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Packet radio networks

Packet radio networks

Ham operators designed their own "Network" of computers back in the late 70s. The Canadian Department of Commerce legalized Packet Radio by ham operators in 1978. Then the TAPR "80 (Tucson Amateur Packet Radio corporation ) began developing radio communication protocols. 1981 TAPR decided to use a version of the computer industries x.25 communications protocol, calling it AX.25 ("A" for amateur radio). Packet radio communications started with a few people who could afford computers and to modify Bell-202 modems with the TAPR chip protocol.

Soon computer prices fell and Terminal Node Controller kits were becoming more available. Radio networks were being set up much like a Unix "on/off LAN" and businesses "constant-on LAN." An example of an "on/off LAN" is an Internet web browser, that is not actually connected to the web site all the time, but intermittently connects to ("pings") the web site for information. A computer bulletin board system like CompuServe is an example of a "constant-on LAN" because it is always connected to the net and to other nodes in its system.

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