Network Working Group                                         J. Onions
Request for Comments: 1606                                   Nexor Ltd.
Category: Informational                                    1 April 1994

         A Historical Perspective On The Usage Of IP Version 9

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  This memo
   does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of
   this memo is unlimited.


   This paper reviews the usages of the old IP version protocol. It
   considers some of its successes and its failures.


   The take-up of the network protocol TCP/IPv9 has been phenomenal over
   the last few years. Gone are the days when there were just a few
   million hosts, and the network was understood. As the IP version 9
   protocol comes to the end of its useful life, once again due to
   address space exhaustion, we look back at some of the success of the


   The up to 42 deep hierarchy of routing levels built into IPv9 must
   have been one of the key features for its wide deployment. The
   ability to assign a whole network, or group of networks to an
   electronic component must be seen as one of the reasons for its
   takeup. The use of the Compact Disk Hologram units is typical of the
   usage. They typically have a level 37 network number assigned to each
   logical part, and a level 36 network number assigned to the whole
   device. This allows the CDH management protocol to control the unit
   as a whole, and the high-street vendor to do remote diagnostics on
   discreet elements of the device. This still allows sub-chip routing
   to be done using the 38th level addressing to download new nanocode.
   As yet, no requirement has been found for levels 40-42, with level 39
   still being used for experimental interrogation of atomic structure
   of components where required.

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RFC 1606         Historical Perspective Usage of IP V9      1 April 1994


   The vast number space of the IPv9 protocol has also allowed
   allocation to be done in a straight forward manner. Typically, most
   high street commercial internet providers issue a range of 1 billion
   addresses to each house. The addresses are then dynamically
   partitioned into subnet hierarchies allowing groups of a million
   addresses to be allocated for each discreet unit (e.g., room/floor
   etc.) The allocation of sub groups then to controllers such as light
   switches, mains sockets and similar is then done from each pool.

   The allocation process is again done in a hierarchical zoned way,
   with each major application requesting a block of addresses from its
   controller. In this way the light bulb requests an address block from
   the light switch, the light switch in turn from the electrical system
   which in turn requests one from the room/floor controller. This has
   been found to be successful due to the enormous range of addresses
   available, and contention for the address space being without
   problems typically.

   Whilst there are still many addresses unallocated the available space
   has been sharply decreased. The discovery of intelligent life on
   other solar systems with the parallel discovery of a faster-than-
   light transport stack is the main cause. This enables real time
   communication with them, and has made the allocation of world-size
   address spaces necessary, at the level 3 routing hierarchy. There is
   still only 1 global (spatial) level 2 galaxy wide network required
   for this galaxy, although the establishment of permanent space
   stations in deep space may start to exhaust this. This allows level 1
   to be used for inter-galaxy routing. The most pressing problem now is
   the case of parallel universes.  Of course there is the danger of
   assuming that there is no higher extrapolation than parallel

   Up to now, the hacking into, and setting of holo-recorder devices to
   the wrong channel from remote galaxies, has not been confirmed, and
   appears to be attributable to finger problem with the remote control
   whilst travelling home from the office.


   The introduction of body monitors as IPv9 addresseable units injected
   into the blood stream has been rated as inconclusive. Whilst being
   able to have devices lodged in the heart, kidneys, brain, etc.,
   sending out SNMPv9 trap messages at critical events has been a useful
   monitoring tool for doctors, the use of the blood stream as both a
   delivery and a communication highway, has been problematic. The
   crosstalk between the signals moving through the blood stream and the

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RFC 1606         Historical Perspective Usage of IP V9      1 April 1994

   close proximity of nerves has meant that patients suffering multiple
   events at once, can go into violent spasm. This, coupled with early
   problems with broadcasts storms tending to make patients blood boil,
   have led to a rethink on this whole procedure. Also, the requirement
   to wear the silly satellite dish hat has led to feelings of
   embarrassment except in California, where it is now the latest trend.

   The usage of IPv9 addresseable consumer packaging has been a topic of
   hot debate. The marketing people see it as a godsend, being able to
   get feedback on how products are actually used. Similarly, the
   recycling is much improved by use of directed broadcast, "All those
   packages composed of cardboard respond please." Consumers are not so
   keen on this seeing it as an invasion of privacy. The introduction of
   the handy-dandy directed stack zapper (which is also rumoured to be
   IPv9 aware) sending directed broadcasts on the local food package net
   effectively resetting the network mask to all 1's has made this an
   area of choice.

   The advent of the IPv9 magazine was universally approved of. Being
   able to ask a magazine where its contents page was the most useful of
   the features. However combined with the networked newspaper/magazine
   rack, the ability to find out where you left the magazine with the
   article that was concerned with something about useage of lawn mowers
   in outer space is obvious. The ability to download reading habits
   automatically into the house controller and therefore alert the
   reader of articles of similar ilk is seen as marginal. Alleged
   querying of this information to discover "deviant" behaviour in
   persons within political office by members of contending parties is

   Sneakernet, as pioneered by shoe specialists skholl is seen to be a
   failure. The market was just not ready for shoes that could forward
   detailed analysis of foot odour to manufacturers...


   Of course, cost is one of the issues that was not considered when
   IPv9 was designed. It took a leap of imagination to believe that one
   day anything that wished to be could be IPv9 addresseable. It was
   assumed that IPv9 protocol machines would drop in price as with
   general chip technology. Few people would have forseen the advance in
   genetic manipulation that allowed viruses to be instructed to build
   nano-technology IPv9 protocol machines by the billion for the price
   or a grain of sugar. Or similarly, the nano-robots that could insert
   and wire these in place.

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RFC 1606         Historical Perspective Usage of IP V9      1 April 1994

   The recent research in quark-quark transistors, shows some promise
   and may allow specially built atoms to be used as switches. The
   manufacture of these will be so expensive (maybe up to 10cent an IPv9
   stack) as to be prohibitive except for the most highly demanding


   Those who do not study history, are doomed to repeat it.

Security Considerations

   Security issues are not discussed in this memo.

Author's Address

   Julian Onions
   Nexor Ltd.
   PO Box 132
   Nottingham NG7 2UU, ENGLAND

   Phone: +44 602 520580

Onions                                                          [Page 4]