Thursday, April 18, 2024

Daniel C. Lynch, RIP

Katie Hafner (via Hacker News):

In 1986, Mr. Lynch decided to hold a workshop to train vendors and developers to configure equipment for routing traffic through the internet. The point was to make different manufacturers’ equipment work together and demonstrate the uses the internet could have for businesses. The first event, attended by 300 vendors, was run largely by volunteers, who snaked cable through the room and programmed specialized computers called routers, which were just becoming commercially available, to communicate with one another.

“His brainstorm was that you couldn’t be there unless you were willing to interconnect with everyone else,” said Vinton G. Cerf, a vice president and chief internet evangelist at Google. Mr. Lynch required the attendees to adhere to TCP/IP, a language spoken by computers connected to the internet that was quickly becoming the industry standard.

Mr. Lynch started calling his event Interop in the late 1980s. Within a decade, it had become one of the world’s largest computer exhibitions, helping to create a global community of specialists capable of supporting a networking standard that made it possible for all the world’s computers to share data. One computer industry analyst called it “the plumbing exhibition for the information age.”

See also: Internet Hall of Fame and A Brief History of the Internet.

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