[TUHS] V7 Addendem [ really lawyers and AT&T consent decree ]

Jason Stevens jsteve at superglobalmegacorp.com
Thu Dec 14 03:05:51 AEST 2017

It absolutely was too late.  By 1984 IBM had pushed out the AT, and although from there, we had PC stagnation until 1987, in those three years the rise of the IBM PC Clone was so insurmountable that IBM couldn’t push the PS/2 on anyone.  IBM had utterly lost momentum and the Compaq Deskpro 386 with Windows/386 had setup the world in which we live in today.

It’s crazy how seeming short that window was, and yet a company the size of IBM or AT&T couldn’t compete.

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

From: Clem Cole
Sent: Tuesday, 12 December 2017 2:41 AM
To: Paul Winalski
Cc: TUHS main list
Subject: Re: [TUHS] V7 Addendem [ really lawyers and AT&T consent decree ]

On Mon, Dec 11, 2017 at 1:17 PM, Paul Winalski <paul.winalski at gmail.com> wrote:
On 12/6/17, Jon Steinhart <jon at fourwinds.com> wrote:
> There's another aspect of this that I think that many people misunderstand
> which is that Judge Green gave AT&T exactly what they wanted.  AT&T knew
> that in the future the money was in data and were willing to trade their
> monopoly for that business.  From their perspective, it worked.  For the
> rest of us, not so good.

Except that the new AT&T, liberated from the regulatory chains of the
Bell operating companies, never learned how to compete in the free
market.  They got their clock cleaned by the competition.  In
desperation they bought Olivetti and only managed to run it into the

​To be fair you are both right.  I think at the time Charlie Brown and Team at AT&T wanted to make a go at IBM and DEC (i.e. large systems) and Paul's right, they missed.

But Jon is right that they had realized that it going to be a data centric business and he and his team felt that the current consent decree we going to keep them from being players in it.   

To me there were a couple of issues.  The Phone System and 'TPC' was centrally controlled (a lot like a communist country).   Where it worked, it was fine.  But... the problem was that anything outside their view of reality was a threat.  It's funny as the time, IBM, DEC et al were trying to build centrally managed (closed garden networks) too, just like the phone system, so it was not a stretch for them the think that way.

IP and datagrams were very much built on no central control, which was something TPC thought was bad and fought.   I remember so, so many of those fights at the time and trying to explain that IP was going to win.    In the end, it was MetCalfe's law (which was formulated on observations about the phone system) that caused IP to win, along with "Clark's Observation" making everything a "network of networks" instead if a single managed system - which made the plumbing work.

So while I find it sad to see Comcast, Current version of AT&T, Verizon et al, all want to see the net neutrality go away, I do not find it surprising.   Its the same behavior as before.

What would have happened if Judge Green had not broken them up?   I do think broadband would be more universal, but .... I suspect AT&T would have fought it and tried to use things that dreamed up (ATM, ISDN, et al).

My 2 cents....


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