Wow, that’s familiar. The video below is a promotional look at packetized voice conferencing via ARPANet in January 1978. Like all conference calls, someone has trouble dialing in, everyone else sits around waiting for them, and then nothing is accomplished. Really, the only thing missing is having to ask everyone to mute because of loud background noise.

David Crotty

David Crotty

David Crotty is a Senior Consultant at Clarke & Esposito, a boutique management consulting firm focused on strategic issues related to professional and academic publishing and information services. Previously, David was the Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press. He oversaw journal policy across OUP’s journals program, drove technological innovation, and served as an information officer. David acquired and managed a suite of research society-owned journals with OUP, and before that was the Executive Editor for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, where he created and edited new science books and journals, along with serving as a journal Editor-in-Chief. He has served on the Board of Directors for the STM Association, the Society for Scholarly Publishing and CHOR, Inc., as well as The AAP-PSP Executive Council. David received his PhD in Genetics from Columbia University and did developmental neuroscience research at Caltech before moving from the bench to publishing.


1 Thought on "A Proto-VOIP Conference Call from 1978"

This is so awesome, David! Thanks for sharing it. I wonder what the folks then would make of what we have now? Will the tech be better 40 years from now?

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