Section 3.1 UUCPNET/Usenet/AsiaNet

2012.3.30/6.18/7.6/7.11

UUCP is an abbreviation of Unix-to-Unix Copy.  The term generally refers to a suite of computer programs and protocols allowing remote execution of commands and transfer of files, email and netnews between computers. UUCP was originally written at AT&T Bell Laboratories by Mike Lesk, and it was released as part of Version 7 Unix in 1979. UUCP and the netnews, called Usenet can use several different types of physical connections and link connections including dial-up and X.25 as well as TCP/IP.  Netnews called Usenet is a distributed discussion system developed by Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis of Duke University in 1980.

In 1978, UUCP was in use on 82 UNIX machines inside the Bell sytstem, and grew to 550 machines in USA by 1983.  UUCPNET with Usenet became popular in Asia as well as Europe from early 1980s.  Kilnam Chon participated the informal meeting during Boston USENIX Conference in October of 1982 to coordinate UUCPNET among North America (seismo, hplabs,..), Europe(mcvax) and Asia.  In January of 1983, he attended UNICOM Conference in San Diego where a BoF on Usenet was organized by Mark Horton.  Kilnam Chon also received the Usenet software called netnews. During the 1985 IANW in Stockholm, he further coordinated the UUCPNET with European UUCPNET called EUNET through Teus Hagen of Mathematics Centrum (MC) with mcvax in the Netherlands to call each other to send email.  Later MC was renamed to CWI.  Kilnam Chon also made the arrangement with seismo and haplabs in USA KAIST had the dial-up link arrangement in USA to exchange email and news. He also made the arrangement with Rick Adams of seismo to receive the netnews content called newsfeeds by weekly magnetic tape in postal mail due to expensive international telephone calls.  Then, KAIST node called sorak in Korea distributed the newsfeeds to Korean UUCPNET through dial-up.  KAIST also made the arrangement to send the newsfeeds to Japan and other countries of AsiaNet members later in 1984.

During NUS/UNESCO Workshop in February of 1984, Kilnam Chon proposed to develop AsiaNet based on UUCP and Usenet, and AsiaNet was borne in the same year with the following countries initially;[chon 1985]

   Australia
   Indonesia
   Japan
   Korea
   Singapore


[Figure ? asianet map]

Various netnews groups were made for AsiaNet as well as in each country. Availability of the network software and ease of the installation made UUCP and Usenet very popular among
many countries in Asia, especially as the initial networks.  Countries in Southeast Asia proposed to develop the regional UUCPNET for Southeast Asia and Australia, called AUSEAnet in mid-1980s, and the limited deployment of the network was realized.[Lhukay 1986]

CSNET was also used similarly to UUCP/Usenet when it became available in 1980s.  Many sites in Asia preferred X.25 to the dial-up due to better communication quality and/or lower cost. 

Network traffic increased for all countries. But, the international communication cost could be prohibitive without proper funding.  Eventually, the leased line connections became popular starting from BITNET followed by the UUCP/Usenet and the TCP/IP network when IP routers became available.

In 1990s when TCP/IP networks became common and WWW became available, UUCP/Usenet started to decline. UUCP is not in use anymore, and Usenet carries only minor traffic now.

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Jungbae An,
Jul 10, 2012, 1:22 AM
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Jungbae An,
Oct 7, 2012, 5:15 AM