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The Internet Toaster
There really was an Internet toaster. Dan Lynch, President of the Interop
Internet networking show, told John
Romkey at the 1989 show that he would give him star billing the following
year if he connected a toaster to the Internet. Who could have resisted a challenge
Working together with his
John Romkey rose to the occasion and connected a Sunbeam Deluxe Automatic Radiant
Control Toaster to the Internet, becoming the hit of the 1990 Interop. A picture
Hackett demonstrating the toaster is shown below.
toaster was connected to the Internet with TCP/IP
networking, and controlled with a Simple Networking Management Protocol Management
Information Base (SNMP MIB). It had one control, to turn the power on, and the
darkness of the toast was controlled by how long the power was kept on.
a human being still had to insert the bread. At the 1991 Interop a small robotic
crane was added to the system, also controlled from the Internet, which picked up a
slice of bread and dropped it into the toaster, automating the system from end-to-end.