the little garden / TLGnet Inc 3 and last

From: Tom Jennings <>
Date: Fri Jan 14 15:49:36 2005

>From Mon Jan 31 12:41:58 1994
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Date: Mon, 31 Jan 94 15:40:47 EST
From: "M. Strata Rose" <strata_at_fenchurch.MIT.EDU>
Reply-To: strata_at_fenchurch.MIT.EDU
Cc: strata_at_fenchurch.MIT.EDU
X-Tlg-Info: The Little Garden Network-- affordable Internet today!
X-Tlg-Info: Finger for info, speeds from 14400 to 56K & T1
X-Tlg-Info: San Francisco - Santa Cruz - Berkeley - San Jose areas
Subject: meeting notes
Message-Id: <CMM.>
Status: OR

I feel officially silly-- after typing in the meeting minutes a few
days ago, I realized I hadn't actually *posted* them. Luckily I
remembered this before calling Tom and asking what was wrong with the
mailing list....anyway, here they are, I apologize for the delay. Tim,
John, Tom, and others, feel free to correct or clarify my summations
and/or paraphrasings of what you actually said, I was taking brief notes
and trying to keep up with the flow of conversation and topic-jumping.

This also makes them somewhat disjoint topically, but I felt that
keeping the meeting flow in the transcript was more important than
trying to group topics after the fact. Pull up the message with the
posted agenda in another buffer and you can see what we were trying to
stick to...

Notes from TLG Meeting at 444 Market St. POP, 1/19/94

Tim Pozar, TomJ, & John G. suggest $800/mo as T1 colocation. Hubbub,
folks start talking about IP redirect services.

TomJ runs mini-service ("scamatron") for IP-redirect stuff via telnet.

John Hargin [Harkins?] is TLG customer who is doing colocation, has own
rate structure. Discussion as to saving space in crowded POP. Strata offers
possible second POP location in Sunnyvale. Mark from WIRED mentions
their expansion plans, have budgeted space for colocation facilities.
Tim & co point out that physical site of 444 Market is very security
conscious and that colocation would have access problems regardless of
space, only very few people on access list now and they don't have time
to babysit colocated machines.

Various arguments on topic of "I want to colocate for reliability and
won't use the full bandwidth, shouldn't I be able to pay less".
Metering/analysis software need brought up by various. John mentions
HNMS, Hierarchical Network Mgmt System, could do metering we need.
Company is negotiating with Cygnus for support of HNMS, it will be
released to public if they work out a contract. John will file FOIA to
get it otherwise (assuming it looks interesting enough).

WRT wider pipes and response from Toad POP folks, John offers to widen
pipe to T1 to Toad for better latency if he can get Toad POP community
to help with the $500/mo difference. Response from Toad folks present
is enthusiastic, looks like it will happen. Given that, there is some
amount of space w/TLG member physical access for colocation on T1
ether, talk to John for details as to how that's progressing and what
the availability is. T1 colocation rate still applies, BTW.

Offical thanks to KKSF (Tim Pozar's employers) for donating ~$3K of
vital wiring & etc Stuff to the setup at 444 Market; they will have SLIP
connection with fees waived for some considerable time approximating
their donation to the cause.

TLG info business cards passed out, Rich Morin donated his extra
cardstock from his business printing and had his printer do up all his
extra sheets with the card design. Contact him to get a handfull to
give out to interested parties, still has sheets that haven't been cut
to card-size yet.

NNTP servers: newsfeeds are our primary traffic on TLG in the opinion
of those who've been watching our traffic, lots of it going down skinny
pipes. John Harkins has NNTP service for nominal fee to TLG members,
much less than UUNET. Possible Cygnus donation of Sparc 1+ for NNTP
server mentioned, John G. is upgrading hoptoad. Edward Elhauge is
interested in setting up Garden-wide NNTP on a fee basis. General
agreement that having an NNTP server on each POP would be desirable to
keep traffic of leaf sites local to POP. Bill Custer agrees to organize
814 University NNTP server, Edward E. & Fen will organize Toad NNTP
server. People in either of those POP communities should get in touch
with those folks to see what they can do to help or donate in the way of
time/materials-- they're organizing a volunteer effort, not committing
to doing it singlehandedly.

