Nowadays, we take Ethernet for granted. We plug a cable jack in the wall or into a switch and we get the network. What’s to think about?
But it didn’t start that way. In the 60s and 70s, 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.
Back in 1972, Metcalfe, David Boggs, and other members of the PARC team assigned to the networking problem weren’t thinking of changing the world. They only wanted to enable PARC’s Xerox Altos (the first personal workstations with a graphical user interface and the Mac’s spiritual ancestor), to connect and use the world’s first laser printer, theScanned Laser Output Terminal.