AOH :: P30-05.TXT

The DECWRL Mail Gateway

				==Phrack Inc.==

		     Volume Three, Issue 30, File #5 of 12

		    ()					()
		    ()	    The DECWRL Mail Gateway	()
		    ()					()
		    ()	       by Dedicated Link	()
		    ()					()
		    ()	      September 20, 1989	()
		    ()					()


DECWRL is a mail gateway computer operated by Digital's Western Research
Laboratory in Palo Alto, California.  Its purpose is to support the interchange
of electronic mail between Digital and the "outside world."

DECWRL is connected to Digital's Easynet, and also to a number of different
outside electronic mail networks.  Digital users can send outside mail by
sending to DECWRL::"outside-address", and digital users can also receive mail
by having your correspondents route it through DECWRL.	The details of incoming
mail are more complex, and are discussed below.

It is vitally important that Digital employees be good citizens of the networks
to which we are connected.  They depend on the integrity of our user community
to ensure that tighter controls over the use of the gateway are not required.
The most important rule is "no chain letters," but there are other rules
depending on whether the connected network that you are using is commercial or

The current traffic volume (September 1989) is about 10,000 mail messages per
day and about 3,000 USENET messages per day.  Gatewayed mail traffic has
doubled every year since 1983.	DECWRL is currently a Vax 8530 computer with 48
megabytes of main memory, 2500 megabytes of disk space, 8 9600-baud (Telebit)
modem ports, and various network connections.  They will shortly be upgrading
to a Vax 8650 system.  They run Ultrix 3.0 as the base operating system.


The gateway has engineering staff, but no administrative or clerical staff.
They work hard to keep it running, but they do not have the resources to answer
telephone queries or provide tutorials in its use.

They post periodic status reports to the USENET newsgroup dec.general.	Various
helpful people usually copy these reports to the VAXNOTES "gateways" conference
within a day or two.


DECWRL is connected to quite a number of different mail networks.  If you were
logged on directly to it, you could type addresses directly, e.g.

    To: strange!foreign!address.

But since you are not logged on directly to the gateway, you must send mail so
that when it arrives at the gateway, it will be sent as if that address had
been typed locally.

* Sending from VMS

If you are a VMS user, you should use NMAIL, because VMS mail does not know how
to requeue and retry mail when the network is congested or disconnected.  From
VMS, address your mail like this:

    To: nm%DECWRL::"strange!foreign!address"

The quote characters (") are important, to make sure that VMS doesn't try to
interpret strange!foreign!address itself.  If you are typing such an address
inside a mail program, it will work as advertised.  If you are using DCL and
typing directly to the command line, you should beware that DCL likes to remove
quotes, so you will have to enclose the entire address in quotes, and then put
two quotes in every place that one quote should appear in the address:

    $ mail test.msg "nm%DECWRL::""foreign!addr""" /subj="hello"

Note the three quotes in a row after foreign!addr.  The first two of them are
doubled to produce a single quote in the address, and the third ends the
address itself (balancing the quote in front of the nm%).

Here are some typical outgoing mail addresses as used from a VMS system:

    To: nm%DECWRL::"lll-winkin!netsys!phrack"     To:
nm%DECWRL::""     To:
nm%DECWRL::"netsys!"     To:
nm%DECWRL::"phrackserv@CUNYVM.bitnet"     To:

* Sending from Ultrix

If your Ultrix system has been configured for it, then you can, from your
Ultrix system, just send directly to the foreign address, and the mail software
will take care of all of the gateway routing for you.  Most Ultrix systems in
Corporate Research and in the Palo Alto cluster are configured this way.

To find out whether your Ultrix system has been so configured, just try it and
see what happens.  If it doesn't work, you will receive notification almost

    NOTE:  The Ultrix mail system is extremely flexible; it is almost
completely configurable by the customer.  While this is valuable to
customers, it makes it very difficult to write global instructions for	   the
use of Ultrix mailers, because it is possible that the local changes	 have
produced something quite unlike the vendor-delivered mailer.  One of	 the
popular changes is to tinker with the meaning of quote characters (")     in
Ultrix addresses.  Some systems consider that these two addresses are	  the




    while others are configured so that one form will work and the other
will not.  All of these examples use the quotes.  If you have trouble
getting the examples to work, please try them again without the quotes.
Perhaps your Ultrix system is interpreting the quotes differently.

