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    Thread: IPv4 curiosity

    1. Member morbs_gt's Avatar
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      02-16-2012 09:51 AM #1
      Every search result returns with "A 32-bit IP address is 4 octets longs.." "IP addresses are composed of 4 octets.." and on and on and on... but WHY????

      How can I better find out the reason behind IPv4 having been chosen to be 32bits long, as opposed to, I dunno, 48 or 24 or what have you?

      Was it just that some lab coat came in one day and said "F-it, I pick 32, I think 4,294,967,296 addresses will do the trick, what say you fellow coats?" and everyone got ecstatic and had an orgy over it.

      Was that really all it took? I'll FedEx a cookie to whoever figures this out [ninja edit] first [/ninja edit].
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    2. Member NOTORIOUS VR's Avatar
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      02-16-2012 10:22 AM #2
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    3. Moderator DanG's Avatar
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      02-16-2012 11:40 AM #3
      It's probably similar to how Bill said 640k of ram will be enough for everyone. Nobody ever thought we'd have more than 4 billion devices that need a public IP.

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      02-16-2012 11:47 AM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by DanG View Post
      It's probably similar to how Bill said 640k of ram will be enough for everyone. Nobody ever thought we'd have more than 4 billion devices that need a public IP.
      Well technically all 4 billion addresses are not public addresses, it's more like 3.9 billion.

    5. Member zhenya00's Avatar
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      02-16-2012 12:20 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Vint Cerf
      I’m sorry, it’s 30 years ago because the decision — [laughter]. No, I’m serious, the decision to put a 32-bit address space on there was the result of a year’s battle among a bunch of engineers who couldn’t make up their minds about 32, 128 or variable length. And after a year of fighting I said — I’m now at ARPA, I’m running the program, I’m paying for this stuff and using American tax dollars — and I wanted some progress because we didn’t know if this is going to work. So I said 32 bits, it is enough for an experiment, it is 4.3 billion terminations — even the defense department doesn’t need 4.3 billion of anything and it couldn’t afford to buy 4.3 billion edge devices to do a test anyway. So at the time I thought we were doing a experiment to prove the technology and that if it worked we’d have an opportunity to do a production version of it. Well — [laughter] — it just escaped! — it got out and people started to use it and then it became a commercial thing. So, this [IPv6] is the production attempt at making the network scalable. Only 30 years later.
      http://dltj.org/article/vint-cerf-ip-addressing/
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    6. Member morbs_gt's Avatar
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      02-16-2012 02:22 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by zhenya00 View Post
      Wow, the spot-on answer I was looking for. Thanks!! Ok, so it wasn't any lab coat who decided on the 32 bits .

      Cookie might not make it through customs, so here:

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    7. Member zhenya00's Avatar
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      02-16-2012 02:39 PM #7
      Yum! Goes great with this cup of coffee.
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      02-16-2012 05:03 PM #8
      If they hadn't made 127.0.0.0 for loopback testing, it probably wouldn't have been such a problem What the hell were they thinking there?
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    9. Member NOTORIOUS VR's Avatar
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      02-16-2012 07:20 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Egilbe View Post
      If they hadn't made 127.0.0.0 for loopback testing, it probably wouldn't have been such a problem What the hell were they thinking there?
      It's good that they did it, but a damn /8? That's a real wtf moment lol

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