Happy 40th Birthday, Ethernet!

The Ethernet networking protocol is now 40 years old - what is that, you may ask? Ethernet is now the most common form of wired networking in homes and offices. Most of use know it as a cable with a sort of bigger version of a phone jack plug at either end - one end plugs into the network port of your computer, and the other into a network port on the wall, or directly into to a switch or router. Protocols (rules and specifications to enable inter-operation between devices) like Ethernet are written and governed by the IEEE - the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. The protocol describes the type of wiring, the way it is wired and how the signals and encoded and decoded. Ethernet originally competed with other standards such as Token Ring, but Ethernet has largely taken over and evolved in the years since then. So happy 40th birthday, Ethernet!

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