Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Bob Metcalfe does another Reddit AMA

Metcalfe, along with David Boggs, invented Ethernet. Link to new Reddit AMA here.

Good stuff from Metcalfe:

"Ethernet had back-off for flow/congestion control, which then migrated up into TCP/IP also. Got the idea from the Santa Monica Freeway traffic lights. Moves from 10G to 40G to 100G to 400G to TE are part of the Ethernet ethic, which says built it and they will come (eventually)."


Q: What's your view on Chipotle charging extra for guacamole?

Metcalf: Pay it.


Q: What are your thoughts on connecting little widgets and devices to the internet? Wireless or hard-wired? Does my toaster really need to be connected to the internet?

Metcalf: Yes, your toaster needs to be connected to the Internet.

Another one from M: "Protocol design is an art. It's important to leave things open for unexpected uses -- generality. TCP/IP/Ethernet were invented in 1973, and along came the web in 1989. Whoa! Also, mutual suspicion among protocol parties adds robustness."

Here's why he invented Ethernet:

"Was lucky to be given a problem that nobody had ever had before: How to network a building full of personal computers, one on every desk, if you can imagine that."

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