Joe Panettieri, Former Editorial Director

October 10, 2006

1 Min Read
Ray Noorda (1924-2006)

I was saddened to hear that Ray Noorda, the Father of Network Computing, died October 9.

Noorda’s obituary describes his life and his achievements in great detail. Most computer historians know Noorda built Novell, grew the market for PC LANs and created the foundation for today’s channel.

But Noorda actually had a much grander vision. When I last interviewed him in 1995, Noorda described a day when desktop applications would more easily access global network services. Unfortunately, Noorda’s vision was based on WordPerfect interacting with UnixWare, NetWare and Novell Directory Services–rather than today’s standards-based browser/server model.

Still, Noorda had a backup plan. A lot of people forget that Novell in the mid-1990s actually had a browser project code-named Ferret and a Linux project code-named Corsair. Unfortunately, Noorda ran out of time at Novell and resigned from the company when his memory began to fail him in 1995.

Take a moment today and read the blogs and tributes to Noorda. Michael Dell and other tech industry leaders are sharing their thoughts on Noorda’s life.

Alas, as of this early morning writing on October 10, there is still no official statement from Novell about Noorda’s passing. Hopefully, that will change in the hours ahead. (Update: Novell has posted a statement about Noorda’s legacy. Read it here.)

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About the Author(s)

Joe Panettieri

Former Editorial Director, Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media

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