Back in 1995 things were different than they are today. Most PCs weren’t networked and interfaces between computers were mostly relegated to large systems and systems in large organizations — such as corporations and educational institutions.
At the time, I was working in the Emerging Technologies Group at Westech Information Systems (a subsidiary of our provincial electric utility, B.C. Hydro) and we were developing mobile applications for hospitals, municipalities and others.
Although layered communications were well defined (the OSI model for example), software that implemented such models were not in common use, with most applications hard coding connectivity into a monolith.
I saw the potential to implement a layered model, that could be reused in the various applications we were developing, so applications could be loosely coupled to their underlying transports.
I wrote a brief synopsis for the Westech newsletter. And while these concepts are widely used today, in 1995 that was not the case. So without further ado, let’s step back in time and see what 1995 technology looked like.
I still get a kick out of seeing the null modem cable, but that was something we did in the 90s (along with 56 kbps dial up modems championed by USRobotics).
Incidentally, I owned a USRobotics modem and used a null modem cable in more scenarios than you would have likely thought. I can’t say I miss either one though.