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.