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Brooklyn-born Robert Metcalfe is an engineer, technology executive and venture capitalist best known for inventing Ethernet.
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It's hard to guess just what Robert Metcalfe might be up to in a given year. From inventing Ethernet, the networking system which allowed personal computers to communicate with each other in the 1970s, he went on to found the multibillion-dollar company 3Com, then later quit to become a technology pundit. These days, when not writing his nationally syndicated InfoWorld column or making brash predictions about the future of the Net at industry conferences, you might find him with his wife, Robyn, tending to 200-pound rare pigs on the couple's 450-acre Kelmscott Farms in Maine.
In 1979, Metcalfe left Xerox PARC to launch 3Com, a firm devoted to selling commercial versions of Ethernet and other networking products. When the company went public in 1984, he became a multimillionaire. At 3Com, he continued the relentless pace he'd kept since college, frequently working all night on new projects, and assembling a group of fellow all-night engineers who became known as Metcalfe's Midnight Pizza Team.
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