Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Oh, about "BACnet Bill"

I forgot to note earlier the origin of the moniker "BACnet Bill." No, it didn't spring from a marketeer's feverish brain. It was my idea, and it was supposed to be a secret.

Back in '96 when Alerton was developing the first top-to-bottom line of BACnet products, each developer had a small BACnet setup comprised of our workstation, a building controller/router and several small VLC controllers on MS/TP. We engaged in rather a bit of kidding in our 4-man "pods"; one developer became known as "Al Fagiq" (alpha geek), for example. And it was in a similar spirit I changed the device name on one of my devices to "BACnet Bill" while doing some testing, knowing it would would never be seen.

And for a while it wasn't. Until we sent some devices to Steve Bushby at NIST for testing per the BACnet Interoperability Testing Consortium agreement in effect at the time. I don't remember the particulars, but he was seeing something unexpected and called me. It became necessary to replicate his setup so I did, and then took a sniffer trace of my network's activity and sent it to him.

We started going through the trace, packet by packet, and I'll never forget when he read out, "And here the workstation is requesting the Object_Name from another device, here is the ACK, and what's this...? 'BACnet Bill'?"


No comments:

Post a Comment