Friday, November 26, 2010

The Terrible Internet Buffer Overrun Disaster of 2012

Jim Gettys was visiting here recently and we spent most of the day discussing the terrible Buffer Overrun Disaster of 2012 - Young folks probably wont remember this, but back in those days, we used to overprovision buffers everywhere, and I mean everywhere, even between a socket and a protocol wrench, a bolt and a spanner , and the nick and the stack. This meant TCPs all around the world would get all pumped up and full of themselves, which was ok when there were just those old internet creeks which you couldn't fit a paper boat down, but as soon as the floodgates opened on the old fiber to the hip, everything went pearshaped, and I mean without a paddle.

The congestive flu-like collapse of 1987 was as nothing to this - noone could get their mutter feeds, everyone was stalled on their 3HDIPTV Christmas participatory viewing of Avatar III, and the world economy tanked, again.

This was a classic xen-koan story - less is more - by simply introducing the deliberate-memory-leak virus in her TCP-Budapest, Magda (von) Kiss was able to "take out" all that unnecessary buffering at one swell foop. Later upgrades to the hardware recovered the now-wasted DRAM, and recycled it as Casino tokens in Vegas and Reno, closing the loop on a very, very old joke.

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misery me, there is a floccipaucinihilipilification (*) of chronsynclastic infundibuli in these parts and I must therefore refer you to frank zappa instead, and go home