Stories by Bob Metcalfe

  • FROM THE ETHER: Riding off into the sunset

    I joined my first computer crusade as a systems programming student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965. There have been many crusades since then. In this final episode of From the Ether, I'll return to a crusade for which we are now only stacking our lances: Anticiparallelism.

  • FROM THE ETHER: An app for the new household

    Home Internetworking is an insurmountable opportunity. I've watched companies fail at it since 1980, when my own 3Com dabbled in home power-line modems. Thank goodness we later stumbled into office coaxial Ethernets.

  • FROM THE ETHER: Welcome back to Earth

    In April 1999, I began predicting the Internet stock bubble would burst on November 8, 1999. Well, as many of you have pointed out, it didn't. Instead, dot-com incubators continued hatching schemes for monetising eyeballs in the New Economy, and Wall Street day traders ate up A to Z Internet IPOs. It was tough being my usual prig.

  • Look through MY Window!

    Microsoft executives should read more of Willa Cather, who famously wrote, "There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before." Perhaps most Microsoft executives are too young to remember where it got the old IBM monopoly to keep insisting that any kind of computing was fine as long as you used 80-column punched cards.

  • Day of reckoning arrives

    II've been predicting since April the Internet stock bubble would burst on November 8, 1999. I'd been warning about Internet stocks since March 15 (see But it was on April 15, during a National Venture Capital Association panel at Boston's Ritz-Carlton, that I first announced this month's stock burst. Now, follow my verb tenses carefully. I'm writing this column on October 31, just before attending Weird Al Yankovic's Halloween Concert in Portland, Maine. So I can't say how exactly right I was on November 8. All I have are stock data from the market close on October 29.