David Boggs, co-inventor of Ethernet, dies at the age of 71

David Boggs, co-inventor of Ethernet, dies at the age of 71

David Boggs

The name David Boggs probably won't say much to many of you, but he is a person who has had a great influence in the world as we know it today. The man, as reported by The New York Times and Engadget, unfortunately passed away at the age of 71. Boggs was known to have been the co-inventor of the Ethernet standard, which is still used today for connecting computers and other electronic devices both via cable and wireless systems.

Photo Credit: Xenox PARC David Boggs joined Xerox PARC, a company that has worked on projects that have shaped modern computing, from the graphical user interface to the mouse, in 1973 and, with the help of colleague Bob Metcalfe, began developing a solution that allowed a computer to exchange data with another computer in the research laboratory.

if (jQuery ("# ​​crm_srl-th_hardware_d_mh2_1"). is (": visible")) {console.log ("Edinet ADV adding zone: tag crm_srl-th_hardware_d_mh2_1 slot id: th_hardware_d_mh2 "); } After two long years, taking inspiration from ALOHAnet, a wireless network system developed by the University of Hawaii, Boggs and Metcalfe presented the first version of Ethernet, realized through a connection via coaxial cable that allowed the transmission of information up to 2.94Mb / s. Ethernet uses packet technology that intelligently allows data to be routed both over wire and wirelessly and, above all, continues to work even if some packets are lost.

Thanks to this, the careers of Boggs and Metcalfe took a great leap forward. Metcalfe founded 3Com, while Boggs remained at Xerox PARC as a researcher, later moving to DEC and eventually founding a company called LAN Media.

Photo Credit: Xenox PARC if (jQuery ("# ​​crm_srl-th_hardware_d_mh3_1"). is (": visible")) {console.log ("Edinet ADV adding zone: tag crm_srl-th_hardware_d_mh3_1 slot id: th_hardware_d_mh3 "); } Ethernet continues to be used today to interconnect almost all digital devices and has never been replaced by another standard, but has evolved over time to accommodate a variety of uses as technology advances.

David Boggs, Co-Inventor of Ethernet, Dies at 71

After his parents divorced, David Boggs grew up in Washington with his mother, Jane (McCallum) Boggs, and his older brother, Walter. The three of them lived in his grandmother’s house, near American University, where his mother went to work as an administrator, eventually overseeing admissions for the university’s law school.

After saving up for a radio operator’s license, David began building ham radios, spending his nights chatting with other operators across the country. His brother remembered the two of them stringing antennas from a second-floor bedroom to the roof over the garage.

“Back then, those wires seemed so long,” said Walter Boggs, who still lives in the house. “Now it looks like a very short distance.”

David Boggs earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Princeton University before starting at Stanford, where he eventually received both a master’s and a Ph.D., also in electrical engineering. Early in his Stanford career, he saw a presentation from Alan Kay, one of the key thinkers at PARC. He introduced himself to Mr. Kay, which led to an internship at the lab and later a full-time research position.

At PARC, as Mr. Metcalfe and Mr. Boggs pieced together a blueprint for Ethernet technology, borrowing ideas from a wireless network at the University of Hawaii called ALOHAnet. This work dovetailed with one of Mr. Boggs’s oldest interests: radio.

Sending tiny packets of information between computers and other devices, including printers, Ethernet could potentially work both with wires and without. In the 1980s, it became the standard protocol for wireline PC networks. In the late ’90s, it served as the basis for Wi-Fi, which would pervade homes and offices over the next two decades.

However it was used, the power of Ethernet was that it assumed things would go wrong. Even if some packets were lost — as they inevitably would be — the network could keep going.