The most important new fact about the human condition is that we are now suddenly connected. When I say “suddenly” I refer to the Internet’s birthday, October 29, 1969 and how two thirds of the human race, five billion people, are already on the Internet, in only 50 years. Suddenly.

The Arpanet started the Internet in 1969 by networking time-shared minicomputers serving dumb character terminals. Then in 1973 Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) decided to put a personal computer on every desk. Ethernet was invented on May 22, 1973 to provide local connectivity among those PCs, one on every desk, if you can imagine that..

The PARC Ethernet was formed by combining Jerrold coaxial vampire taps, Manchester on-off keying, and Alohanet randomized retransmissions. Then we wrapped it in internet protocols according to a layered reference model. Then we standardized it all: Ethernet, IP, TCP, TELNET, FTP, Mail, URL, HTML, HTTP.

Ethernet evolved rapidly away from its Jerrold-Manchester-Alohanet prototype. Ethernet’s legacy is instead packets to the desktop, abundance of bandwidth, and standardization. Come hear all about it. GPT is writing my lecture now.


When: April 30, 2023, 5-7PM Central Time,
Where: Zlotnik Ballroom at AT&T Conference Center at UT Austin,
Location: 1900 University Ave, Austin, TX 78705