Featured in this episode of Chaos Lever
Believe it or not boys and girls, there was a time before the internet and wireless, when computer networks were connected by thick cables and limited to a single room or building. Bandwidth was measured in megabits (not bytes) and you couldn’t even Rick Roll a person, because Rick Astley was still in diapers.
What’s amazing about the Ethernet developed by Metcalfe and his colleague David Boggs, is the fact that it is still used today as a layer 2 transport for basically the entire world. Whether it’s Cat5, multi-mode fiber, or wireless radio signals, they all use Ethernet for their transport.
Starting at a miniscule 2.94 megabits per second, it’s now possible to run Ethernet at multi-terabit speeds. There are an estimated 7B ethernet ports in the world as of 2022, and all the little packets steering around our crazy globe owe Metcalfe and friends a debt of gratitude.
Congratulations to Robert on winning the Turing award and helping make the internet a reality. Well, maybe just the first one. Jury’s still out on the latter.