Vint Cerf’s IPv4 Mea Culpa

Whatta hoot!! I love the surge of articles (examples) stating that Vint Cerf (the Father of the Internet) suggests that running out of internet addresses (that four digit code that kinda looks like a phone number is actually an Internet Protocol address) was “all his fault.” Of course it was… but I don’t see anybody suggesting that they could have done any better!

Who-da thunk that we would have blown through 4.3 Billion IP addresses when we only sold 48,000 personal computers sold that year? If each computer had one IP address, then this would be about a 90,000 year supply of addresses…

Now I can see how lotsa people shoulda known that the Y2K problem was coming (shortening the year to two digits e.g. 1977 became just 77)… Any halfwit would understand that this would cause some problems when the numbers grew to 2000 because how do you differetiate between *any* century mark when the digit becomes 00?

But I have to admit that while some of us were surfing the internet in the early years using Gopher (remember Gopher?), none of us thought that 256^4 addresses would run short… Hell, we didn’t even know that there were a billion stars in the universe, much less the need for 4.3 Billion addresses for an *academic/scientific/military* network…

So, Yeah Vint, it *is* all your fault! …but thanks for making that error that has stood the test of advancing all of us into the ‘information age’… Hell, if you had just upped the numbers to (2^9)^4 that would have generated 678 Billion addresses which would have lasted at least a few more years… but that number is not nearly as elegant as (2^8)^4 for many reasons…

Thanks again for how smooth the ride into the information age has been for all these years!  J


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