If your Ultrix system has an IP link to Palo Alto (type "/etc/ping" to find out if it does), then you can route your mail to the
gateway via IP.  This has the advantage that your Ultrix mail headers will
reach the gateway directly, instead of being translated into DECNET mail
headers and then back into Ultrix at the other end.  Do this as follows:

    To: "alien!address"

The quotes are necessary only if the alien address contains a ! character, but
they don't hurt if you use them unnecessarily.  If the alien address contains
an "@" character, you will need to change it into a "%" character.  For
example, to send via IP to, you should address the mail

    To: ""

If your Ultrix system has only a DECNET link to Palo Alto, then you should
address mail in much the same way that VMS users do, save that you should not
put the nm% in front of the address:

    To: DECWRL::"strange!foreign!address"

Here are some typical outgoing mail addresses as used from an Ultrix system
that has IP access.  Ultrix systems without IP access should use the same
syntax as VMS users, except that the nm% at the front of the address should not
be used.

    To: "lll-winken!netsys!phrack"     To:
""     To:
"phrackserv%CUNYVM.bitnet"     To:
"netsys!"     To:


All of the world's computer networks are connected together, more or less, so
it is hard to draw exact boundaries between them.  Precisely where the Internet
ends and UUCP begins is a matter of interpretation.

For purposes of sending mail, though, it is convenient to divide the network
universe into these categories:

Easynet 	Digital's internal DECNET network.  Characterized by addresses
		 of the form NODE::USER.  Easynet can be used for commercial

Internet	A collection of networks including the old ARPAnet, the NSFnet,
		 the CSnet, and others.  Most international research,
		 development, and educational organizations are connected in
		 some fashion to the Internet.	Characterized by addresses of
		 the form user@site.subdomain.domain.  The Internet itself
		 cannot be used for commercial purposes.

UUCP		A very primitive network with no management, built with
		 auto-dialers phoning one computer from another.  Characterized
		 by addresses of the form place1!place2!user.  The UUCP network
		 can be used for commercial purposes provided that none of the
		 sites through which the message is routed objects to that.

USENET		Not a network at all, but a layer of software built on top of
		 UUCP and Internet.

BITNET		An IBM-based network linking primarily educational sites.
		Digital users can send to BITNET as if it were part of
		Internet, but BITNET users need special instructions for
		reversing the process.	BITNET cannot be used for commercial

Fidonet 	A network of personal computers.  I am unsure of the status of
		using Fidonet for commercial purposes, nor am I sure of its


There is a particular network called "the Internet;" it is somewhat related to
what used to be "the ARPAnet."  The Internet style of addressing is flexible
enough that people use it for addressing other networks as well, with the
result that it is quite difficult to look at an address and tell just what
network it is likely to traverse.  But the phrase "Internet address" does not
mean "mail address of some computer on the Internet" but rather "mail address
in the style used by the Internet."  Terminology is even further confused
because the word "address" means one thing to people who build networks and
something entirely different to people who use them.  In this file an "address"
is something like "" and not "" (which is what
network engineers would call an "internet address").

The Internet naming scheme uses hierarchical domains, which despite their title
are just a bookkeeping trick.  It doesn't really matter whether you say
NODE::USER or USER@NODE, but what happens when you connect two companies'
networks together and they both have a node ANCHOR??  You must, somehow,
specify which ANCHOR you mean.	You could say ANCHOR.DEC::USER or
convention is to say USER@ANCHOR.DEC, with the owner (DEC) after the name

But there could be several different organizations named DEC.  You could have
Digital Equipment Corporation or Down East College or Disabled Education
Committee.  The technique that the Internet scheme uses to resolve conflicts
like this is to have hierarchical domains.  A normal domain isn't DEC or
STANFORD, but DEC.COM (commercial) and STANFORD.EDU (educational).  These
domains can be further divided into ZK3.DEC.COM or CS.STANFORD.EDU.  This
doesn't resolve conflicts completely, though:  both Central Michigan University
and Carnegie-Mellon University could claim to be CMU.EDU.  The rule is that the
owner of the EDU domain gets to decide, just as the owner of the CMU.EDU gets
to decide whether the Electrical Engineering department or the Elementary
Education department gets subdomain EE.CMU.EDU.

The domain scheme, while not perfect, is completely extensible.  If you have
two addresses that can potentially conflict, you can suffix some domain to the
end of them, thereby making, say, decwrl.UUCP be somehow different from

DECWRL's entire mail system is organized according to Internet domains, and in
fact we handle all mail internally as if it were Internet mail.  Incoming mail
is converted into Internet mail, and then routed to the appropriate domain; if
that domain requires some conversion, then the mail is converted to the
requirements of the outbound domain as it passes through the gateway.  For
example, they put Easynet mail into the domain ENET.DEC.COM, and they put
BITNET mail into the domain BITNET.

The "top-level" domains supported by the DECWRL gateway are these:

.EDU	    Educational institutions.COM	Commercial institutions
.GOV	    Government institutions .MIL	Military institutions
.ORG	    Various organizations   .NET	Network operations
.??	    2-character country code for routing to other countries
.OZ	    Part of the Australian (.AU) name space.

