Monday, 23 November 2009

Rfc 1149 - CPIP - A Practical Implementation

From the BBC :
A Durban IT company pitted an 11-month-old bird armed with a 4GB memory stick against the ADSL service from the country's biggest web firm, Telkom.

Winston the pigeon took two hours to carry the data 60 miles - in the same time the ADSL had sent 4% of the data.

Telkom said it was not responsible for the firm's slow internet speeds.

The idea for the race came when a member of staff at Unlimited IT complained about the speed of data transmission on ADSL.

He said it would be faster by carrier pigeon.
It was on April 1st 1990, that rfc 1149 was written. This rfc specifies a protocol for IP over avian carriers, CPIP (carrier pigeon internet protocol).

Earlier implementations on UNIX showed relatively poor performance :
Script started on Sat Apr 28 11:24:09 2001
vegard@gyversalen:~$ /sbin/ifconfig tun0
tun0 Link encap:Point-to-Point Protocol
inet addr: P-t-P: Mask:
RX packets:1 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:2 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
RX bytes:88 (88.0 b) TX bytes:168 (168.0 b)

vegard@gyversalen:~$ ping -i 900
PING ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=255 time=6165731.1 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=255 time=3211900.8 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=255 time=5124922.8 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=255 time=6388671.9 ms

--- ping statistics ---
9 packets transmitted, 4 packets received, 55% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max = 3211900.8/5222806.6/6388671.9 ms
vegard@gyversalen:~$ exit

Script done on Sat Apr 28 14:14:28 2001

For routine, regular data transmission of large files between two fixed points no more than 100km apart, bursts of data via carrier pigeon (or more conventionally, motorcycle courier) remain competitive with optical fibre. They make use of existing infrastructure rather than requiring massive investment.

It would be interesting to see where the crossover point occurs in various countries and circumstances: the smaller the files, the longer the distances, and the larger the list of addressees, the less advantage physical data transfer accrues.


John McVey said...

Mmmm, sneakernets :)

I remember from wayback when this quip was fresh:

"Never underestimate the bandwidth of a stationwagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway."

If memory serves, someone had it in their .sig, though at the time it mentioned 8-track tapes in particular.


Anonymous said...

I am not in the least surprized. We as a species keep developing new ways to do things under the auspis of 'its better'. We have left behind literaly hundreds to thousands of highly effective primative technologys. From what I see most of our inovations in the last few decades are not inovations at all but mearly a newer higher tech way of doing things. Like my computer. This one I am using right now can do stuff that my first computer could never acomplish. However I am still ussing this computer to do the stuff my old computers did.. Sure my 'new' computer is fast. But. . .All I use it for is Email and internet. My email and webpages take longer now to load than they did 5 years ago. Yet I have 'better' computer and modem??? Anouther example of 'progress' making stuff worse...have you had all the diferant Windows OS on your various computers?? Windows was in my HO just fine. Then they had to 'make it better' like what... 5 or 6 times they 'upgraded windows'. So better is actualy a word for worse now??? LOL
I am not baging on progress, I am just of the opinion that we are very easily manipulated to accept something new as better, when perhaps a bit of investigation would show that things were better in the past.
Anouther example is my TV. Now I will admit that it is an awesome piece of engineering that has impressed me no end. However...If something went wrong with my TV when I was a child fixing it was realatively easy. You pulled the tubes and took them to the department store. The store had a tube testing station and the stores sold bulbs. Now if my TV breaks I will have to throw it out. There are no usser servicable parts. If it dies ...its dead. Now this is a great inovation for the corporate greedmonger but for the typical midle class family it is not an inovation at all.
I betcha you give me a thousand men with catapults and burning pitch with the initiative and I can defete a highly technical armed force of similar numbers. Flaming flying fire...yeah that would do it.

I do respect the sciences and advancement of society but not all advancements and avenues of research are good for mankind or actual advancements.

just sayin'
Cynthia Lee

Anonymous said...

Latency isn't so great though :)

MgS said...

Hmmm...somewhere on YouTube is a demonstration of this filmed in Germany. It popped up in the mid-90s, I believe when a few grad students decided to implement it.

ScrappyLaptop said...

I call shenanigans! Like any other two technologies that compete, flash memory happens to be at a high point in GB/cost while ADSL is at a plateau. It's like the backup game played between hard drives and tape. Each surges ahead in terms of capacity/cost, then stagnates and is deemed obsolete.

I predict that in ten years ADSL will have seen a speed bump, there will be a population boom in falcons resulting in the carrier avian once again losing the race due to "dropped packets". Then just like in the days of the 3-1/2" floppy and business card CD's, carriers will surge ahead again once OFDM the breeding program succeeds...

RadarGrrl said...

Does it run under DOS?