Terminal Interface Processor

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A Terminal Interface Processor (TIP, for short) was a customized IMP variant added to the ARPANET not too long after it was initially deployed. In addition to all the usual IMP functionality (including connection of host computers to the ARPANET), they also provided groups of serial lines to which could be attached terminals, which allowed users at the terminals access to the hosts attached to the ARPANET.

They were built on Honeywell 316 minicomputers, a later and un-ruggedized variant of the Honeywell 516 minicomputers used in the original IMPs. They used the TELNET protocol, running on top of NCP.

It was in fact possible to connect other devices, ones which interfaced through a seral line, to a TIP; for instance, on the 5th floor of Technology Square, there was a line printer hooked up to the MIT TIP. The MIT Multics time-sharing machine had spooler software which could print on that, using the ARPANET to get to it.

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Further reading