2-character country codes include UK (United Kingdom), FR (France), IT (Italy),
CA (Canada), AU (Australia), etc.  These are the standard ISO 2-character
country codes.


To mail to user SPRINTER at node WASH (which is DECNET address WASH::SPRINTER),
Internet mail should be addressed to  Easynet
addresses are not case-dependent; WASH and wash are the same node name and
SPRINTER and sprinter are the same user name.

Sites that are not directly connected to the Internet may have difficulty with
Internet addresses like  They can send into the Easynet by
explicitly routing the mail through DECWRL.  From domain-based Internet
mailers, the address would be  From UUCP
mailers, the address would be decwrl!wash.enet!sprinter. Some Internet mailers
require the form <>.	(This last form is the
only technically correct form of explicit route, but very few Internet sites
support it.)

The DECWRL gateway also supports various obsolete forms of addressing that are
left over from the past.  In general they support obsolete address forms for
two years after the change, and then remove it.


Some Easynet users do not have a direct DECNET node address, but instead read
their mail with All-in-1, which uses addresses of the form "Nate State @UCA".
Here "UCA" is a Digital location code name.  To route mail to such people, send
to Nate.State@UCA.MTS.DEC.COM.	Mail received from the All-in-1 mailer is
unreplyable, and in fact unless the respondent tells you his return address in
the body of the message, it is not normally possible even to puzzle out the
return address by studying the message header.	Mail from All-in-1 to Easynet
passes through a gateway program that does not produce valid return addresses.


DECWRL's mailer is an Internet mailer, so to mail to an Internet site, just use
its address.  If you are having trouble determining the Internet address, you
might find that the Ultrix host table /etc/hosts.txt is useful.  If you can't
find one anywhere else, there's one on DECWRL.  See the comments above under
"how to send mail" for details about making sure that the mail program you are
using has correctly interpreted an address.


UUCP mail is manually routed by the sender, using ! as the separator character.
Thus, the address xxx!yyy!zzz!user means to dial machine xxx and relay to it
the mail, with the destination address set to yyy!zzz!user.  That machine in
turn dials yyy, and the process repeats itself.

To correctly address UUCP mail, you must know a working path through the UUCP
network.  The database is sufficiently chaotic that automatic routing does not
work reliably (though many sites perform automatic routing anyhow).  The
information about UUCP connectivity is distributed in the USENET newsgroup
comp.mail.maps; many sites collect this data and permit local queries of it.

At the end of this file is a list of the UUCP nodes to which DECWRL currently
has a working connection.


Usenet is not a network.  It's a software layer, and it spans several networks.
Many people say "Usenet" when they really mean UUCP.  You can post a message to
a Usenet newsgroup by mailing it to "name@usenet" at DECWRL.  For example,
mailing from VMS to this address:


causes the mail message to be posted as an article to the Usenet newsgroup
alt.cyberpunk.	It is better to use Usenet software for posting articles, as
more features are available that way, such as restricted distributions,
crossposting, and cancellation of "wish I hadn't sent that" articles.


Legend has it that the "BIT" in BITNET stands for "Because It's There" or
"Because It's Time."  It is a network consisting primarily of IBM computers.  A
native BITNET address is something like "OMAR at STANFORD", but when translated
into our Internet format it becomes omar@stanford.bitnet.  Once translated into
Internet form, a BITNET address is used just like any other Internet address.


By comparison with the other linked networks, Fidonet has an addressing
complexity bordering on the bizarre.  The Fidonet people have provided me with
this description:

Each Fidonet node is a member of a "network," and may have subsidiary nodes
called "point nodes."  A typical Fido address is "1:987/654" or "987/654"; a
typical Fido "point node" address is "1:987/654.32" or "987/654.32".  This is
zone 1, network 987, Fido (node) 654, "point node" 32.  If the zone number is
missing, assume it is zone 1.  The zone number must be supplied in the outgoing

To send a message to Chris Jones on Fidonet address 1:987/654, use the address  To send a message to Mark Smith at
Fidonet node 987/654.32, use address
Use them just like any other Internet address.

Sometimes the return addresses on messages from Fidonet will look different.
You may or may not be able to reply to them.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Appendix:  List of UUCP Neighbor Sites

This table shows most of the sites that DECWRL dials directly via UUCP.  You
may find it useful to help you construct a UUCP route to a particular
destination.  Those sites marked with "*" are major UUCP routing nodes.  You
should prefer UUCP routes that use these sites as the first hop from DECWRL.
Case is significant in UUCP host names.

