IEEE Silicon Valley Technology History Committee Meeting Notice:

Date: Monday, April 28, 2014

Time:  6pm-8:30pm

Venue: Keypoint Credit Union

2805 Bowers Ave.

Santa Clara, CA 95051

Note: Refreshments will be served from 6pm-6:30pm; a voluntary contribution of $5.00 is requested to cover the costs (which are higher and subsidized).  Thanks!

RSVP at:

Session TitleThe History of Wired LAN Competition


These days it is Ethernet everywhere.  Most of the other competing LAN technologies have faded away.  Looking back from this point in time, it may seem that Ethernet was the inevitable winner.  That wasn’t always the case.

The panel will take a close look at the market factors that helped and hurt the eventual LAN market winners and losers.  The purpose is to see if there are lessons for the current day.  Token Ring and FDDI will be compared and contrasted with Ethernet during the 1985 to 1995 time period.

It is the moderator’s thesis that picking the winners and losers in wired LAN technologies is at least as difficult as knowing at any moment what play will win a football game.

Moderate kibitzing from the audience will be tolerated, as time permits.

If you want a study text in order to prepare for this session, the book “The Triumph of Ethernet” by Urs von Burg (Stanford University Press, ISBN 0-8047-4095-X) is recommended.

Moderator:    Geoff Thompson (GraCaSI S.A.) – formerly at SynOptics, IEEE 802.3 WG chair, and Ethernet bigot


  • Joe Skorupa (Gartner) – various “Route 128” MA networking companies
  • Tom Slykhouse (SurveyMonkey)- FDDI  advocate of the period
  • Dan Pitt – (Open Networking Foundation) Token Ring advocate of the period


6:00 – 6:30pm      Snacks and Soft Drinks

6:30 – 6:40pm      Opening Remarks

6:40 – 7:45pm      Presentations and Panel Discussion

7:45 – 8:10pm      Audience Q&A

8:10pm                 Closing Comments and Appreciation

8:15pm                  Adjourn


IEEE SV Tech History Committee is very appreciative of Keypoint Credit Union for the use of their venue for out technical meetings!