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Ethernet Creator Makes the Inventors Hall of Fame 45

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the making-the-grade dept.
An anonymous reader wrote in with a Network World story that opens, "Ethernet is right up there with magnetic resonance imaging, the LP record, air bags, and soft contact lenses. So says the National Inventors Hall of Fame, which included Bob Metcalfe, inventor of the ubiquitous LAN technology, in its latest round of inductees."
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Ethernet Creator Makes the Inventors Hall of Fame

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  • Ah, Xerox PARC ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gopal.V (532678) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @11:52AM (#17962990) Homepage Journal

    The technology center that gave birth to so many of the corner stones of modern computing ... the mouse GUI, the laser printer (yeah, xerox ...), ethernet and if I may say so - object oriented programming.

    I'm not sure what it proves, but it does prove that when you're not thinking about immediate profit, there's so much you can do - but if you don't somebody'll pull the funding on you (and kick themselves years later).

    What were they working in the nineties ? IPV6 ?

    • by MECC (8478) * on Saturday February 10, 2007 @12:13PM (#17963152)
      Douglas Engelbart [wikipedia.org] gets credit for the mouse, the gui, and a whole host of related technology, if not the modern PC as we know it. Not Xerox Parc.

      One could argue that he didn't popularize them, but that's not necessarily what invention is about. Besides, neither did Xerox parc.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Raideen (975130)
        Any geek who does not know Douglas Engelbart should also check out The Mother of All Demos [wikipedia.org]. Just some of the items featured:
        • High speed (300bps) communications
        • Interactive computing (i.e. more than an input (punch cards) output (printer) system)
        • The mouse
        • Hypertext
        • Menu based UI
        • White boards (collaborative computing)

        We take all of those for granted these days, but try to imagine being at the demo and not only seeing these items for the first time, but seeing them all together in one demo!

  • Glad to see him getting the recognition he deserves.
  • Kinda spoilt... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bogtha (906264) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @12:19PM (#17963196)

    ...by the fact that in recent years he's reduced to trolling the Internet by making up terms like "Open Sores Movement" [infoworld.com]. From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:

    The Open Source Movement's ideology is utopian balderdash [... that] reminds me of communism. [...] Linux [is like] organic software grown in utopia by spiritualists [...] When they bring organic fruit to market, you pay extra for small apples with open sores -- the Open Sores Movement. When [Windows 2000] gets here, goodbye Linux.

    He might have got it right decades ago, but these days, he's just another clueless pundit troll.

    • by WS Tu (1045270) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @12:26PM (#17963250)
      Anyway, it is an article in 1999. IMHO, I like this story more... Metcalf ate his column http://www.merit.edu/mail.archives/nanog/1997-04/m sg00192.html [merit.edu]
      • Re:Kinda spoilt... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by MECC (8478) * on Saturday February 10, 2007 @12:33PM (#17963294)
        I remember hearing about the inventor/designer of those unbelievably annoying ethernet AUI connector slider clasps apologizing on a forum/list. Anyone remember that?

        • I kinda like those slider clasps. They keep UTP adapters firmly attached to my SparcStation IPC's and IPX'es, which is more important to me than a little difficulty using a small flat blade screwdriver to get them loose.
          • by MECC (8478) *
            The problem with the AUI clasps was that they didn't actually keep the AUI connector attached any better than nothing at all, and usually just interfered with plugging in an AUI connector. I was hoping someone had a ref to the guy's apology.

      • by Lorkki (863577)
        Nice, though if he still stands by his story he's sure to have very sore feet.
    • 'reduced to trolling the Internet by making up terms like "Open Sores Movement"'

      It sure is, a bad taste pun that does nothing for his reputation. I wonder how his other prediction is coming along. It is 2007 after all. Maybe Bob is suffering from the halo effect [jamesthornton.com], wherein both he and others assume he is authoritative on all things.

      was Re:Kinda spoilt (Score:4, Insightful)

      --

      Windows, the OS that made email and browsing dangerous ..
    • by Tanktalus (794810)

      Well, he was right. At least about the conclusion. Nothing else was accurate, but his conclusion was right. Linux did not defeat W2K. XP did. Linux continues the fight with XP, and has started making inroads in the server market, but still does not touch the desktop (figuratively speaking - the numbers are too small to contemplate compared to XP). And now Vista is out - will Linux beat Vista? I hope so, but only time will tell.

