Custom Search

Entrepreneurial Capitalism and Innovation:
A History of Computer Communications 1968-1988
By James Pelkey

Home Page
Table of Contents
Market Sectors
Supporting Documents
Computer History Museum

CHM Home Page
Oral History Archive


Entrepreneurial Capitalism & Innovation:
History of Computer Communications
1968 -1988
By James Pelkey

This history is organized by three co-evolving market sectors and also standards making.
An overview of the schema is presented in the Introduction.

Ch. 1: Emergence
Ch. 3: Competition
Ch. 5: Market Order
Ch. 11: Adaptation

Ch. 2: Vision
Ch. 4: Arpanet
Ch. 6: Diffusion
Ch. 7: Emergence
Ch 8: Completion
Ch. 10: Market Order

Ch. 9: Creation

Ch. 12: Emergence



Chapter Five
Data Communications: Market Order 1973-1979
LSI Modems, Statistical Multiplexers and Networks

5.13 In Perspective

By 1979, the engine of entrepreneurship set in motion in 1968-1969, and instantiated in successful firms such as Codex, Milgo, Infotron, General DataComm, Timeplex, Paradyne, Micom, and Intertel, no longer needed favorable court decisions in the bogged down antitrust lawsuits against AT&T and IBM to craft successful futures. Sure it would help if the two wounded, but far from dangerous, behemoths would slug it out with each other and ignore the profitable patches of product opportunities in data communications thought too small or fast moving to be of interest. But the fact was, the leading data communication firms had, or would soon have, enough financial muscle of their own to survive and prosper. They had anticipated the future and it was now theirs to reel in. (See Appendix 6.1.)

Even as the firms of data communication were speeding the efficient transfer of bits of data at ever declining prices, another whole community of innovators was transforming the ARPANET into a functioning network and beginning to explore how to both improve and diffuse this new technology of communicating packets not bits. The exposition of packet technology would take paths of originality that by 1979 would set off a new explosion of entrepreneurship that would run directly into the future being carved out by the firms in data communications. But first to the story of how the diffusion of packet switching led to local area networking.