Thirty years ago today we published the first issue of Network World and, needless to say, a lot has happened since then.
To take you back, consider that 1986 was the year the space shuttle Challenger blew up, Chernobyl melted down, President Ronald Reagan was in office and the cold war was grinding down thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev’s policies pushing the Soviet Union toward glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring).”
The U.S. gross domestic product was $8 trillion ($16 trillion today), the national debt was $2 trillion (about $20 trillion today), and $7,500 could buy you a new Ford Mustang (about $28,000 today).
IBM was the biggest name in computing, with revenue of $51 billion, Microsoft was just going public (and today has more sales than IBM), and Cisco was a blip on the map with a handful of employees.
If you were a connected person you had a shiny Hayes Smartmodem on your desk that let you dial up network links at 2,400 bits/sec, and if you were really with it, you had a $4,000 cell phone the size of a box of tissues that would let you make “cellular” calls for up to an hour before the battery ran out.
+ TAKE A LOOK BACK At those technologies that were around when you were younger +
To celebrate our birthday we’ve assembled here a few pieces that reflect on the changes we’ve witnessed in this 30 year span, and also look out at some of what the future might hold in store.
I’ve been with Network World since the launch and I’m constantly amazed at what our industry has achieved, but I’m equally excited about the potential of what’s next.
Editor in Chief