Ethernet Would be a Failure

March, 1974.

This new ‘ethernet’ idea would never work.  With its concept of variably sized packets and random backoff timings, it would be too unpredictable to deliver any reliable amount of bandwidth.  Well, they say hindsight is 20/20, as this Xerox memo in 1974 shows.

“Your transmission medium or environment is not quantum noise limited. Simple analysis shows that imposing a [P]oisson (i.e., random) statistics on message transmission drastically reduces the available effective bandwidth.”

Somewhat dry reading if you’re not familiar with network terminology, but interesting if you are. Read the  full article and scanned copy at byteCoder

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