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plan 9 features (Re: autonomous agents (fwd)) (fwd)



Forwarded message:

> Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 00:33:14 GMT
> From: Adam Back <[email protected]>
> Subject: plan 9 features (Re: autonomous agents (fwd))

> Sounds interesting.  I am not familiar with plan 9 besides the
> enthusings of a colleague reminiscing about the work done at York
> Univ, UK with plan 9.
> 
> Java has a lot going for it as a candidate due to portability and code
> distribution support.  I think the only thing missing from java is the
> bidding and scheduling mechanisms.  Your other forwarded message on
> plan 9 looks interesting also.

I have been working on a potential distributed data haven model using the
Plan 9 architecture. I have finaly amassed enough machines where I can
actualy dedicate the i/o, process, and file servers on seperate machines.
The problem that I see for the immediate future is getting nodes that don't
happen to reside on my premises for additional testing in about a year. I
don't have a clue to how to get people to spend $400 bucks for the software
(which the ATT license prohibits from commercial use) *and* dedicate several
machines to the enterprise. But I'm not going to give up, maybe some folks
will volunteer just to do it...:)

I took the liberty of forwarding the man page for the auth() function to the
cpunks list. It describes the 56-bit DES based authentication mechanism. I
personaly don't care for DES so at some point I will be looking to replace
that mechanism with an alternative.

I also need to take some time and look at porting the Plan 9 file server
adapter for Unix to Win95/NT. Either that or I mount the file systems to a 
suitably enhanced Linux box and then export from there. This would imply
that the Win95/NT boxes need to be on the physical network of the Linux box
or else excessive opportunities for MITM attacks are present. Not that
simply being on the same network provides complete protection either. I hope
that OpenNT will provide enough Unix-like features to minimize the port
effort.

The Plan 9 mechanism also needs to be enhanced in such a way that besides
the access token involving encryption the actual transfer of packets are
also content encrypted. This has potential compatibility problems with
un-enhanced Plan 9 servers that I haven't had a chance to look at.

Once I have a system up and running it will allow non-Plan 9 systems to
access the resources by using what is called 'hand-held DES encryptors'.
Unfortunately, there is not a real description of how this is to be
accomplished in a real-world manner.

My hope is to have something available sometime this summer that will allow
folks to play with it at least in a limited way.

If you get the chance and have the resources you should look into at least
getting the Plan 9 documents. They're like $150 but call and verify that
price since I didn't this morning. Also note, there are now two releases
of Plan 9 floating around out there. The only distinction I am aware of is
one is the 'old' release and the current is the 'new' release. Don't have a
clue as to how to tell them apart or what compatibility problems will exist.

My best estimate is that in about a month I will have the resources to
install and begin developing the model. I am currently between employers (I
don't work at Tivoli-IBM anymore) so I'm job hunting in the Austin area
over the next few weeks. I'll make reports to the list on the results as I
manage to get results.

I don't know about Java on Plan 9, I'll look into it.

Take care.


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