Volume Three, Issue 30, File #5 of 12
() The DECWRL Mail Gateway ()
() by Dedicated Link ()
() September 20, 1989 ()
INTRODUCTION DECWRL is a mail gateway computer operated by Digital's Western Research Laboratory in Palo Alto, California. Its purpose is to support the interchange of electronic mail between Digital and the "outside world." DECWRL is connected to Digital's Easynet, and also to a number of different outside electronic mail networks. Digital users can send outside mail by sending to DECWRL::"outside-address", and digital users can also receive mail by having your correspondents route it through DECWRL. The details of incoming mail are more complex, and are discussed below. It is vitally important that Digital employees be good citizens of the networks to which we are connected. They depend on the integrity of our user community to ensure that tighter controls over the use of the gateway are not required. The most important rule is "no chain letters," but there are other rules depending on whether the connected network that you are using is commercial or non-commercial. The current traffic volume (September 1989) is about 10,000 mail messages per day and about 3,000 USENET messages per day. Gatewayed mail traffic has doubled every year since 1983. DECWRL is currently a Vax 8530 computer with 48 megabytes of main memory, 2500 megabytes of disk space, 8 9600-baud (Telebit) modem ports, and various network connections. They will shortly be upgrading to a Vax 8650 system. They run Ultrix 3.0 as the base operating system.
The gateway has engineering staff, but no administrative or clerical staff. They work hard to keep it running, but they do not have the resources to answer telephone queries or provide tutorials in its use.
They post periodic status reports to the USENET newsgroup dec.general. Various helpful people usually copy these reports to the VAXNOTES "gateways" conference within a day or two.
HOW TO SEND MAIL
DECWRL is connected to quite a number of different mail networks. If you were logged on directly to it, you could type addresses directly, e.g.
But since you are not logged on directly to the gateway, you must send mail so that when it arrives at the gateway, it will be sent as if that address had been typed locally.
* Sending from VMS
If you are a VMS user, you should use NMAIL, because VMS mail does not know how to requeue and retry mail when the network is congested or disconnected. From VMS, address your mail like this:
The quote characters (") are important, to make sure that VMS doesn't try to interpret strange!foreign!address itself. If you are typing such an address inside a mail program, it will work as advertised. If you are using DCL and typing directly to the command line, you should beware that DCL likes to remove quotes, so you will have to enclose the entire address in quotes, and then put two quotes in every place that one quote should appear in the address:
$ mail test.msg "nm%DECWRL::""foreign!addr""" /subj="hello"
Note the three quotes in a row after foreign!addr. The first two of them are doubled to produce a single quote in the address, and the third ends the address itself (balancing the quote in front of the nm%).
Here are some typical outgoing mail addresses as used from a VMS system:
* Sending from Ultrix
If your Ultrix system has been configured for it, then you can, from your Ultrix system, just send directly to the foreign address, and the mail software will take care of all of the gateway routing for you. Most Ultrix systems in Corporate Research and in the Palo Alto cluster are configured this way.
To find out whether your Ultrix system has been so configured, just try it and see what happens. If it doesn't work, you will receive notification almost instantly.
NOTE: The Ultrix mail system is extremely flexible; it is almost
completely configurable by the customer. While this is valuable to customers, it makes it very difficult to write global instructions for the use of Ultrix mailers, because it is possible that the local changes have produced something quite unlike the vendor-delivered mailer. One of the popular changes is to tinker with the meaning of quote characters (") in Ultrix addresses. Some systems consider that these two addresses are the same:
while others are configured so that one form will work and the other will not. All of these examples use the quotes. If you have trouble getting the examples to work, please try them again without the quotes. Perhaps your Ultrix system is interpreting the quotes differently.
If your Ultrix system has an IP link to Palo Alto (type "/etc/ping decwrl.dec.com" to find out if it does), then you can route your mail to the gateway via IP. This has the advantage that your Ultrix mail headers will reach the gateway directly, instead of being translated into DECNET mail headers and then back into Ultrix at the other end. Do this as follows:
The quotes are necessary only if the alien address contains a ! character, but they don't hurt if you use them unnecessarily. If the alien address contains an "@" character, you will need to change it into a "%" character. For example, to send via IP to email@example.com, you should address the mail
If your Ultrix system has only a DECNET link to Palo Alto, then you should address mail in much the same way that VMS users do, save that you should not put the nm% in front of the address:
Here are some typical outgoing mail addresses as used from an Ultrix system that has IP access. Ultrix systems without IP access should use the same syntax as VMS users, except that the nm% at the front of the address should not be used.
DETAILS OF USING OTHER NETWORKS
All of the world's computer networks are connected together, more or less, so it is hard to draw exact boundaries between them. Precisely where the Internet ends and UUCP begins is a matter of interpretation.
