English | 2022 | ISBN: 1450397271, 978-1450397278 | 633 pages | True PDF | 53.49 MB
As recently as 1968, computer scientists were uncertain how best to interconnect even two computers . The notion that within a few decades the challenge would be how to interconnect millions of computers around the globe was too far-fetched to contemplate. Yet, by 1988, that is precisely what was happening. The products and devices developed in the intervening years-such as modems, multiplexers, local area networks, and routers-became the linchpins of the global digital society. How did such revolutionary innovation occur? This book tells the story of the entrepreneurs who were able to harness and join two factors: the energy of computer science researchers supported by governments and universities, and the tremendous commercial demand for Internetworking computers. The centerpiece of this history comes from unpublished interviews from the late 1980s with over 80 computing industry pioneers, including Paul Baran, J.C.R. Licklider, Vint Cerf, Robert Kahn, Larry Roberts, and Robert Metcalfe. These individuals give us unique insights into the creation of multi-billion dollar markets for computer-communications equipment, and they reveal how entrepreneurs struggled with failure, uncertainty, and the limits of knowledge.