      3comvax	 3Com Corporation, Santa Clara, CA
      abvax	 Allen-Bradley Company, Highland Heights, OH
      acad	 Autodesk, Inc, Sausalito, CA
      adobe	 Adobe Systems Inc., Mountain View, CA
      alberta	 University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
      allegra	 AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ
      *amdahl	  Amdahl Corp., Sunnyvale, CA
      amdcad	 Advanced Micro Devices, Sunnyvale, CA
      ames	 NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA
      *apple	  Apple Computers, Cupertino, CA
      ardent	 Ardent Computer Corp., Sunnyvale, CA
      argosy	 MassPar Computer Corp., Sunnyvale, CA
       atha	  Athabasca University, Athabasca, Alberta, Canada
      athertn	 Atherton Technology, Sunnyvale, CA
      *att	  AT&T Bell Laboratories, Columbus, Ohio
      avsd	 Ampex Corporation, Redwood City, CA
      cae780	 Tektronix Inc. (Santa Clara Field Office) Santa Clara, CA
      chip	 M/A-COM Government Systems, San Diego, CA
      claris	 Claris Corporation, Mountain View, CA
      daisy	 Daisy Systems, Mountain View, CA
      decuac	 DEC/Ultrix Applications Ctr, Landover, MD
     *decvax	 DEC/Ultrix Engineering, Nashua, NH
      dsinc	 Datacomp Systems, Inc, Huntington Valley, PA
      eda	 EDA Systems Inc., Santa Clara, CA
      emerald	 Emerald Systems Corp., San Diego, CA
      escd	 Evans and Sutherland Computer Division, Mountain View, CA
      esunix	 Evans and Sutherland Corp., Salt Lake City, UT
      fluke	 John Fluke Manufacturing, Everett, WA
      gryphon	 Trailing Edge Technology, Redondo Beach, CA
      handel	 Colorodo State Univ., CS Dept., Ft. Collins, CO
      hoptoad	 Nebula Consultants, San Francisco, CA
     *hplabs	 Hewlett Packard Research Labs, Palo Alto, CA
      ide	 Interactive Development Environments, San Francisco, CA
      idi	 Intelligent Decisions, Inc., San Jose, CA
      imagen	 Imagen Corp., Santa Clara, CA
      intelca	   Intel Corp., Santa Clara, CA
      limbo	 Intuitive Systems, Los Altos, CA
      logitech	 Logitech, Inc., Palo Alto, CA
      megatest	 Megatest Corp., San Jose, CA
      metaphor	 Metaphor Corp., Mountain View, CA
      microsoft  Microsoft, Bellevue, WA
      mindcrf	 Mindcraft Corp., Palo Alto, CA
      mips	 MIPS Computer Systems, Mountain View, CA
      mntgfx	 Mentor Graphics Corp., Beaverton, OR
      mordor	 Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Livermore, CA
      mtu	 Michigan Tech Univ., Houghton, MI
      mtxinu	 Mt. Xinu, Berkeley, CA
      nsc	 National Semiconductor Corp., Sunnyvale, CA
      oli-stl	 Olivetti Software Techn. Lab, Menlo Park, CA
      oracle	 Oracle Corp., Belmont, CA
     *pacbell	 Pacific Bell, San Ramon, CA
      parcplace  Parc Place Systems, Palo Alto, CA
      purdue	 Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
     *pyramid	 Pyramid Technology Corporation, Mountain View, CA
      qubix	 Qubix Graphic Systems, San Jose, CA
      quintus	 Quintus Computer Systems, Mountain View, CA
      research	 AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ
      riacs	 Res.Inst. for Adv. Compu. Sci., Mountain View, CA
      rtech	 Relational Technology Inc., Alameda, CA
      sci	 Silicon Compilers, San Jose, CA
      sco	 Santa Cruz Operation, Santa Cruz, CA
      sequent	 Sequent Computer System, Inc., Beaverton, OR
      sgi	 Silicon Graphics, Inc., Mountain View, CA
      shell	 Shell Development Corp., Houston, TX
      simpact	 Simpact Assoc., San Diego, CA
      sjsca4	 Schlumberger Technologies, San Jose, CA
      sun	 Sun Microsystems, Mountain View, CA
      td2cad	 Intel Corp., Santa Clara, CA
      teraida	 Teradyne EDA Inc., Santa Clara, CA
      theta	 Process Software Inc., Wellesley, MA
      turtlevax  CIMLINC, Inc, Palo Alto, CA
     *ucbvax	 University of California, Berkeley, CA
      utcsri	 Univ. of Toronto, Computer Science, Toronto, CA
      vlsisj	 VLSI Technology Inc., San Jose, CA
      wyse	 Wyse Technology, San Jose, CA
      zehntel	 Zehntel, Inc., Walnut Creek, CA

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