The 814 University POP is now moving to the TLG "pay your own POP"
model; it has been subsidized for a while now. Basic arrangement
similar to Toad's-- leased line is paid by TLG, 56K rate of $325/mo is
paid by POP Responsible Party/Group, TLG gives them $10 kickback for
each 14400 connection at POP. Dollar amounts paid by individuals at 814
will not differ by more than a few bucks per person after conversion
says TomJ. John G. asks assembled members for support for conversion,
general assent.

Bandwidth issues for usage-based rates comes up yet again, from
discussion of whether 814 University folks are using more than their
"fair share" since they have multiple machines on POP-local ethernet.
Various folks draw formal attention to "are we growth-based or do we
parcel out bits grudgingly?"-- ie do we assume we will keep adding T1
connectivity from the outside if we need the bandwidth? [yes] We need
to set some baseline rates for "measured rate", ie you should be able to
get a wide pipe and not use the full width, but be charged for a
combination of bit usage and latency. More discussion of whether or not
measuring will put noticeable drag on the net, nothing conclusive.
Coming up with the abovementioned charging model would also facilitate
POP startup, since folks could pay to have a wider pipe than they would
use put in for future expansion, grow more slowly and need a smaller
group to spawn a POP. Various pricing models proposed, ranging from
John G. 64K steps to latency baserate + stepped usage. Issue needs more
exploration, dropped for this meeting.

POP Security-- right now anyone could compromise a single host and sniff
passwords for anyone elseon TLG net, this is Not Good. Stu, TomJ, Tim,
John G are setting up router ring topology and bridging POP-local
traffic so that the routers don't touch cross-POP hosts, each router
touches only other routers who in turn talk to local POP hosts. Good
idea, general kudos to them.

Now a WWW (World Wide Web) server on TLG.ORG, PC-based BSD unix box; TLG
members running Web servers can put a pointer URL on TLG.ORG "Member Web
Servers" page, contact TomJ or Tim P about this.

March issue of WIRED will carry TLG ad, will run every other month.

TLG.ORG is mostly DNS, admin info, the mailing lists. Stu, TomJ, Tim,
and Tom's new intern Flesh have accounts, tlg-ops.

Dave Sharnoff mentions he gateways his email to newsgroup format on his
machine, talk about need for downstream/POP based mailing lists, hard to
contact neighbors on local POP when TLG.ORG is out if that's where all
the mailing lists are! Kee points out that TomJ has made sublists but we
still need per-POP access lists so people can offload local POP maint
and make POPS more independent.

John G mentioned Randy Bush is doing profiles/lists of toasternets,
contact him (Randy) if you want info or have listings. Will be
published in paper and HTML/Web served.

Tim Pozar needs 300M drive & Adaptec controller for 444 Market,
spontaneous hat passing nets $350. Nice work & a good feeling...

Tim P. is working with McGraw-Hill on a pending 56K connection in San
Mateo to TLG. He has asked them about colocation of TLG equipment to
make a San Mateo POP but they are wary. Peter & Tim will investigate if
Frame Relay makes sense for this pipe, McGraw is apparently in or near a
building loaded with net-goodies. Various folk point out that random
closet rental can bridge TLG service gap between Palo Alto and SF.

There is concern about McGraw & another potential TLG customer sucking
down "too much" bandwidth. John G talks a little about how you buy
latency with a T1, not stricly bandwith, but still there are no
guarantees on speed. We [TLG] have never guaranteed constant bandwidth,
ie 56K pushed to 56K 7x24, but instead worked out varying rates so that
we approximate bandwidth by steps (14400, 56K, T1) with rates that let
the bigger connections take a bigger share of the cost.

Dave Sharnoff mentions WRT latency, he chunks his NNTP data down to the
smallest packet size he can to keep decent latency on simultaneous
typing/telnet access on his link, suggests it as a technique to improve
14400 connection performance. John G & Tim suggest that he is dragging
down overall network performance by doing this, don't recommend it but
no clear consensus on what the effect would be if more folks were doing
it. TomJ talks about statistical multiplexing briefly.

TomJ: wants help by skillset. Fen suggests mailing list for potential
helpers. Tim P offers gopher list for helpers skills. Peter suggest
finger account for w/contact list, also setup a help
mailback of info using the vacation program.

