Stanford University "Birth of the Internet" Plaque

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2021-09-24 22:30:05

I was invited to the unveiling ceremony (but, alas, didn't feel up to attending) You can see a number of pictures of the event here; an image of the plaque on the wall is here, and there's a scan of a paper copy of the plaque which they sent all of us here (so you can read the text). I'm in the "MIT" section, one of four people from MIT selected to be named on the plaque.

I started work on Internet-related stuff (diagnostics for a 1 Mbit/second ring LAN) when I joined the "Computer Systems Research" group at MIT-LCS in the fall of 1977, and started working on actual TCP/IP related stuff shortly thereafter. By March of 1980 I had an IP router sending packets between the ring and a Xerox experimental 3 Mbit/second Ethernet, and went on to do a lot of other IP-related things.

I was one of the first people to see the coming commercialization of the Internet, and urged people in the then-small Internet engineering community to get out in front of the coming wave (for which they punished me by putting me on the first IESG :-). In particular, I initiated the first commercial sales of multi-protocol routers, with Proteon (now defunct, alas); my efforts encouraged Len Bosack to start selling routers with Cisco, and we all know where that went!

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