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...

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