what about 48 bits?

I thought that was just me. My first IT job was developing credit-
card systems on VAXen. We had the office flood-wired with 10base2
in one long bus - at locations where there wasn't a PC yet, there
was just a faceplace with two BNC connectors, and a tiny patch
lead between them.

To install a new PC, you had to have a length of co-ax long enough
to go from the faceplate to the desk and back, with a T-piece in
the middle. Installation involved whipping out the short patch
lead and re-connecting both ends of the longer one before things
elsewhere declared the network as broken and started shutting down
somewhat ungracefully. This was best done as a two-man job, but
we did get it down to quite an art.

Nice to know after all this time that someone else was playing the
same silly game...

There were several proprietary solutions to the 10base2 conundrum,
I can't remember the name of the one I was most familiar with, but it
eliminated all that stuff by using a molded cable that had a BNC on
one end, contained dual RG cables inside a heavy jacket, and a funky
molded plug on the end. The plug would connect to a socket through
which a 10base2 segment ran, and inserting the plug would open a
switch that shorted the conductors, and then the cable would form
the link to re-complete the segment.

Much fun was to be had:

1) Plugging in a network cable partway might break the circuit without
   also establishing the new path,

2) Sometimes the sockets would get fouled and locating the problem was
   a royal pain,

3) Because the system was meant to be simple enough for users to use,
   users would sometimes plug in too many of these cables, extending
   the maximum length of the network beyond standard,

4) Also because users could be involved, when one of them did something
   to the network, they would either not realize it or not own up to it,
   further adding to the debugging fun.

When it worked, it worked great. Which was most of the time.

I used to remember what the darn things were called...

... JG

One system popular in Germany at the time used a modified German phone plug ("TAE"), and the resulting system was marketed as "EAD" or Ethernet Anschluss Dose. The coax was way too heavy and stiff for the small plug, and would regularly unseat the connector. Since the phone plug was never designed to have a defined impedance, any run longer than about 50 meters for the segment was hit and miss.