Today, no company would consider using anything except Ethernet for its wired local-area network. But it wasn’t always that way. Steven Vaughan-Nichols tracks the history of Ethernet, and its once-upon-a-time networking protocol competitors.
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.
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