Bruce Hunt’s journey into the world of local area networking (LAN) began when he read Robert Metcalfe’s Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) paper published in May 1976. His reaction was immediate. For months he was consumed with working out the ideas Metcalfe had written about for himself. During this exploration a friend told him Zilog, an exciting start-up, was hiring. His skills and experiences matched their needs. Soon, Hunt had the freedom to further develop his entry-level LAN technology he named “Ariel.” Only Zilog had too many senior people already committed to the Ethernet technology to consider Ariel. Hunt left Zilog in September 1978 to further his education at Stanford University. One of his professors, Fouad A. Tobagi, whom he had met at a Zilog gathering, encouraged his interests. Together they wrote a paper on CSMA/CD that they presented at the seminal Local Area Communications Network Symposium in May 1979. After Stanford, Hunt worked at SRI International before launching Metapath. The story of their presentations to Norman “Norm” Dion and his executive management team, as covered in this interview, is one that any person interested in understanding the emotional dynamics of fundraising will not want to miss. With Dion’s investment made in March 1983, Hunt was able to hire the needed personnel to sufficiently develop their product for presentation to venture capitalist investors. The story of Metapath demonstrates the profusion of new technologies and start-ups characteristic of a new market, and the consolidation forced by a dominant design.
Zilog, Inc.; Association for Computing Machinery (ACM); Carrier sense multiple access (CSMA); Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC); Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center); MITRE Corporation; Local Area Communications Network (LACN); Ariel; Metapath; Dysan; ZNet; Tobagi, Fouad
James L. Pelkey collection : history of computer communications