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From: andrew clarke (3:633/267)
To: All
Date: Tue, 16.02.21 20:13
ftsc prod codes
On Tue 2021-02-16 09:20:00, August Abolins (2:221/1.58) wrote to All:

AA> Why do the prod code assignments skip entire sections?

FSC-90 mentions they originally stopped being issued at 0xFD in 1991.

0xFE is reserved for software not yet allocated a code.

0xFF is reserved for software after 1991 that's been allocated a code, but
where the actual code is "stored elsewhere in the [FTS-1] packet header at an
as yet unallocated offset".

Codes 0x0100 and later in ftscprod.* are all datestamped.

Evidently nothing happened after 1991, until 1995-12-09 when 0x0100 was
reserved. This was probably by David Nugent judging from the 3:3/20 address,
who I believe was FTSC Chair at the time, and who also wrote FSC-90, and who I
actually met at a BBS barbecue around that time. Smile

Evidently no progress was made on deciding what the "unallocated offset" would
be for FTS-1 Type 2 packet headers. The obvious choice would be to reuse the
Baud field, but by 1995 basically everyone had migrated to Type 2+ capable
mailers where the the 2+ header allows for 16-bit product codes, so it all
became a bit of a moot point.

More 0x01xx codes were issued until 1998-02-16. Initially I thought whoever
replaced David didn't properly understand FSC-90 and believed the 0xFF byte
should be part of all newly-issued product codes, but apparently 0x0111 and
0x01FF were both issued on the same day (1998-02-16) so that explanation
doesn't hold water.

I'm assuming it's for compatibility with... something, but we may never know
the real reason. *spooky music*

--- GoldED+/BSD 1.1.5-b20180707
* Origin: Blizzard of Ozz, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (3:633/267)

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