Tim P mentions SJ POP, send potentials to TomJ, we would like to start

NOS boxes-- only one left, TomJ praises the Livingston boxes for running
smoothly once set up, notes that the documentation was hell though.
More general discussion of problem solving-- several people brought up a
suggestion that we should do PacBell-like cost recovery on
troubleshooting. If the problem turns out to be on your end, charge
time and materials for looking into it. Need more discussion on how
to implement this.

Trouble tickets: we need some kind of system; Cygnus has one that we
could adapt, and NEARNET has a free FTP-able one as well. Roger Klorese
commits to looking into various systems on our behalf. Thanks Roger!

TomJ does virtual intro of Randy Mills aka Flesh, his new "intern" (Flesh
couldn't make it due to a last-minute schedule conflict). Tom has
budgeted $100/mo at first, and mentions that both his and Flesh's
stipends should go up as TLG starts breaking even/getting ahead. Flesh
has been educating himself in PC tech and BBS stuff, is sharp and
interested. TomJ has set him up with a connection on the maintainance
port of the 444 Market router w/2400 baud TCP/IP, will upgrade to 9600
when he can scrounge modems. Fen donates pair of 9600 baud modems on
the spot, cool. TomJ comments as an aside that he's enthused about
getting more folks like Flesh involved with TLG, people from the
non-techy side of the world, punks, artists and the like.

The Spreadsheet: Tom has new estimates, so spreadsheet at meeting is
gloomier than real picture. He observes that we seem to be growing by
approx $500/mo. We have to spend $2400 to start up new T1's, $600 for
new 14400 (TLG buying ports for new customers to connect to). TomJ has
done approximations of a step-up curve where cost/resources/new members
are tied into steps where we have to expand. Tom T mentions that we
should encourage folks to upgrade their SLIP/PPP connections when the
new modem chipsets are widely available in May, as it leverages our
current ports into higher revenue without additional cost to us.

More grumbling/concerns over large customers (corporations, network
services) potentially "sucking dry" the pipe. TomJ points out that
all of TLG averaged less than 56K over 5 min spikes in September. John
G points out that the entire Internet was on T1 in 1993, w/many 56K
interconnects, and that the arpanet/Internet was on 56K for years.
Slight digression into T1 costs of our competition, Tim P says Barrnet
is cheapest, $600+/month for T1 but (gotcha) no resale. Mini-history
review of Barrnet decision, went to no resale because of "predatory" ANS
routing pricing for downstream resellers (figure of $55K/year/service
provider-reseller was mentioned).

Tom's salary: nothing really decided except that TomJ deserves more
money and less hours, and that Flesh's presence and a help-list will
alleviate the latter complaint but that we need more members and to
start running more in the black to work on the $$ issue. John G reminds
folks that there's also the matter of eventually repaying his $10K TLG
starter loan at more than $40/month, too.

WRT TomJ's hours and offloading, we will try to formalize some of the
written docs that he has done and put them where they are easier to get
to. TomJ has already set up some docs on for FTP, we will put
up HTML (Web) and probably gopher stuff too. Strata volunteers to edit
and otherwise help assemble docs. TimP has partial book/manual, as does

Rich suggests monthly open house/class for TLG newbies. General
enthusiasm for this idea. Peter says have them bring in their machine
and just *set it up* as part of the class/workshop, and/or put together
a kit like the one the WELL sells for new members, sales of the kit can
help with TLG cash problem as well. Robert points out that SW
developers and the phone company slam folks for asking questions and
taking tech time if the answers are in the manuals/provided docs, maybe
we need to do this too (cost recovery again). Will Kreth mentions BAIL
(Bay Area Internet Literacy?) and their toasternet classes, they have a
committed space reservation that they don't fully use and may be open to
letting TLG host/cohost classes in the space. Will will post BAIL info
to TLG list, also for info on their

Send mail to re: skills you have that might be
helpful to TLG members getting connected and/or maintaining their
connection. List ones you are comfortable with volunteering to newbies
as well as more experienced folks, and don't list things you know that
you consider a potential waste of your limited time, ie for a routing
expert to be spending an hour on the phone telling someone how to
configure their modem. Strata will collate and post a list, as well as
periodic updates as we get new members.

That's basically it, folks...


M. Strata Rose
Unix & Network Consultant, SysAdmin & Internet Information
Virtual City Network (tm) | |
Received on Fri Jan 14 2005 - 15:49:36 GMT

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