My love affair with computing, which became after awhile a love affair with networking, began in the middle 60s when I was a graduate student in business at Stanford. And someone said, “You know, there’s something going on on the west side of campus having to do with computers.”
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I spent the first half, let’s say fifteen years of a career, trying to make communications easier. And I thought that was a cool thing; I thought that would be great. I’ve spent roughly the second half, another fifteen years, trying to make communication harder, or at least more selective and safer
I did not invent an important thing. I am not an innovator. The only thing I did is you know, in early 2000, when WiFi was just coming I used a simple indoor router to make a long‐range wireless link, a forty‐kilometer link, to bring Internet in my home village.
Thanks goes to everybody who helped to spread the technology. Okay, no. There’s one guy I won’t thank, and that’s the one who used a stolen credit card number to buy our software and then spread it claiming it’s free. He did help us, but still I don’t thank him.
In viewing the list of previous and current inductees, one is awestruck just to be included among them. My own contributions in broadband access, particularly DSL, seem somewhat dwarfed by those of the others.
I want to express my thanks to the Internet pioneers who invented the Internet. This is not only beneficial to the people around the world, especially in China. There are more than six hundred million people using the Internet every day.
[Frank Heart] said that the thing he most remembers about building the early ARPANET was it was really an amazing effort by a few people. It shows what can happen when you put together a very talented group of focused people, and they can really accomplish an amazing amount of things.
I ran into Vint Cerf, who didn’t know me of course, but I knew him. So I boldly introduced myself, and Vint said, “Hey, you wanna come to dinner?” And I said, “Well yes, please.” So he shoved me into a cab…
When I started, of course, there was no capital‐I Internet. There were, however, eventually a bunch of smaller networks that didn’t talk to each other, and I decided that they needed to talk to each other at least for email.
One of the things that we have discovered over and over again, as we build networks that move electrons around and photons around, is that human beings use those to connect with one another. We think we’re connecting computers together, it turns out we’re connecting human beings together.