User talk:Eric M Gearhart

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Still laughing...

You should have seen my face when I saw the edit summary, "pronounced jitters". Before I read it in context, I was picturing a roomful of generals being told that the Army, as well as the Marines, was being made a component of the Navy. :-)

Howard C. Berkowitz 16:52, 13 May 2008 (CDT)

Random numbers

Hi, could you have a look at what I found in my man pages: ? I think at least one of random or urandom yields real random numbers as it uses environmental noise. However, the text in my manpage differs to the text of the article in which generator gives real and wich gives pseudo random numbers. Alexander Wiebel 06:25, 6 June 2008 (CDT)

Astronomers, Amateurs, etc...

Hi, glad you liked it. Believe it or not (as I mention in the header), a lot of the dialogue really happened, in History of the Internet. It was that set-to, and the lack of support I got from fellow editors, which was the end for me on Wikipedia. We'll see how CZ turns out - it's small yet, and Wikipedia at this stage was equally nice. It's when it takes off that we'll see if our procedures are, or can be made to be, better. J. Noel Chiappa 12:05, 7 June 2008 (CDT)

Thanks on Iran-Iraq

You've encouraged me to bring over some material specific to third-country involvement with Iran-Iraq, which got so politicized at The Other Place as to be one of my reasons for leaving. Actually, I'm both proud of the Soviet support to both sides, and sad that both the US and USSR played both sides for their own geopolitical reasons.

Anyway, I put comments on the Iran-Iraq related articles page and the Iran-Iraq talk page; we can continue discussion wherever it makes sense. You've presumably see the Gulf War article; I'm not sure I feel brave enough to tackle Iraq War of 2003. Howard C. Berkowitz 23:30, 9 July 2008 (CDT)

I'm no professional military historian, but I'll help out where I can. Those articles cover a "lot of ground" so to speak. I was in Baghdad when Hussein was hanged, so I at least have an "on the ground" perspective I can add if nothing else Eric M Gearhart 00:11, 10 July 2008 (CDT)
Sort of a small world -- a friend of mine, an Engineer sergeant, who has just gone back for another tour, was part of a security perimeter 500 meters from where they pulled Saddam out of his hole. Of course, my friend didn't know why his unit had been put there for a few days, and it started out as a good opportunity for grumbling about learning to use engineers as engineers, not infantry.
It's just been a couple of weeks, so I don't know how much Internet connectivity he'll have. He is the most knowledgeable person I know on the Byzantine Empire, so he certainly could contribute here without jeopardizing OPSEC. Mind you, that sort of came up on a previous tour, when he wanted to name his AVLB bridge launcher "Constantine", and none of his chain of command knew why. Howard C. Berkowitz 00:28, 10 July 2008 (CDT)
Small world indeed. Well tell him to keep his weapon clean and his head down, and I hope he gets back safe. "The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war." -MacArthur Eric M Gearhart 00:34, 10 July 2008 (CDT)

Models in search of a homeland

Take a look at Internet Protocol Suite/Signed articles, or however you link to a subpage. Perhaps these belong in Computer networking reference models , Open Systems Interconnection Reference Model, or in their own article (rather than subpage) so all three articles can link to them.

If sufficiently provoked, I could bring up that IBM's System Network Architecture also had seven layers. Howard C. Berkowitz 20:53, 13 July 2008 (CDT)

I'll take a look... I definitely stand on the shoulders of giants in the realm of "Internet History" - some of these folks have been making a living in networking since before I was born -Eric M Gearhart 21:14, 13 July 2008 (CDT)
It's a good feeling. I've been on a number of committees with Vint Cerf, and he, Scott Bradner, and Lyman Chapin were the advisors for my last to books with Wiley. Aside from their creativity, they are all remarkably nice people. You find interesting sides -- Bob Metcalfe, the co-inventor of Ethernet, is also a pretty good stage magician. He's been skeptical as a trade press columnist, but I'll give him this -- he's the only person I know that, after saying he'd eat his words, spread mustard and mayo on a column and ate it in public. Howard C. Berkowitz 22:10, 13 July 2008 (CDT)
By the way, I just had to mention this - I work at a local Tucson ISP and I convinced my boss to buy your "Building Service Provider Networks" book. I think me telling him "I've talk with the author at length on Citizendium" helped :-) -Eric M Gearhart 11:31, 14 July 2008 (CDT)
Aha! Tucson! Do either of you know Justin Newton? Tucson had the first local exchange point. Howard C. Berkowitz 12:26, 14 July 2008 (CDT)
I work in the same building as Login (we're in the next suite), and I've heard some "famous Internet people" work there/have worked there (things like really low AS numbers, etc.) - does that sound familiar? -Eric M Gearhart 13:03, 14 July 2008 (CDT)

Would you believe...

Chief, my using decryption instead of encryption was itself a cryptosystem?

