BITNET


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BITNET

(networking)
/bit'net/ (Because It's Time NETwork) An academic and research computer network connecting approximately 2500 computers. BITNET provides interactive, electronic mail and file transfer services, using a store and forward protocol, based on IBM Network Job Entry protocols.

Bitnet-II encapsulates the Bitnet protocol within IP packets and depends on the Internet to route them. BITNET traffic and Internet traffic are exchanged via several gateway hosts.

BITNET is now operated by CREN.

BITNET is everybody's least favourite piece of the network. The BITNET hosts are a collection of IBM dinosaurs, VAXen (with lobotomised communications hardware), and Prime Computer supermini computers. They communicate using 80-character EBCDIC card images (see eighty-column mind); thus, they tend to mangle the headers and text of third-party traffic from the rest of the ASCII/RFC 822 world with annoying regularity. BITNET is also notorious as the apparent home of BIFF.

BITNET

A worldwide communications network founded in 1981 that served higher education and research. Well known for its LISTSERV software for managing electronic mailing lists, for years, BITNET was the world's largest computer-based, higher-education network. It was gradually supplanted by the Internet.
References in periodicals archive ?
Initially, there were the letters, but as e-mail became available on the IBM VM mainframes at Indiana and Northwestern, we began using this new technology, and by the time we were working on the board together, we were regular users of e-mail over BITNET.
With the LISTSERV file server, a user sent a request for a file to LISTSERV, and the file was sent in an e-mail message (or for users of BITNET, the file was delivered directly to the user's inbox).
Most computer departments brought the new servers up on the Internet, which offered greater speed than BITNET and communicated more easily across networks.
The LISTSERV software, which ran only on the IBM VM operating system over the BITNET network, was tied to aging technologies that were quickly becoming obsolete.
Although many readers will not have access to BITNET, it is possible to access many of the BBSs directly from a person's home computer system.
This is the major advantage to BITNET users as there are no charges for the transfer of messages or files to other BITNET users.
Thus it is possible to read EMUSIC-L, a BITNET LISTSERV list, using a news reader under the category bit.
A list of all BITNET LISTSERV lists is maintained by BITNIC while the list of Internet lists is available from the Network Information Systems Center at SRI.
The list of BITNET lists may be obtained by sending an email message to LISTSERV[at]BITNIC.