I've posted it a little early because I'm excited but here is my reading and analysis of RFC-1, the very first official Request for Comments document and an important piece of internet history.

write.as/365-rfcs/rfc-1

I'm doing one of these a day for a year. You can follow along at @365-rfcs. I'll only be posting the really noteworthy ones on this account.

RFC-5 was an early (eventually abandoned) proposal for delivering rich applications over ARPANET. Specifically it was conceived as a way to connect to Doug Englebart's "mother of all demos" computing system remotely from a more typical OS! My writeup:

write.as/365-rfcs/rfc-5

You can follow along with my series commenting on the first 365 RFCs here @365-rfcs

RFC-7 led me down an unexpected computer history rabbit hole where I learned about GORDO, an operating system that was quickly renamed to... SEX. Yeah.

write.as/365-rfcs/rfc-7

You can follow along with my series commenting on the first 365 RFCs here @365-rfcs

RFC-15 is an important one: it's the initial proposal for Telnet! The first version of this program was written in late 1969 and it's a tool that I still occasionally use today, which is really amazing when you think about it.

write.as/365-rfcs/rfc-15

You can follow along with my series commenting on the first 365 RFCs here @365-rfcs

Okay, RFC-20 is here! This is the RFC that says "we are going to use ASCII for communicating between computers". Read on to learn about what a character encoding even IS and why it still affects our day to day internet experience. It'll be a very%20fun%20read, I promise.

write.as/365-rfcs/rfc-20

You can follow along with my series commenting on the first 365 RFCs here @365-rfcs

I contacted the Computer History Museum and paid them a small fee to have them scan the first 9 RFCs. I'm happy to say those scans are now online.

My post with interesting excerpts and things I learned looking at the scans: write.as/365-rfcs/update-scans

The listing of the scans in their catalog, with a link to the PDF: computerhistory.org/collection

You can follow along with my series commenting on the first 365 RFCs here @365-rfcs

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@darius Interesting! Were the RFCs previously in some kind of online system (maybe NLS itself?) and then lost to the world of computation until now? Or were the original copies actually made of paper?

@kragen They were mostly typewritten and copied and mailed around. Some were hand written! They were transcribed into text form in the late 90s so before then they were indeed not online.

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