I wonder if Max Smart's shoe phone is secure? Howard C. Berkowitz 19:23, 28 July 2008 (CDT)

Having been a fan of Nick at Nite when I was younger I just literally laughed out loud :) Eric M Gearhart

Mail list strangeness

(repeated from the response on my userpage)

There are definite weird interactions between CZ's mail servers and outside servers. For a time, I could send email to Larry through the CZ web interface, and it appeared as if the CZ mail server would accept replies to mail he had initiated. That problem appeared to go away, but I was getting bounces on mail sent from my own domain, which is hosted on, and from hotmail--totally different SMTP servers. Perhaps the CZ server didn't like that my POP3 client is on Comcast.

Anyway, you can always email me directly. I'd like to get some general Computers (and, for that matter, Military) idea generation going, but I'm not sure if the mailing list or forum would be more productive. (Repeated on Eric's page) Howard C. Berkowitz 13:39, 30 July 2008 (CDT)

Hey! Just realised...

...that you're in the same place as Hayford! Oh, too bad I can't just fly over and have coffee with the pair of you! Why wasn't I born rich instead of lovely?

At any rate, long time no hear. I hope you're readjusting to civilian life easily.

I signed you in at The August Party Do join us on Wednesday September 2nd for what I hope will be a very active party with music, music, music. Theme: "My Favourite Band" (or, 'ensemble' or 'group' or 'orchestra' or 'singer' or 'recording' or...?

Be well.

Aleta Curry 22:59, 7 August 2008 (CDT)

Aleta - I appreciate all the work you do here - work has been a nightmare lately so I haven't had time to participate as much as I'd like. Thanks for keeping me in mind though! Eric M Gearhart 13:46, 8 August 2008 (CDT)

OSI Reference Model

In an ideal world, I'd get rid of the OSI Reference Model completely, or deprecate it strongly in favor of the far more realistic Internet model. Given the fetishistic attachment of educators to the OSIRM, no matter how obsolete it may be, we can't do that.

I would still like to find a way to stress that it's essentially historical, and that while one may need to understand it to pass tests, the model as taught is misleading. You correctly point out that repeaters are not part of the OSIRM, first published in 1984, but how many people realize that ISO only grudgingly admitted to the existence of routers in "OSI Routeing Framework, ISO, 1995, ISO/TR 9575"? (Yes, there were earlier drafts, but when I was at the Corporation for Open Systems in 1986-1991, the closest thing to router testing was a conformance test of the end system interface to an X.25 network). Howard C. Berkowitz 05:10, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Well I do understand your position on it being a "deprecated dinosaur" so to speak, but it does find its way into talk between network jockeys quite often (in my own limited experience, and the OSI model was not brought up by me during said conversations), and it is taught for certifications and whatnot quite often as well. I agree we should get some kind of "this really should die a peaceful death" paragraph near the first paragraph Eric M Gearhart 05:14, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Peaceful? Have you read Internet Protocol Suite/Signed Articles? BWAHAHAHA! Howard C. Berkowitz 05:19, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

File transfer

Fine to have the conversation here

I'm hesitant to have FTP in core articles, before having a clear understanding of a "file" (i.e., an ordered collection of records that exists as a set) and generic "file transfer." FTP is one way of transferring files, based on records, and with quite a few awkward things such as redirection and passive FTP.

Yet a file can also be transferred as a unit with MIME, or in a different record-oriented way with NFS, AFS, etc. The ambiguity between the FTP protocol and the *NIX FTP command doesn't help.

May I suggest the core article should be files and file transfer? Howard C. Berkowitz 14:06, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes I agree... FTP was already added to the list by someone else, I simply fixed the link Eric M Gearhart
It may be long overdue to revisit some of the core topic lists, not just computers, adding a few things and replacing/releting others. Sometimes we seem to regard them as cast in stone. Howard C. Berkowitz 14:13, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
My first reply was just after I'd woken up... now that I've had some coffee maybe I can contribute more to the discussion. How can there be any discussion about "transferring files" when the concept of a file, data, packets, Ethernet frames, checksums, etc etc etc have not been discussed yet? I agree that both Military and Computers "Core articles" both need to be revised. Is FTP just a "higher level" Core article or do you think it doesn't have a place in Core articles at all? Eric M Gearhart 14:22, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
"File" is core. "Message" is core. "File transfer" is core. "Message transfer" is core. Individual protocols are non-core. Howard C. Berkowitz 14:44, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

About {{reflist|2}}

Eric, I note that you added the {{reflist|2}} template to the Coal article but, in my IE6 browser, the reflist is still one single column. Is that because of my browser?

Also, I fail to see how having two columns will shorten anything when almost all of the references (in single column) stretch well past half of my display (19 inch monitor, 1152 by 864 resolution). Milton Beychok 23:52, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Milton - OK up to you. Eric M Gearhart 21:13, 7 July 2009 (UTC)