Guest Author - Cathy Spearmon
Prior to the birth of Ethernet, we had to use sneakernet. What was that? It was to put data on a floppy disk, lace up your sneakers and walk to another computer. With the increase of worn out sneakers, a replacement for sneakernet was in dire need. In 1973, Xerox stepped in and gave us Ethernet, a networking technology based on the bus topology. This topology describes a network that consists of a number of computers connected by a single cable.
The original Ethernet used a single piece of coaxial cable connected to several computers, which allowed data be transferred at up to 3 megabytes per second. This is undoubtedly slow compared to today's standards. But this earlier version of Ethernet provided the foundation for all the later versions.
Until 1979, Ethernet technology remained totally in-house within Xerox. But, when they partnered with Digital Equipment Corporation and Intel, ethernet was promoted as an industry standard known as the DIX (Digital-Intel-Xerox) standard. Running on coaxial cable, the DIX standard allowed multiple computers to communicate with each other at 10 megabytes per second, making it revolutionary for its time.