* No Betamax. That's the analogy that Pete Paulson DISA's DISN operation chief uses to describe the agency's cautious approach to the insertion of ATM technology into DOD's backbone network. Concerned about the lack of standards in the network-gizmo industry Paulson said DISA does not want to acquire proprietary ATM gear that could leave it holding the technology bag. "We want to make sure what we are going to buy will end up as the industry standard.... We are not going to risk buying Betamaxes " Paulson said referring to the first-to-the-market VCR standard eventually eclipsed by VHS VCRs.

Paulson added that DISA expects ATM standards to gel within the next nine months at which point the agency will start to roll out the technology.

D* TC decoded. Caution stands behind DISA's decision to extend AT&T's DISN Transition Contract by as much as two years - until November 1999 Paulson explained. Although DISA expects to have 95 percent of all circuits moved from the old contract to the new by next July the extra time on DTC "will give us some breathing room" to transfer the remainder of the circuits Paulson said.

Paulson explained that although DTC and DISN provide the same service - say a data circuit from Fort Belvoir Va. to San Diego - each vehicle accomplishes that task differently using different switches and circuits. DISA needs to ensure continuity due to the "slippage" by AT&T in the installation of DISN circuits he added. Pete Smingler the DISN contracting officer said if DISA exercises all options on DTC that contract would have a lifespan of three and a half years. Add in 12 years for the predecessor DCTN vehicle and you definitely end up with a long 10-year contract.

* Adrift Part II: The Interceptor recently reported on e-mail snafus that resulted from Spawar changing its domain name from to Ron Broersma the Spawar domain administrator takes issue with that report saying the e-mail problems which he called "serious " resulted not from the domain name change but from the Navy NOC in Norfolk Va. which administers the Navy domain.

"Someone there incorrectly registered as an alias for a machine called `infosec ' " Broersma said in an e-mail that made it out of Spawar.

According to Broersma this caused "all e-mail to be directed to that machine which was by no means prepared to receive it. A whole lot of e-mail bounced to that [machine] by mistake and we are still experiencing some misdirected mail because of it."

Those of us who labor here at Intercept Central have much empathy for anyone with e-mail problems and we apologize for mis-assigning the blame.

* Aloha. I've packed up the famed Interceptor fly-away dish and will spend this week at the AFCEA Asia-Pacific Conference in Hawaii - a tough November assignment but someone's got to do it. Look for daily reports on the conference on our Web site


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