Hat passed around for Winsock inventor

The world+dog has just woken up to the fact that the inventor of one of the most important bits of Internet software got sod all for his invention.

Peter Tattam wrote Winsock, which allowed Windows to connect to the world wide wibble. For its day it was downloaded, distributed free on disks by nearly everyone with a Windows machine.

When Microsoft launched its software it did not support the TCP/IP stack and had limited networking capability using NetBIOS.

Tattam wrote code called Trumpet Winsock which was supposed to be shareware although very few ever paid for it.

Now Hacker News has decided to start a campaign to get all those who benefited from the software to pay up for its use. They have set up various donation sites where those who have nearly 20 years of guilt of not paying for Tattam’s code can salve that burden by finally shelling out. [Don’t mention Apricot and Netbeui, Ed.]

Writing in his bog, Tattam said that he thought that the world had forgotten all about him. So far more than 300 people have paid and Hacker News wants to get a lote more. After all millions of people must have downloaded Trumpet Winsock and it was still being used in Windows 95 and Windows NT.

We should point out that Tattam has done quite well for himself after Winsock, but no doubt if he had made people pay a tiny amount for his software he would have been very rich by now and could even afford an Apple Mac.