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Eating My Collapse Column

  • From: Bob Metcalfe
  • Date: Wed Apr 16 16:29:16 1997

Dear NANOG,

You've perhaps already heard that I made good on a promise to eat the
12/4/95 InfoWorld column in which I predicted Internet collapses during
1996.  If not yet, then please.  Yes, eating the column was a publicity
thing, of course, and look at all the publicity it got.

As widely reported, I ate the entire column out of a bowl with a spoon
before an appreciative live audience of about 1,000 people attending my
terminal keynote at the Sixth International World Wide Web Conference in
Santa Clara, California.  Some reports skipped that I ate (and am still
digesting) the entire column.  I did.  Rest assured.

So, sorry to those of you who could not be there to witness my
comeuppance.  And sorry to those of you whom I over excited during 1996
by warning of Internet outages and arguing for more organized
cooperation (than NANOG) among ISPs in managing Internet operations.

Of course you should understand that I ate the column only because the
Internet, as far as I can tell, did not suffer a gigalapse during 1996
-- a billion lost user*hours in a single outage.  The Internet has
indeed bogged down (hit STOP much?) and has indeed suffered large
outages (the biggest being a 118 megalapse at AOL in August).  The
Internet still needs much more cooperation among ISPs on managing its
operations, and perhaps we'll see some soon.  Which is to say that,
despite eating my column, I stand by my story.

But, again, I was wrong -- we were lucky -- about the 1996 gigalapse. 
Again, I was wrong.  I ate the column.  I am sorry.  I am not worthy.

Now, be thinking about what you're going to eat (;->) if we don't get
our Internet operations acts together in time to avert gigalapses.

Lovingly on your case,

/Bob Metcalfe, InfoWorld columnist
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