For purposes of sending mail, though, it is convenient to divide the network universe into these categories:
Digital's internal DECNET network. Characterized by addresses of the form NODE::USER. Easynet can be used for commercial purposes.
A collection of networks including the old ARPAnet, the NSFnet, the CSnet, and others. Most international research, development, and educational organizations are connected in some fashion to the Internet. Characterized by addresses of the form firstname.lastname@example.org. The Internet itself cannot be used for commercial purposes.
A very primitive network with no management, built with auto-dialers phoning one computer from another. Characterized by addresses of the form place1!place2!user. The UUCP network can be used for commercial purposes provided that none of the sites through which the message is routed objects to that.
Not a network at all, but a layer of software built on top of UUCP and Internet.
An IBM-based network linking primarily educational sites. Digital users can send to BITNET as if it were part of Internet, but BITNET users need special instructions for reversing the process. BITNET cannot be used for commercial purposes.
A network of personal computers. I am unsure of the status of using Fidonet for commercial purposes, nor am I sure of its efficacy.
DOMAINS AND DOMAIN ADDRESSING
There is a particular network called "the Internet;" it is somewhat related to what used to be "the ARPAnet." The Internet style of addressing is flexible enough that people use it for addressing other networks as well, with the result that it is quite difficult to look at an address and tell just what network it is likely to traverse. But the phrase "Internet address" does not mean "mail address of some computer on the Internet" but rather "mail address in the style used by the Internet." Terminology is even further confused because the word "address" means one thing to people who build networks and something entirely different to people who use them. In this file an "address" is something like "email@example.com" and not "126.96.36.199" (which is what network engineers would call an "internet address").
The Internet naming scheme uses hierarchical domains, which despite their title are just a bookkeeping trick. It doesn't really matter whether you say NODE::USER or USER@NODE, but what happens when you connect two companies' networks together and they both have a node ANCHOR?? You must, somehow, specify which ANCHOR you mean. You could say ANCHOR.DEC::USER or DEC.ANCHOR::USER or USER@ANCHOR.DEC or USER@DEC.ANCHOR. The Internet convention is to say USER@ANCHOR.DEC, with the owner (DEC) after the name (ANCHOR).
But there could be several different organizations named DEC. You could have Digital Equipment Corporation or Down East College or Disabled Education Committee. The technique that the Internet scheme uses to resolve conflicts like this is to have hierarchical domains. A normal domain isn't DEC or STANFORD, but DEC.COM (commercial) and STANFORD.EDU (educational). These domains can be further divided into ZK3.DEC.COM or CS.STANFORD.EDU. This doesn't resolve conflicts completely, though: both Central Michigan University and Carnegie-Mellon University could claim to be CMU.EDU. The rule is that the owner of the EDU domain gets to decide, just as the owner of the CMU.EDU gets to decide whether the Electrical Engineering department or the Elementary Education department gets subdomain EE.CMU.EDU.
The domain scheme, while not perfect, is completely extensible. If you have two addresses that can potentially conflict, you can suffix some domain to the end of them, thereby making, say, decwrl.UUCP be somehow different from DECWRL.ENET.
DECWRL's entire mail system is organized according to Internet domains, and in fact we handle all mail internally as if it were Internet mail. Incoming mail is converted into Internet mail, and then routed to the appropriate domain; if that domain requires some conversion, then the mail is converted to the
