(no subject)

Tony Hollick (anduril@cix.compulink.co.uk)
Fri, 22 Aug 97 16:09 BST-1

open.network/rainbow.bridge #1, from thollick, 40 chars, Aug 20 05:05 90
** Withdrawn by author **

open.network/rainbow.bridge #2, from thollick, 5341 chars, Aug 20 05:18 90


A project to bring
spread-spectrum systems
down to Earth.

As a microcomputer enthusiast for some years now, I remember with affection
earlier, 'hobbyist' days of yore. I spent many happy days and weeks and...
constructing and working with a Digital Research Computers "BIGBOARD," which
was the only way I could afford to gain entrance to a magical world of CP/M.

I read Jerry Pournelle's pieces in BYTE avidly, one of a few who could write
good fiction (science) and technical stuff. This led me to Magic Wand, and
the wonders of dBASE II (designed by Wayne Ratcliff to organize data for
NASA's Viking Lander programme).

My BIGBOARD came with parallel and serial port options, each with its own
Zilog Z-80 dedicated chip. I soon learned the grim truth, that there was no
parallel port printer driver routine to enable me to get print-outs. Autistic
computers are really bad news...

After weeks of exploring the black hole of Z-80 opcodes and registers,
I was lucky (veery lucky) to meet up with one Geoffrey Drake, a cheerful
magician who whizzed up a parallel port driver routine in an afternoon.

The obviously superiority of parallel data transfers was thus imprinted

In due course, David Thompson, a Hewlett-Packard technician in Portland,
Oregon, started his "MICRO-CORNUCOPIA" newsletter for BIGBOARD users,
and other "single-boarders." When I finally med David in Portland in 1981,
it was clear that I had much to learn (still do). He and Portland are both
quiet and civilized. And still, "modems are serial devices."

No-one seemed to know much about byte-parallel comms. The alias of NSA used
to be "NEVER SAY ANYTHING!" Hmmmmm........

It was when I read James Bamford's brilliant book on the legendary
"Puzzle Palace", America's National Security Agency, that I started
to realize what REAL communications are all about.

Imagine: messages (in any language) are encrypted, compressed, and burst-
transmitted at over 20,000 times faster, at one millionth of the usual
radio transmission strength, intermittently spread all over the broadcast
spectrum at shifting pseudo-random intervals, buried in "deep-background"

The NSA somehow (!!!) manages to "vacuum-clean" these signals out of thin
air, relay them to Anagram Inn, NSA's HQ in Maryland, and somehow (!!!)
reassembles them, decrypts them and translates them into English, whereon
they can then be passed to the Analytical Branch for the extraction of
any useable intelligence.

Apart from being fascinating in its own right, this started me thinking:
most bright people are a bit lazy, and constantly look for ways to do
things quicker, easier, better, cheaper. It was then that I realized
that the NSA could INSTANTLY relay and reassemble my computer's RF
emanations at any speed, in real time. And we were being asked to use
300 baud acoustic modems?*!!@? to talk to each other with some difficulty!

In June, 1988's BYTE, John H. Humphrey and Gary S. Smock wrote on
"High-Speed Modems." On p. 104, this gem appeared:

Multicarrier Technology

"The fourth approach borrows from spread-spectrum technology used by the
military in secure communications systems. This technology breaks the data
into discrete pieces and spreads them across the available bandwidth on
separate carrier frequencies, keyed at different time intervals. This
requires the enemy to know which spreading algorithm is being used to recover
the individual pieces of the communique. Without the correct algorithm, the
transmissions look like random noise.

"Modems using multicarrier technology spread the telephone bandwidth with
hundreds of individual carrier tones, each of which is modulated quite
slowly. Digital data is fed to the modem and buffered. Individual bits are
fed to the multiple carriers and data is passed over the link in n-length
bit-parallel fashion.

The advantage of this approach is its ability to "map around" bad spots in
telephone lines. If discrete portions of the telephone line are of poor
quality, the modems recognize this and simply do not place carrier tones
in those areas. In theory, this lets the modems operate at full speed under
good line conditions and slowly fall back under poorer line conditions. The
modems automatically seek and find the maximum operating speed achievable
under constantly changing line conditions."

(The Ven-Tel EC18K-34 is included in the review).

Since then, I have learned of "public domain" discussion of a British radio-
based datacomms system, called "PICCOLO," which works in much the same way.

Now, sitting on the back of my ST is a parallel port, which I am told can
be made bi-directional. There is also a disk-drive socket and a DMA port.
Surely, I thought to myself, there must be a few bright techno-hobbyists
around who could work up a neat package of hardware and software, to be
sold together under the trade name "RAINBOW BRIDGE." This could be both
fun, profitable, and contribute to the global liberal perestroika being
brought about by the micro revolution.

Please let me know if you would like to join in this venture.

Kind and Gentle Regards,

Tony Hollick.

open.network/rainbow.bridge #3, from thollick, 706 chars, Sep 4 21:04 90
**COPIED FROM: ==========================
open.network/network #25, from rsewell, 501 chars, Sep 1 15:39 90
This is a comment to message 6.
There are comments to this message.
As far as I can see, the only difference between what you propose here and
something like CIX is the supply of custom terminals to users. As custom
terminals are less useful than general-purpose micros, it's only a powerful
idea if you can arrange for a large percentage of the population to have
these things. So, either (1) you can persuade BT to follow the example of
the French or (2) you can support solutions like CIX. I think that a small-
scale cix-like solution is more probable in Britain.

open.network/rainbow.bridge #4, from thollick, 770 chars, Sep 4 21:06 90
**COPIED FROM: ==========================
open.network/network #27, from dj, 538 chars, Sep 1 17:33 90
This is a comment to message 26.
There are comments to this message.
There are more comments to 26.
Though the existence of Fax makes the mail side well, not useful at
And once say ISDN is widespread, you could get access directly to
online services.... finding out how to contact and use them is where
Cix comes in.....

You don't actually say what problem you are solving and don't resolve
how you make landmail or voice phonecalls use Cix, or how you
actually get someone to do the cross indexing....

I suggest you have a look at project Xanadu for the database engine
of a multi-referential linked information service....

open.network/rainbow.bridge #5, from thollick, 308 chars, Sep 4 21:12 90
**COPIED FROM: ==========================
open.network/network #36, from thollick, 170 chars, Sep 2 09:58 90

TITLE: Hilgraeve Hyperprotocol: Quick beyond all dreams of speed...

TEXT: Read all about it in open.network/hilgraeve

CONTACT: Hilgraeve's BBS at (0101)-313-243-5915.

open.network/rainbow.bridge #6, from dj, 78 chars, Sep 5 10:21 90
Comment to 4.
For Fucks Sake... I do NOT want to read my messages and other peoples

open.network/rainbow.bridge #7, from elves, 529 chars, Sep 15 14:34 90
Comment to 2. Comments.
I found a company in the Netherlands offers a package that does
Piccolo Mk VI as an optional extra. It is hardware and software
(for the PC what else ?) and costs 299 with the option.
Hoka Electronics, Teiko Clockstraat 31,NL-9665 BB Oude Pekela.
I don't suggest that everyone buys this as it decodes about 30
other protocols, but at least we know that it exists and what to
look for. Looking at the packet radio stuff it may be better to
move all this to that media anyway. Who wants to get their class
B RAE in november then ?

open.network/rainbow.bridge #8, from thollick, 63 chars, Sep 15 16:09 90
Comment to 7.
Great, Mel! ...er... me?

/ /\ \