/bit'net/ (Because It's Time NETwork) An academic and research computer network connecting approximately 2500 computers. BITNET provides interactive, electronic mail and file transfer services, using a store and forward protocol, based on IBM Network Job Entry protocols.
BITNET is everybody's least favourite piece of the network. The BITNET hosts are a collection of IBM dinosaurs, VAXen (with lobotomised communications hardware), and Prime Computer supermini computers. They communicate using 80-character EBCDIC card images (see eighty-column mind); thus, they tend to mangle the headers and text of third-party traffic from the rest of the ASCII/RFC 822 world with annoying regularity. BITNET is also notorious as the apparent home of BIFF.