Norman Abramson has passed away at the age of 88 years old. According to the New York Times, the cause of death was due to skin cancer that had metastasised to his lungs.
For the uninitiated, Abramson is credited as being a pioneer and a leader of a group of scientists that laid the foundation for all modern wireless networks that we know of and even use today. To be fair, Abramson actually shares the glory of the feature’s development with the help of other scientists, including Frank Kuok, a former Bell Labs scientist.
One of Abramson’s earliest concepts of a working wireless computer network came in the form of ALOHAnet, named after his love for the US island state and his love for surfing there. Designed to send packets of data over radio channels in and around his alma mater, the University of Hawai’i, all without having to schedule a transmission. As if a packet did not make it to its destination, it would simply be sent again until it was received. That concept would then go on to be used in the development of Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity.