Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 1st Jul 2017 19:11 UTC
Internet & Networking

In light of yesterday's post, here's a short look at the early days of Ethernet.

Nowadays, we take Ethernet for granted. We plug a cable jack into the wall or a switch and we get the network. What's to think about?

It didn't start that way. In the 1960s and 1970s, networks were ad hoc hodgepodges of technologies with little rhyme and less reason. But then Robert "Bob" Metcalfe was asked to create a local-area network (LAN) for Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). His creation, Ethernet, changed everything.

On a related note, in one of the recent Xerox Alto restoration videos, two of the people who worked on the invention of Ethernet, Dave Boggs and Ron Crane, helped out fixing the Alto Ethernet card - carrying some very old-fashioned Ethernet equipment and telling some great stories from the early '70s.

Sadly, Ron Crane passed away 19 June.

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I only remember the 90's
by brostenen on Tue 4th Jul 2017 09:32 UTC
brostenen
Member since:
2007-01-16

In the 90's, I begun to learn about networking, and I actually remember it with fun. Twisted pair was not that widespread yet in my country at that time. We used coaxial with terminators all the way. The most fun thing was to do practical jokes with people. See... When ever computers try to communicate over coaxial, it is with a strong signal. So we used to have people changing the T-Plug, while the computers were running. To be extra shure, we had none of the machines grounded on the wall plug. Yeahh... Was fun to see them people get shocked.

Other than that. Fun memmories of the corridors of the dorm, litterly being a kind of snake farm, up against the walls, from all them coaxial cables. Was a time of DIY and experimentation and multiple computer platforms back in 1994/95. One of the best periodes in my life, untill they installed a professional setup of twisted pair and 10mbps hubs. All complete with wall outlets. I kind of felt like the magic was gone and it all had a kind of corporate feel to it.

Chaotic networking was fun, though we did mark each of our own cables with our name, so complete chaos was avoided. Yeah... A time when we were like a singulair chaotic yet democratic entity, regarding networking.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I only remember the 90's
by shotsman on Tue 4th Jul 2017 10:14 in reply to "I only remember the 90's"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Before Co-ax we had a thick cable wwith markings to show where you could tap the cable. You clamped a tool around the cable and drilled through the outer shield to expose the inner core. Then you clamped the tap in place and prayed that the outer and inner bits were not touching.
As I said in the thread about Xerox, I still have the DEC issued Ethernet tapping tool and a short lenght of the thick co-ax cable. I also have a box of the later think Co-ax 'T' pieces and terminators plus a DEC switch.
I may donate it all to the NMoC when I'm up there next.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: I only remember the 90's
by Treza on Tue 4th Jul 2017 19:24 in reply to "RE: I only remember the 90's"
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11

Amazingly named "Vampire taps"

Reply Parent Score: 2