Richard Stevens

   11 August 2005, late morning

Richard Stevens was the author of several classic textbooks on computer networks and programming; he wrote the TCP/IP Illustrated series, in addition to Unix Network Programming Book and Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment. Steven’s passed away in 1999, but his web site is still online today. I’ve been reading it the past few days while trying to find information on dealing with UDP packet loss. His conversational, friendly, style of writing obscures the fact that he has been dead for 6 years now; it’s a little strange. There is a lot of interesting stuff on the site. He has links to obscure Usenet posts, interesting because they provide context to papers I have read or subjects I have seen in textbooks. For example, the paper Congestion Avoidance and Control by Van Jacobson is mentioned as a work in progress in the following two email messages: Re: interpacket arrival variance and mean and Re: Your congestion scheme. Interested in implementing software timers in C? You may want to check out Implementing Software Timers by Don Libes. Steven’s site is definitely worth reading through if you are in a particularly geeky mood.



  1. Why are you interested in dealing with UDP packet loss?

  2. For work—this isn’t something that normally keeps me up at night, don’t worry.

  3. I had to do that at work once. It was interesting.

  4. Related to this issue, on a end-user note, does anyone have any suggestions on programs that I can use to allocate bandwidth on my home network?

    I.e. one computer to have 90% and the other to have 10% volume and/or priority.

  5. I think you need a higher end router to do that sort of thing. If you have a Linksys WRT54G you can upgrade the software to let you do this; one of the upgrades lets you do packet shaping stuff, which is what you want to do.

  6. Hmm…I’ve been finding different pieces of software, etc. But my lack of technical savvy is preventing me from getting them to work on my network. (Actually, I’ve only tried one.)

    It’s not the most user friendly, as I’m sure its made for people who know what ports to go for, what everything is called and has software to detect the rest of the information for them that they don’t know.

    I was just hoping for a pointer from anyone who might know of a user friendly piece of software.

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