[nos-bbs] A Wish...

Barry Siegfried k2mf at k2mf.ampr.org
Wed May 23 03:03:30 EDT 2007

["Steven Stimpson" <steven2 at gwi.net> wrote]:

> In keeping with the tradition of this list, with has historically
> dealt with development of Jnos and adding protocol features
> to it to make it more "Network Realistic" in both the Internet
> and Amprnet (RF) domains, I have a request for a protocol
> that has long been missing.
> Although the current direction of Jnos development by means
> of strictly porting to alternate (Yet statistically irrelevent)
> operating systems, and adding more ATTACH features such as various
> wideband HF modes to keep with the winlink trend is interesting,
> what HAS been missing over the years is DHCP.  Being a NOS
> fundamentalist, gaining internet access from DOS by merely
> attaching a packet driver and issuing 3 or 4 autoexec commands,
> I find the need to boot windows to get my LAN assigned a public
> IP address to be quite bothersome.  Not to mention if those
> addresses are not Re-Leased in a certain amount of time they are
> lost and another is assigned from the pool to replace it on the
> next DHCP query.

And what good is having a DHCP client to obtain a dynamically-
assigned public IP address from a cable internet access point
if you do not have IPNAT to go along with it (so that you can
actually *use* your public IP address by more than one machine
on the LAN)?  I might say at this point, by the way, that
programming both a DHCP client and/or IPNAT are NOT trivial

But all of that notwithstanding and at the risk of opening up a
pandora's box here, I will tell you that in 1998 I independently
coded IPNAT into the NOS that I utilize and then five years later
in 2003 I independently coded a DHCP client (based on the original
BOOTP client that was in JNOS) as well.  Two friends of mine used
the DHCP client successfully for about 3-4 years client until I
finally convinced them to drop the NOS DHCP client and IPNAT and
use a small consumer IPNAT router for their DHCP and IPNAT needs.
My primary objection to connecting a NOS PC directly to a cable
internet access point has always been the constant flood of ARP
broadcasts on the cable that the NOS PC is forced to endure.  A
small consumer IPNAT router makes a NOS PC gateway in a cable
internet access point installation (and its operator) *much*

It is interesting that you should be making your request now
that we have small consumer IPNAT router appliances to take on
the responsibilities of providing a DHCP client and IPNAT and
to insulate our LANs from the evils of the internet.  It seems
to me that the days in which a DHCP client (and IPNAT) could
have really been useful in JNOS are now over.

> Not only would this complete the simplicty and elegance of an
> internet accessible DOS gateway, it would also bring much more
> functionality to RF radio networks.  No longer would end users
> need to query a "IP designator" by E-mail and wait day or weeks
> (Depending on the integration of this hobby into the IP assignor)
> rather all they need do is send out the same type of request on
> the RF network as my Windows IP stack does on my LAN and the IP
> coordinator's DHCP server would handle the rest.

Interestingly, the secondary reason I had for originally putting
in the time to develop a DHCP client was precisely for your second
reason above, and that is for it to be used on RF networks as a
"quick" way for new packet enthusiasts to get on the air with
temporary 44-net IP addresses (GMTA!).  Of course, you would have
to install a DHCP server of some sort (perhaps a Linux device?)
at the center of the RF network so that it could hand out the IP
address assignments.  Now perhaps having a DHCP client in JNOS
could still be useful but to the best of my knowledge, in the
nearly four years that my NOS DHCP client has existed, it was
never actually used by anyone for that purpose.

> Pretty Please with sugar on top?

At the risk of getting myself in deeper than I would be able to
endure, I would be glad to make my DHCP client code available to
anyone who would like to try porting it to JNOS.  However, I would
have to warn anyone who would try to attempt this that you will
NOT simply be able to "drop it in" because of the many structural
differences which have evolved over the years in the platforms
between JNOS and my own.

Everyone's mileage varies.  :)

73, de Barry, K2MF >>
          <|>      Barry Siegfried
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