[SIGCIS-Members] 13 April - Ethernet's Emergence from Xerox PARC: 1975-1980

Brian Berg brianberg at gmail.com
Thu Mar 24 17:47:00 PDT 2022


The IEEE Silicon Valley Tech History Committee (www.SiliconValleyHistory.com)
is hosting a Zoom event next month which will include a panel of *the
world's foremost authorities* on this topic.  *Register here
and see full details below.*

Best wishes, Brian Berg

*Webinar -  Ethernet’s Emergence from Xerox PARC: 1975-1980
*Wed, 13 April 2022, 1:30-3pm PDT via Zoom*

Ethernet was invented in 1973-74 at Xerox PARC in Palo Alto, CA, to network
the PARC’s Alto GUI workstations and the world’s first networked laser
printer.  This presentation will trace the history and development of
Ethernet as a 10 Mb/s product up through the release of the DIX
(DEC-Intel-Xerox) spec in 1980 as a multi-vendor open spec for industry.
DEC and Intel asked for and got a few minor changes, and DIX published the
first Ethernet spec in the “Blue Book” (two versions).  That formed a
proposal to IEEE 802 and was the basis of the IEEE 802.3 CSMA/CD standard.

This event will feature a panel of the major figures who were involved with
creating open 10 Mb/s Ethernet in this time period, with elaboration from a
select group of its implementers.

This event was organized by the IEEE Santa Clara Valley Section’s Life
Members Affinity Group (SCV-LMAG) <https://r6.ieee.org/scv-lm/> and the
IEEE Silicon Valley Tech History Committee (SiliconValleyHistory.com
<http://www.siliconvalleyhistory.com/>), in conjunction with IEEE-CNSV
About the speaker,  *Moderator*: Geoff Thompson
<thompson at ieee.org?subject=Inquiry%20from%20IEEE-CNSV%20Website> of GraCaSI
Standards Advisors

Geoff Thompson was an early user of 3-Mb Ethernet at Xerox PARC, supporting
Gary Starkweather’s pioneering work on laser printing. Geoff moved to Xerox
Systems Development to work on workstations and Ethernet. He started
participating in IEEE 802.3 in 1983, and in 1988 moved to SynOptics
Communications (later Bay Networks/Nortel) to do standards work full time.
He chaired the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group from 1993 until 2002. He
was a key technical contributor on the repeater and Power over Ethernet
amendments. He remains an active participant in this imporant industry
standard. Geoff is an IEEE Life Member, and also an IEEE-CNSV member

About the speaker, Bob Metcalfe
<etherdad at gmail.com?subject=Inquiry%20from%20IEEE-CNSV%20Website>

Bob Metcalfe co-invented Ethernet in its 3Mb/s form in 1973 with Dave
Boggs. They spread Ethernet’s use along with the Alto personal computer and
laser printing throughout the Xerox PARC R&D community during the 1970s.
Bob became the relentless promotor of Ethernet both inside Xerox and
externally, most visibly as founder and the public face of 3Com. In his
many activities since then, he has remained Mr. Ethernet above all else.
Bob is a Fellow of The Computer History Museum.

About the speaker, Dave Liddle
<david.e.liddle at gmail.com?subject=Inquiry%20from%20IEEE-CNSV%20Website>

Dave Liddle worked in research at Xerox PARC where he provided key elements
to the first Ethernets. In 1975 he became head of the new System
Development Division (SDD) to productize a better, top-down-designed,
customer-rugged version of the Alto and Ethernet.  That engineering effort
(~250 engineers at its peak) resulted in the end-1980 announcement/1981
delivery of the Xerox Network System of network servers (file, print,
gateway) and the Xerox Star 8010 Professional Workstation, all using the
new 10-Mb/s Ethernet.  He later co-founded and served as CEO for Metaphor
Computer Systems, Inc., and was President and CEO of Interval Research

About the speaker, Gordon Bell
<gbell at outlook.com?subject=Inquiry%20from%20IEEE-CNSV%20Website>

Gordon Bell was an early employee of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC),
and later became its VP of Engineering. He was instrumental in the decision
to choose Ethernet as the network that DEC promoted as an open standard.
Gordon’s stints since then include being a researcher emeritus at Microsoft
Research. With his wife Gwen he founded the Digital Computer Museum in
Massachusetts, whose archives and materials are now part of the Computer
History Museum where he is a Board member and Fellow.

About the speaker, A Panel of 7 Ethernet Implementers

During the program, a panel of 7 industry figures will periocically
elaborate about their early experiences of implementing Ethernet in various
realms: John Shoch, Bob Belleville, Roy Ogus, Hal Murray, Dave Redell,
Robert Garner, and Rich Siefert.

John Shoch was at Xerox PARC at the start of Ethernet. He later worked
under Liddle, and succeeded him as head of systems development at Xerox
before a later career in venture capital.

Bob Belleville, Roy Ogus, Hal Murray, Dave Redell and Robert Garner were
all involved with the development of 10 Mb/s Ethernet at Xerox before the
DIX alliance.

Dave Redell was the editor of what became the famous DIX Ethernet Blue Book.

Robert Garner has recently been interviewing people and collecting material
for a historical paper or book on this event’s topic.

Rich Siefert was a major technical contributor from DEC.
Brian A. Berg / bberg at StanfordAlumni.org
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<https://www.ieee.org/about/history-center/history-committee.html> Member
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IEEE Silicon Valley Tech History Committee
<http://www.siliconvalleyhistory.com/> Chair
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