requirements of the outbound domain as it passes through the gateway. For
example, they put Easynet mail into the domain ENE STATE DENSITY ACCESS NUMBER NTWK
----- ------------------- -------------- ------ ------------ ----
03306 BERKELEY CALIFORNIA 300/1200 415-548-2121 @PPS
06272 EL SEGUNDO CALIFORNIA 300/1200 213-640-8548 @PPS
06272 FULLERTON CALIFORNIA 300/1200 714-441-2777 @PPS
06272 INGLEWOOD CALIFORNIA 300/1200 213-216-7667 @PPS
06272 LOS ANGELES(DOWNTOWN) CALIFORNIA 300/1200 213-687-3727 @PPS
06272 LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA 300/1200 213-480-1677 @PPS
03306 MOUNTAIN VIEW CALIFORNIA 300/1200 415-960-3363 @PPS
03306 OAKLAND CALIFORNIA 300/1200 415-893-9889 @PPS
03306 PALO ALTO CALIFORNIA 300/1200 415-325-4666 @PPS
06272 PASADENA CALIFORNIA 300/1200 818-356-0780 @PPS
03306 SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA 300/1200 415-543-8275 @PPS
03306 SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA 300/1200 415-626-5380 @PPS
03306 SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA 300/1200 415-362-2280 @PPS
03306 SAN JOSE CALIFORNIA 300/1200 408-920-0888 @PPS
06272 SANTA ANNA CALIFORNIA 300/1200 714-972-9844 @PPS
06272 VAN NUYS CALIFORNIA 300/1200 818-780-1066 @PPS
@PPS PACIFIC BELL - NETWORK NAME IS PUBLIC PACKET SWITCHING (PPS)
. . . _< _C R (SYNCHRONIZES DATA SPEEDS)>
(DOES NOT ECHO TO THE TERMINAL)
WELCOME TO PPS: 415-XXX-XXXX
1 _3 _1 _0 _6 9 (TYMNET ADDRESS)
(DOES NOT ECHO UNTIL TYMNET RESPONDS)
-GWY 0XXXX- TYMNET: PLEASE LOG IN: (HOST # WITHIN DASHES)
NODE CITY STATE DENSITY ACCESS NUMBERS NWRK
----- -------------------- -------------- ------- ------------ -----
05443 KANSAS CITY KANSAS 300/1200 316/225-9951 @MRLK
05443 HAYS KANSAS 300/1200 913/625-8100 @MRLK
05443 HUTCHINSON KANSAS 300/1200 316/669-1052 @MRLK
05443 LAWRENCE KANSAS 300/1200 913/841-5580 @MRLK
05443 MANHATTAN KANSAS 300/1200 913/539-9291 @MRLK
05443 PARSONS KANSAS 300/1200 316/421-0620 @MRLK
05443 SALINA KANSAS 300/1200 913/825-4547 @MRLK
05443 TOPEKA KANSAS 300/1200 913/235-1909 @MRLK
05443 WICHITA KANSAS 300/1200 316/269-1996 @MRLK
04766 BRIDGETON/ST. LOUIS MISSOURI 300/1200 314/622-0900 @MRLK
04766 ST. LOUIS MISSOURI 300/1200 314/622-0900 @MRLK
06510 ADA OKLAHOMA 300/1200 405/436-0252 @MRLK
06510 ALTUS OKLAHOMA 300/1200 405/477-0321 @MRLK
06510 ALVA OKLAHOMA 300/1200 405/327-1441 @MRLK
06510 ARDMORE OKLAHOMA 300/1200 405/223-8086 @MRLK
03167 BARTLESVILLE OKLAHOMA 300/1200 918/336-6901 @MRLK
06510 CLINTON OKLAHOMA 300/1200 405/323-8102 @MRLK
06510 DURANT OKLAHOMA 300/1200 405/924-2680 @MRLK
06510 ENID OKLAHOMA 300/1200 405/242-8221 @MRLK
06510 LAWTON OKLAHOMA 300/1200 405/248-8772 @MRLK
03167 MCALESTER OKLAHOMA 300/1200 918/426-0900 @MRLK
03167 MIAMI OKLAHOMA 300/1200 918/540-1551 @MRLK
03167 MUSKOGEE OKLAHOMA 300/1200 918/683-1114 @MRLK
06510 OKLAHOMA CITY OKLAHOMA 300/1200 405/236-0660 @MRLK
06510 PONCA CITY OKLAHOMA 300/1200 405/762-9926 @MRLK
03167 SALLISAW OKLAHOMA 300/1200 918/775-7713 @MRLK
06510 SHAWNEE OKLAHOMA 300/1200 405/273-0053 @MRLK
06510 STILLWATER OKLAHOMA 300/1200 405/377-5500 @MRLK
03167 TULSA OKLAHOMA 300/1200 918/583-6606 @MRLK
06510 WOODWARD OKLAHOMA 300/1200 405/256-9947 @MRLK
@MRLK - SOUTHWESTERN BELL TELEPHONE- NETWORK NAME IS MICROLINK II(R)
(PLEASE TYPE YOUR TERMINAL IDENTIFIER)
A _ (YOUR TERMINAL IDENTIFIER)
WELCOME TO MICROLINK II
PLEASE LOG IN:
.T < _C _R > (USERNAME TO ACCESS TYMNET)
HOST: CALL CONNECTED
-GWY 0XXXX- TYMNET: PLEASE LOG IN:
SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND
NODE CITY STATE DENSITY ACCESS NUMBERS NWRK
----- ------------------- ----------- ------- -------------- -----
02727 BRIDGEPORT CONNECTICUT 300/2400 203/366-6972 @CONNNET
02727 BRISTOL CONNECTICUT 300/2400 203/589-5100 @CONNNET
02727 CANAAN CONNECTICUT 300/2400 203/824-5103 @CONNNET
