Recollections of Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc.
by former employees
It isn't gone, but for many people the years they spent at BBN are the ones that they like to remember -- the challenges, the successes, the hacks, the spoofs, a job where you were doing something cool -- before cool was co-opted by "awesome wicked cool". We consistently developed technology 10 years before it entered wide-spread use.
This was frustrating to many outside entrepreneurs who came through and saw a treasure-trove of exciting intellectual property, but then couldn't figure out how to turn the BBN ideas and prototypes into wildly profitable products. For those of us involved in the technology explorations, the satisfaction came from solving the hard problem, the one that no one thought could be solved.
In the early 1990's, Daniel Dern formed a mailing list to help people who had once worked at Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN) stay in touch. Today there are about 1000 people on the xbbn list (firstname.lastname@example.org). To become a member of the list, please go to http://groups.google.com/group/xbbn and click on the apply for membership link.
The XBBN mailing list has carried many interesting stories recalling facts, accomplishments, failures and humorous stories about our careers at BBN. This website is a tribute to the people and their spirit of technical exploration that made BBN a special place to work.
We are actively soliciting contributions to this website. People who have material to contribute should send a message to Harry Forsdick describing their proposed contribution. When you send a description of something, please include your name and your years at BBN, and the form of the contribution (HTML, ASCII, scanned image, hard copy (in decreasing order of preference)). Digital contributions can be emailed, hard copy can be mailed to XBBN c/o Forsdick, 46 Burlington St., Lexington, MA 02420-1702.
This website was last updated on April 19, 2013.