There’s an interesting interview up at The Register:
So on January 1, 1983 when TCP/IP was deployed, it all worked fine. Primarily the net was used for email. Then there were more FTP sessions, and it began to melt down.
So people were writing a lot of papers in mid-1984 about what was then called “congestion collapse” Some of the design features of TCP windowing actually made congestion worse; so protocol engineers went to work. They made enhancements to TCP such as Exponential Backoff – another thing stolen directly from old Ethernet and Slow Start – where the initial window size is small. They re-engineered TCP to solve IP’s congestion problem.
Today, the internet is only stable to the extent people are using TCP over it. People also tend to miss that you can defeat TCP’s attempt to limit traffic over something less than congestion of the backbone if you simply have multiple instances of TCP.
Some guy with strong opinions.