While we expect our favorite athletes to know the history of their respective sports and teams and to pay homage to the great ones who came before them, why don’t we do the same within technology? In fact, it’s easier to figure out who holds most sports records than it is to find out who invented IPSEC. I too am guilty of taking for granted the contributions of those who worked for R&D powerhouses such as BBN Planet, DARPA, and Bell Labs.

Within technology, there continues to be debates and disputes over who “the father of” or the “inventor of” a particular technology is. It is not my intent to join this debate, but to give my thanks and gratitude to those whose contributions have changed our industry and our lives.

  • Bob Metcalfe – Father of Ethernet
  • Vinton Cerf AND Robert Kahn – TCP/IP Co-Designers 
  •  William Yeager – Creator of Multi-protocol Router
  • Vic Hayes – Father of Wi-Fi
  • Sven Mattisson and Jaap Haartsen – Inventors of Bluetooth
  • Nir Zuk, William Cheswick, Steven Bellovin, Marcus Ranum , and more- Fathers of the Firewall
  • Stehpen Kent – Inventor of IPSEC
  • Taher Elgamal – inventor of SSL
  • Vinod Bhardwaj – Father of Ethernet Switching
  • Bernard Daines – Father of Gigabit Ethernet
  • Rouzbeh Yassini – Father of the Cable Modem
  • Joseph W. Lechleitter – Inventor of DSL Modem
  • William Moggridge – Inventor of the Laptop
  • John Ansoff, Konrad Zuse, John Mauchly, Presper Eckert, and more – Inventors of the Computer

What’s in your Closet?

What do countless power cords, hundreds of various sizes of Ethernet cables, 10 and 10/100M switches, vintage wireless access points and routers, bricks of all shapes and sizes, 1 and 2 mega pixel cameras, 3.5 and 5.25 floppy drives, a few CD players, a few keyboards, an external burner, printers from an era gone-by, Dongles, and an assortment of computers that belong in a museum have in common? They all are hiding in my closet!

What’s worse is my inability to throw any of it away; even things that are broken. Why throw out a perfectly good 3.5 inch drive? Someday I may need to recover a file on one of the hundreds of disks that are scattered throughout my home. Someday I’ll turn all my P3/P4 computers into a giant Hadoop cluster that will power various ideas I have in my head. I’m still searching for my old Commodore 64 and trusty tape drive.

Thankfully, the rate of growth of my stockpiles have slowed down With the rise of open source software and specifically virtualization, I can do more with less physical hardware. Of course, I’m always on the hunt for a deal; Craigslist, Ebay, friends, etc. After-all, it may be time to look at the new Intel i7 chips and perhaps an Intel based Apple.

What’s in your closet?