[Make-wifi-fast] 20 year anniversary of wifi

David P. Reed dpreed at deepplum.com
Wed Sep 18 14:57:43 EDT 2019

This is a strange, strange article. It focuses on the WECA as if that organization really mattered (other than coming up with the name WiFi for an existing widely used technology).

Now I do understand the value of a consortium as a market stabilization mechanism. And the products being developed as 802.11b needed some standardized choice of interoperable options (such as a pragmatic definition of what an "access point" should support in terms of association protocol options, of which there were *many* in the 802.11b spec).

And I do understand the value of a common branding (WiFi soon replaced 802.11b which was what all of us hackers called it for a long time). Again, a business thing.

But, 802.11a and 802.11b hardware was out there and used long before WECA was created.

So, I find this "anniversary" quite strange. It seems to be an after-the-fact attempt to claim credit for an invention that was not actually done 50 years ago. It seems like WIRED is being incredibly lazy, taking a press release from the WiFi alliance and printing it as if it were Factual.

Note: the so-called 50th anniversary of the Internet is also a strange idea that's happening this fall. The idea of "internetworking" did not get sorted out in 1969. Yes, the birth of ARPANET was arguably in 1969.  But the idea of Internetworking came years later. The original ARPANET was exciting for many reasons: packet networking at scale, demonstrating that a network based on packets could deal with outages in a decentralized way, ... But no, Virginia, the Internet was not born when ARPANET was born. The Internet we have now was born in the mid 1970's, focusing on the problem of interoperation of diverse networks (not the ARPANET, which was deemed not suitable for internetworking.

It's becoming very popular to revise history by convenient omission of facts that few remember anymore. This makes me sad, because I remember, and my memories are being rewritten to satisfy the egos of companies and organizations who seem to be uncomfortable with the idea that there were many diverse roots of these technologies.

On Monday, September 16, 2019 6:46pm, "Dave Taht" <dave.taht at gmail.com> said:

> I remember experimenting with "homeRF". I cannot remember for the life
> of me what it was like.
> and to me, why wifi took off was that it had a strong investment by
> apple AND heavy interest from the geek community, with a couple
> drivers that actually worked, and because of the coffee shop
> phenomenon....
> Shure, everything else here was important, too:
> https://www.wired.com/story/how-wi-fi-almost-didnt-happen/
> --
> Dave Täht
> CTO, TekLibre, LLC
> http://www.teklibre.com
> Tel: 1-831-205-9740
> _______________________________________________
> Make-wifi-fast mailing list
> Make-wifi-fast at lists.bufferbloat.net
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