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Decoding DNA packets to symbolics

We have a problem where a VAX will be using a DNA protocol to speak to a
Symbolics. We need to capture what comes over and dissect it at the bit level
to decode bit fields that conform to a tightly specified format. Does anyone
have experience doing this, who would be willing to send us over a few hints?
For example, at what level does one attack the problem (server/protocol
writing, versus using an existing protocol)? Are there utilities for picking
out the bits from network packets? We are naive in this area and appreciate any
help that can be given. Thank you.

Paul Pangaro & Peter Paine
(AREAPU@ari-hq1.arpa or pan@Athena.pangaro.dialnet.symbolics.com)