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IBM and Apple

In the 1980's, personal computers became a common fixture in homes and offices. Supplying business with computers and software grew into one of the biggest industries in less than a decade. Soon, networking became a profitable business for engineers previously restricted to networking mainframes.
[ chapter: Xerox PARC ]

Some of the engineers trained on the ARPAnet went out on their own to found some of the fastest growing high-tech companies in history. Bob Metcalfe, one of the pioneers of ARPAnet, developed a better way of networking personal computers together and founded 3Com.
[ chapter: computer communication compatibility ]

Four 27 year-olds from Stanford and Berkeley formed a company named Sun and built networkable workstations that could crunch numbers faster than many mainframes. Taking advantage of Metcalfe's invention, four programmers in Utah wrote a network operating system (Netware) and resurrected Novell Systems into a multi-billion dollar software company. A married couple working at Stanford developed an improved way to connect different networks together and operated a multi-million dollar company, named Cisco, from their house until venture capitalists took over and propelled it to a multi-billion dollar business.
[ chapters: sun rises, success from failure, riding the bear, adult supervision ]

Sun, Novell, Cisco, 3Com

The Internet opened a gold rush in the 1980's that built huge fortunes and toppled old empires. Passionate engineers and savvy venture capitalists built a new economy that would lay the tracks for the Information Super Highway.

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