Forty years ago, on May 22, 1973 to be exact, a young engineer named Bob Metcalfe wrote a memo about a technology that was about to change the face of computing, Computerworld reports. Metcalfe worked at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), where every researcher had a Texas Instruments Silent 700 terminal on their desk. The TI terminals looked liked portable typewriters but they incorporated an acoustic modem so they could communicate with mainframe computers over a telephone line at 300 bits per second. Xerox wanted to replace these terminals with its latest Alto “microcomputers” and the company tasked Metcalfe to come up with a way of connecting these early personal computers together. … Metcalfe also promises that Ethernet, particularly in its role in fabric computing or ‘the Internet of Things,’ is going to play its part in a raft of disruptive technologies that will turn the transport, healthcare and education industries on their heads. He predicts that the most “exciting surprise” will happen in education, specifically as a result of “MOOCs” (Massively open online courses). “Most of us in this room probably got educated along the way, and that whole thing is about to get – you know like iTunes did to music?”

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