Outrageous fanboy claims – Apple pioneered personal network

GoMo still hasn’t found who made first cellular call

source: http://nmt30years.com

world's 1st base station in Saudi Arabia

It’s a sad day to have lost Douglas Engelbart who went on to inspire the likes of Apple’s Steve Jobs. But to describe him as the “Man who first clicked on the idea of networking PCs” is just one step too far for us here at GoMo News. It’s just another case of Apple fanboys trying to rewrite history. It’s up there with the claim by Motorola that its employee, Martin Cooper, made “the world’s first public mobile phone call” back in New York on April 3rd 1973. He didn’t. It was somebody in Saudi Arabia (almost certainly a Prince) but we’ve never been able to trace him/her.

Let’s face it. If Apple really had inspired personal networking then we’d all be using AppleTalk and instead we’re using Ethernet (which @ GoMo News we attribute to Bob Metcalfe).

What Engelbart gave us was the mouse and the idea of a graphical user interface. He certainly didn’t demonstrate networking years before the Internet as suggested.

In fact, Englebart created the first working hypertext system, NLS, which was actually the second computer system connected to the ARPANET.

ARPANET was the precursor to the Internet, of course.

Now back to that first ‘mobile call’. The first cellular telephony system was actually NMT (Nordic Mobile Telephony).

It was supposed to go live first in Sweden but Ericsson had won a very lucrative contract from Saudi Arabia and its NMT switch actually went live on September 1st 1981.

Incredibly, there’s no record of who actually cut the ribbon. Perhaps one of our Swedish readers could find out?

Talking of Bob Metcalfe, he got the idea for Ethernet from a packet radio system called ALOHAnet linking the Hawaiian Islands back in the late 1960s.

So, does that make him the father of mobile data as well one wonders?

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
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10 Responses to Outrageous fanboy claims – Apple pioneered personal network

  1. Peter says:

    I’m not a networking expert but I think your statement about AppleTalk being a competitor to Ethernet is wrong, AppleTalk ran over Ethernet (as EtherTalk). I believe you are talking about TCP/IP taking over for AppleTalk?

  2. admin says:

    You’re not an expert. AppleTalk was the name for both the hardware and the networking protocols. If Apple had won then there would be an AppleTalk socket in your existing router. Does your AirTalk router have one then?

  3. Peter says:

    Actually, I’ll go with the fanbois on this one.

    Every Mac–from the original Macintosh 128K–had built-in networking, namely the AppleTalk protocol. AppleTalk was the most popular networking protocol back in 1986 or 1987. There were even AppleTalk cards for IBM PCs. And, yes, there were routers for AppleTalk back then as well.

    What made AppleTalk so popular? One word–LaserWriter. Yes, this $5000 printer was not something that you could readily afford. But buy a LaserWriter and let two or three Macs (or PCs) share it via AppleTalk and you had a pretty good and inexpensive system. That’s why it was the most popular networking protocol. Yes, the vast majority of those networking had two Macs and a LaserWriter, but it was still a network.

    So, yes, Apple definitely pioneered personal networking by shipping AppleTalk with every computer.

  4. anonymous says:

    I’m definitely not an expert either, but I’m not sure I agree with what you’re saying. Unfortunately, you don’t provide any links to the articles you’re referencing, so I can’t speak to the exact points, but I can see an argument that Apple pioneered the personal network. I’m not saying that it was invented before Ethernet, TCP/IP or any of today’s ubiquitous technologies, but I do remember networking Macintoshes over LocalTalk (technically PhoneNet) long before anyone I knew had any sort of always-on networking (note: this doesn’t include dial-up/modem). This was all out of the box – a Mac had LocalTalk capability built into both the hardware and operating system as standard equipment. In fact, in college, we strung phone wire up and down the hallway to all of the half dozen or so Macs on the floor to provide a local/personal network to play games, share files, share printers, and “instant message”/chat long before there was any sort of networking installed in the dorms in 1990. It was also well before any PCs that any student bought came with a of network card of any kind. (We had many PC users who wanted to join our network back then, but couldn’t.) That trend continued in the apartments and other dorms that that first group moved onto – PhoneNet cable strung everywhere and printer and file sharing was the norm.

    Yes, the Internet did exist back then. There were rooms of terminals on campus all networked together. I also remember dialing up into the school’s network and using e-mail and talk to chat with relatives across the country, but I wouldn’t call this any sort of a “personal” network. And the network at my first summer job was high-tech – it used 10Base2 coaxial cable to run everywhere. I don’t think that the true house-level personal networks that Apple ushered in came about until the switch to simple twisted pair cable, such as that used by 10Base-T. (One could argue that it still didn’t become commonplace until wireless networking became widely available.)

    Again, I’m not arguing that Apple invented the personal network or any of its technologies, but, from my perspective, it certainly pioneered the plug-and-play, available out-of-the-box networking that is almost assumed to come with today’s computers.

  5. AdamC says:

    Appletalk is not hardware and as its name implied only software.

    Perhaps you is the father of the internet.

  6. admin says:

    Another outrageous fanboy claim.

    “The original AppleTalk cabling system was later renamed LocalTalk. Farallon made a similar system named PhoneNet, which can be used instead.”

    See here … http://lisafaq.sunder.net/lisafaq-hw-ser_appletalk.html.

    We love the way you guys try to rewrite history.

  7. admin says:

    I think you will find that a British company Apricot, produced personal computer which had built in local area networking using technology which was later adopted by IBM PC compatible devices as netbeui. Predates AppleTalk.

  8. admin says:

    No they didn’t. See our comments to other readers.

  9. Alain says:

    The Minitel of France was way ahead of anything “internet”. It started in 1978 and by 1982 was in all of France. Way before even Apple existed ! You could check stock prices, make online purchases, make reservations and yes you could also chat. France Telecom discontinued the service in 2012.

  10. admin says:

    The UK’s Prestel service preceeded even Minitel. its legacy can still be seen in teletext services.

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