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Entrepreneurial Capitalism and Innovation:
A History of Computer Communications 1968-1988
By James Pelkey

Entrepreneurial Capitalism & Innovation:
A
History of Computer Communications
1968 -1988
By James Pelkey

This history is organized by three co-evolving market sectors and also standards making.
An overview of the schema is presented in the Introduction.

DATA COMMUNICATON
Ch. 1: Emergence
Ch. 3: Competition
Ch. 5: Market Order
Ch. 11: Adaptation

NETWORKING
Ch. 2: Vision
Ch. 4: Arpanet
Ch. 6: Diffusion
Ch. 7: Emergence
Ch 8: Completion
Ch. 10: Market Order

STANDARDS
Ch. 9: Creation

INTERNETWORKING
Ch. 12: Emergence

 

 

Chapter 1  
Data Communications: Emergence 1956-1968
Modems and Multiplexers

1.9   American Data Systems Off and Running 1968

In the spring of 1968, Art Wilkes neighbor, John Kinmouth and a group of his friends invested $100,000 in ADS. Wilkes and Bob Schaaf next began pounding the pavement for a first customer while Bill Norred continued to labor in Wilke’s garage to finish a working prototype of their TDM. The more people Wilkes and Schaaf talked to, the more they believed their window of opportunity would be brief if one believed all the rumors of competition. If they could just close IBM’s time-sharing operation -- Service Bureau Corporation -- as a customer, then they could withstand any competitive onslaught, or so they thought.

Summer turned to fall before the ADS-660 shipped. Even so, it could multiplex three times as many terminals -- forty-five as opposed to fifteen -- as the most competitive frequency division multiplexer. They knew they had a winner and so did IBM, signing a contract to purchase over $1 million of product. Norred remembers:

"It was a big hit mainly because the timing of it was coupled with the time-sharing industry really starting to emerge.”

For 1968, ADS had sales of $750,000. 1969 looked to be a blockbuster year.