Stories by Bob Metcalfe

FROM THE ETHER: Riding off into the sunset

I joined my first computer crusade as a systems programming student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965. There have been many crusades since then. In this final episode of From the Ether, I'll return to a crusade for which we are now only stacking our lances: Anticiparallelism.

Bob Metcalfe rides off into the sunset

I joined my first computer crusade as a systems programming student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965. There have been many crusades since then.
In this final episode from the Ether, I'll return to a crusade for which we are now only stacking our lances: Anticiparallelism.
In the 1960s, punched-card batch-processing mainframes were defended by IBM and the BUNCH (Burroughs, Univac, NCR, Control Data, and Honeywell). I joined the encircling crusaders: Digital Equipment, Data General, and Scientific Data Systems. Our siege machines were interactive time-shared minicomputers.

FROM THE ETHER: An app for the new household


Home Internetworking is an insurmountable opportunity. I've watched companies fail at it since 1980, when my own 3Com dabbled in home power-line modems. Thank goodness we later stumbled into office coaxial Ethernets.

DSL Is Like the Erie Canal

Dave Burmaster, my college roommate, is from near Buffalo, N.Y. He makes the Erie Canal up there sound like DSL. Dave Burstein, on the other hand, writes a newsletter about DSL. He makes DSL sound like the Erie Canal.

FROM THE ETHER: Welcome back to Earth


In April 1999, I began predicting the Internet stock bubble would burst on November 8, 1999. Well, as many of you have pointed out, it didn't. Instead, dot-com incubators continued hatching schemes for monetising eyeballs in the New Economy, and Wall Street day traders ate up A to Z Internet IPOs. It was tough being my usual prig.

Metcalfe's column: from the ether

Computational fabrics are a promising possibility, or so say scientists working with DARPA, our Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (http://www.darpa.mil). Of course, they said the same thing 30 years ago about packet switching.

From the Ether: A Question for the IETF

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) meets thrice yearly, and for the 48th time this week in Pittsburgh. IETF maintains the Internet's protocol standards, including TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and IP (Internet Protocol), or TCP/IP, which were first conceived 27 years ago during Vint Cerf's summer seminar at Stanford. So isn't it time we asked IETF what's after TCP/IP?

From the Ether: Yipes! Ethernet is killing ATM

It's one thing to disagree with a major guru. It's another to have the guru say you underestimate your own invention. And it's something else again to turn out to be the one who is wrong. The guru in this case is George Gilder.

Metcalfe's column: From the Ether

Computational fabrics are a promising possibility, or so say scientists working with DARPA, our Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (www.darpa.mil). Of course, they said the same thing 30 years ago about packet switching.

Metcalfe's column: From the Ether

Computational fabrics are a promising possibility, or so say scientists working with DARPA, our Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (www.darpa.mil). Of course, they said the same thing 30 years ago about packet switching.

From the Ether

Computational fabrics are a promising possibility, or so say scientists working with DARPA, our Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (www.darpa.mil). Of course, they said the same thing 30 years ago about packet switching.

From the Ether: The story's the same as before

Microsoft executives should read more of Willa Cather, who famously wrote, "There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before."

Metcalfe's column: Yipes! Ethernet is killing ATM

It's one thing to disagree with a major guru. It's another to have the guru say you underestimate your own invention. And it's something else again to turn out to be the one who is wrong. The guru in this case is George Gilder.

Look through MY Window!

That famous software monopoly would do well to learn from the past experiences of that famous PC monopoly