat network, called IRC, short for Internet Relay Chat. ... Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a form of real-time Internet chat or synchronous conferencing. ...


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