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RE: E.C.T.

The ECT proposal sounds pretty good, and I'd like to toss in my nickle's 

What to do about the non-Unix (and Unix variants) world?  Granted that the 
majority of the net is "unix" based, there are still a *lot* of folks that 
run MSDOS, Windows, Amigas, Ataris, and god-knows-what-else.  If they can't 
'play', that would seem to put a semi-serious limitation on the testbed.  
What hooks are going to be available to let the other kids play? (I count 
myself in there - I run Windows)

There was recently a not-so-brief thread about what to call the electronic 
"cash" - why not just go with that old Sci-Fi standby of "credits" 
(abbreviated C| ?  Or the copyright symbol?)? It's not specific to any 
country/currency, and fairly accurately describes the nature of the medium.

Are the creditbanks going to be available on a 24-hour basis, with the 
attendant load/reliability questions?  If not, what to do about overdrafts, 
or refusals-of-service because a creditbank is 'down'?  How to deal with 
getting account balances (if appropriate)?  Do we handle the transactions as 
cash (each "bill" serial numbered and sealed)) or checks (available in 
virtually any "denomination" - with the related check-based concerns)? 
If it's going to be in "denominational" form, how are these "bills" going to 
be identified? This is related to the unix/MSDOS/Atari/Amiga/??? question - 
discrete monetary denominations should at least have filenames that are 
usable by all participants (regrettably, that means the MSDOS limitation of 
8.3 - *sigh*).  If checks, what format do they take (I'll assume they'll 
still meet the minimum filename limitations of MSDOS)? How are the credits 
actually transferred (ie, how would I send C|35 to Tim May :-) - attachment, 
inclusion (uuencoded?  MIME?), or ????  Would I be correct that these credits 
would only be available in integer units?

Please understand - I'm not trying to throw cold water on the idea, or 
pretend I'm playing "devil's advocate", or anything of the sort.  I like 
the idea of implementing a testbed for e-money, and would like to 
contribute whatever I can: I've followed the e-money discussions as theory, 
but my 'real world' job is as an engineering tech - the one who tries to get 
from the design/theory stage to real implementation.  You "engineers" get to 
work out the gory details of what's the best "design"; us "technicians" have 
to work out the details of how to implement your designs - and provide 
feedback when something doesn't "look right", or ask questions when there's a 
_perceived_ problem with the implementation.  The design/implementation 
process generally works best when the engineer can tell the technician what 
he's trying to do, and the technician gets to provide feedback by asking dumb 
questions about why and how and what-happens-if :-)

Finally, I think it would be better if the foundation for the ECT were in 
place before trying to spread the gospel, so to speak.  I know that's kind of 
obvious, but if we had the creditbanks in place, the creditnotes or 
creditchecks available, and the tools (MS-Windows CreditWriter?  Atari 
CreditPurse?) to allow unix/DOS/Atari/Amiga users to actually use the system, 
more folks would be willing to at least give it a *try*. It's the old 
bird-in-the-hand vs two-in-the-bush deal.......

One thing did occur to me after reading the ECT proposal: it would seem to be 
ideal for mailing lists and moderated newsgroups. Someone wanting to post an 
article/message pays (say) C|10 for the privelege; if others like it, they 
send the author C|1.  Flamers don't make much (if any) money, and good stuff 
increases wealth. Leaves folks free to write whatever they want, but not for 
free (translation: you've *really* got to want to say it before you'll pay 
for it).  Kinda brings new meaning to the phrase "putting in my .02 worth" 

Dave Merriman -
Playing "Straight Man" to the Cypherpunks Comedy Troupe :-)
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