CTI Magazine cover
Getting back to my history lesson, in 1996, I wrote the first product review of one of the true pioneers of VoIP - Vocaltec. I reviewed Vocaltec's Internet Phone product, which was perhaps the first "true" VoIP software application. It helped lay the groundwork to make VoIP mainstream. In fact, to my knowledge, Vocaltec's Internet Phone was the first VoIP product on the shelves of Compusa and other retail outlets. In re-reading my review, it reminded me of the old days of VoIP full-duplex issues/soundcard full-duplex driver issues. If you didn't have the latest sound card driver, you'd get a half-duplex CB/walkie-talkie type experience. In fact, the Internet hadn't really taken off at that point in history, so I had to use Compuserve of all things to download the latest sound card driver to get full-duplex VoIP sound. Ahhh, now those were the days... I miss BBSs (Bulletin Board Systems) as well.
If I may sidetrack for a moment, similar to MTV's "I Love the 80's", "I Love the 70's" shows, someone should have a retro-history technology equivalent for us tech geeks. Maybe if G4TechTV (formerly TechTV) is reading my blog, they can launch such a show. Anyway, here's a screenshot of my actual Vocaltec Internet Phone review. For nostalgia sake, click on the image below to read the review.
The history of VoIP had humble beginnings, but my oh my how far VoIP has come! But perhaps not far or FAST enough? Will future historians look back to 2005-2009 and say "If not for regulation barriers, telecom lobbyists, and government intervention, VoIP would have taken hold and exploded much faster"??? How future history will judge the 00's decade remains to be seen as the history of VoIP is is still unwritten...