02727 CLINTON CONNECTICUT 300/2400 203/669-4243 @CONNNET
02727 DANBURY CONNECTICUT 300/2400 203/743-2906 @CONNNET
02727 DANIELSON CONNECTICUT 300/2400 203/779-1880 @CONNNET
02727 HARTFORD/MIDDLETOWN CONNECTICUT 300/2400 203/724-6219 @CONNNET
02727 MERIDEN CONNECTICUT 300/2400 203/237-3460 @CONNNET
02727 NEW HAVEN CONNECTICUT 300/2400 203/776-1142 @CONNNET
02727 NEW LONDON CONNECTICUT 300/2400 203/443-0884 @CONNNET
02727 NEW MILFORD CONNECTICUT 300/2400 203/355-0764 @CONNNET
02727 NORWALK CONNECTICUT 300/2400 203/866-5305 @CONNNET
02727 OLD GREDDWICH CONNNETICUT 300/2400 203/637-8872 @CONNNET
02727 OLD SAYBROOK CONNECTICUT 300/2400 203/388-0778 @CONNNET
02727 SEYMOUR CONNECTICUT 300/2400 203/881-1455 @CONNNET
02727 STAMFORD CONNECTICUT 300/2400 203/324-9701 @CONNNET
02727 STORRS CONNECTICUT 300/2400 203/429-4243 @CONNNET
02727 TORRINGTON CONNECTICUT 300/2400 203/482-9849 @CONNNET
02727 WATERBURY CONNECTICUT 300/2400 203/597-0064 @CONNNET
02727 WILLIMANTIC CONNECTICUT 300/2400 203/456-4552 @CONNNET
02727 WINDSOR CONNECTICUT 300/2400 203/688-9330 @CONNNET
02727 WINDSOR LCKS/ENFIELD CONNECTICUT 300/2400 203/623-9804 @CONNNET
@CONNNET - SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND TELEPHONE - NETWORK NAME IN CONNNET
H_ H_ <_ C_ R_> (SYNCHRONIZES DATA SPEEDS)
(DOES NOT ECHO TO THE TERMINAL)
._ T_ <_ C_ R_>_ (MUST BE CAPITAL LETTERS)
26-SEP-88 18:33 (DATA)
031069 (ADDRESS CONFIRMATION)
COM (CONFIRMATION OF CALL SET-UP)
-GWY OXXXX-TYMNET: PLEASE LOG IN:
On a side note, the recent book The Cuckoo's Egg provides some interesting information (in the form of a story, however) on a Tymnet hacker. Remember that he was into BIG things, and hence he was cracked down upon. If you keep a low profile, networks should provide a good access method.
If you can find a system that is connected to the Internet that you can get on from Tymnet, you are doing well.
In other words, if I wanted to mail to Silicon Swindler at 1:135/5, the address would be Silicon_Swindler@f5.n135.z1.ifna.org and, provided that your mailer knows the .ifna.org domain, it should get through alright. Apparently, as of the writing of this article, they have implemented a new gateway name called fidonet.org which should work in place of ifna.org in all routings. If your mailer does not know either of these domains, use the above routing but replace the first "@" with a "%" and then afterwards, use either of the following mailers after the "@": CS.ORST.EDU or K9.CS.ORST.EDU (i.e. username%f
The following is a list compiled by Bill Fenner (WCF@PSUECL.BITNET) that was posted on INFONETS DIGEST which lists a number of FIDONET gateways:
Net Node Node Name
~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~
104 56 milehi.ifna.org
105 55 casper.ifna.org
107 320 rubbs.ifna.org
109 661 blkcat.ifna.org
125 406 fidogate.ifna.org
128 19 hipshk.ifna.org
129 65 insight.ifna.org
143 N/A fidogate.ifna.org
152 200 castle.ifna.org
161 N/A fidogate.ifna.org
369 17 megasys.ifna.org
The UUCP equivalent node name is the first part of the node name. In other words, the UUCP node milehi is listed as milehi.ifna.org but can be mailed directly over the UUCP network.
Another way to mail to FIDONET, specifically for Internet people, is in this format:
And for those UUCP mailing people out there, just use the path described and ignore the @husc5.harvard.edu portion. There is a FIDONET NODELIST available on most any FIDONET bulletin board, but it is quite large.
Previously known as Tymnet, OnTyme is the McDonnell Douglas revision. After they bought out Tymnet, they renamed the company and opened an experimental Internet gateway at ONTYME.TYMNET.COM but this is supposedly only good for certain corporate addresses within McDonnell Douglas and Tymnet, not their customers. The userid format is xx.yyy or xx.y/yy where xx is a net name and yyy (or y/yy) is a true username. If you cannot directly nail this, try: