[ntp:questions] bitsy.mit.edu retired?

Richard B. Gilbert rgilbert88 at comcast.net
Fri Aug 15 20:12:23 UTC 2008

David L. Mills wrote:
> Gushi,
> Bitsy.mit.edu is alive, but not running NTP for whatever reason.
> Bitsy.udel.edu was among the first public timetellers in the world, 
> including clepsydra.decwrl.com and fuzzball dcn1.arpa ( They 
> first chimed circa 1984. Of the three, only has public chime, 
> but now a Pentium called rackety.udel.edu.
> Dave
> Gushi wrote:
>> On Aug 14, 7:29 pm, "Richard B. Gilbert" <rgilber... at comcast.net>
>> wrote:
>>> Gushi wrote:
>>>> Hey all,
>>>> I've frequently used the venerable old standby "bitsy.mit.edu" as an
>>>> NTP server -- it had an easy to remember name, and was more "neutral"
>>>> than time.windows.com or something similar.  I also recall that it had
>>>> a fairly open access policy, and over time I had committed the IP
>>>> address ( to memory.
>>>> At the current time (no pun intended) I'm unable to get any NTP data
>>>> from it, and it's not on any of the lists -- has it been retired or
>>>> shuffled off?  Or am I just crazy?
>>>> -Dan Mahoney
>>> The fact that it's not on any of the lists suggests that it's not a
>>> public server!  The fact that you can't get any response to an NTP query
>>> suggests that it's not running ntpd.
>> Thanks for the tier-one diagnostic there.
>> My hope was more to hear from people who had "gotten a memo" that I
>> had missed about its retirement, or possibly even hear from an MIT
>> admin who might have been able to answer.  I had previously (for about
>> ten years) gotten valid ntp responses from that server.  

Ten years is about three lifetimes in computer years.  You can keep an 
old box running for longer but many people don't run them even that long!

Sooner or later you get to the point where the poor old thing can't run 
something you want to run; the applications you need, need more RAM than 
the box will hold or need more CPU cycles than the box can do.  Then 
it's a paper weight or a door stop!

Bitsy may have found a place in the Computer History Museum.  Or maybe a 
place in a dumpster.

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