BITNET

/bit'net/ [acronym Because It's Time NETwork] n. Everybody's least favorite piece of the network (see {network, the}). The BITNET hosts are a collection of IBM dinosaurs and VAXen (the latter with lobotomized comm hardware) that 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.