    • Re:Kinda spoilt... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tverbeek (457094) * on Saturday February 10, 2007 @12:54PM (#17963424) Homepage
      Part of Metcalfe's problem is that - despite his technical qualifications, and the good fortune of having the right idea at the right time (ethernet) - he's an ideologue. Everything he looks at is filtered through his philosophical dogma, and he uses his columns as a bully pulpit to promote that ideology, rather than as an opportunity to explore and consider new ideas. He's got an agenda that gives him the same sort of tunnel vision and myopia that the worst fawning Apple fanboy, snotty Microsoft apologist, or strident BSD partisan has.
      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        So in other words, he's an asshat on the scale of RMS.
      • by autophile (640621) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @01:32PM (#17963712)

        He's got an agenda that gives him the same sort of tunnel vision and myopia that the worst fawning Apple fanboy, snotty Microsoft apologist, or strident BSD partisan has.

        This is slashdot. You left out "...or Linux highly reasonable and well-shaven proponent."

        --Rob

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by uradu (10768)
        > he uses his columns as a bully pulpit to promote that ideology

        Which is quite right of center politically, to say the least. Which would be fine if he kept it out of his TECHNOLOGY column, but of course he can't. I remember reading one of his columns back in the late 90s when InfoWorld was still somewhat worth reading, and it was a lunatic rant against Bill Clinton and how he'd met him in person at some junket and had to fight the urge to jump at his jugular--or something to that effect, anyway. That's
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by LihTox (754597)
          That's the problem with a lot of these one-hit-wonders that clamber onto the public stage via some specific talent and then feel qualified to have a publicly worthwhile opinion on everything else.

          Everyone's allowed to have a public opinion about anything (cf Slashdot). Point your finger instead at the people who give Metcalfe a platform to express said political opinions, based solely on his technological background.
          • by uradu (10768)
            > point your finger instead at the people who give Metcalfe a platform to express said political opinions

            In a way I did, that's pretty much when I stopped reading InfoWorld.
    • by the fact that in recent years he's reduced to trolling the Internet by making up terms like "Open Sores Movement"

      Inventing Ethernet took every last drop of intelligence Metcalfe had... and didn't give it back.

  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @01:02PM (#17963502) Homepage
    ...the Hall of Fame for Great Americans... is a huge colonnade (630 feet long) with actual bronze busts, located at Bronx Community College (formerly NYU).

    I found this out on the umpteenth watching of "The Wizard of Oz" when I suddenly wondered what the Munchkins were singing about when they sang "You will have a bust, have a bust, have a bust/In the Hall of Fame." I had to look it up because nobody I knew had any idea what the heck the "Hall of Fame" was, apart from the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, of course.

    By the way, it has a number of open slots. #19, #47, #49. I think someone should propose putting Metcalfe's bust in one of them. So he will be as well remembered as Rufus Choate, Charlotte Saunders Cushman, and John Lothrop Motley.

    It really says something when an entire Hall of Fame can be forgotten, doesn't it? If a brick-and-mortar Hall of Fame is forgotten in less than one short century, I don't think the National Inventor's Hall of Fame, which apparently has no physical existence, will be much more durable.

    Ozymandias, anyone?

  • What is this "inventor"? To me it brings to mind images of Professor Branestawm [chello.at]. Where's the Engineering Hall of Fame? (And who designed it? ;)
  • I can't wait until they induct Professor Farnsworth. Dude's been inventing stuff for centuries.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mqduck (232646)

      I can't wait until they induct Professor Farnsworth. Dude's been inventing stuff for centuries.

      Dude hasn't been born yet. What the heck are you talking about?
  • if as a prize he got a "token ring" of appriciation? Sorry.... I had too.....
  • by g-san (93038)
    Yay Bob. [ethermanage.com]

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