William "Bill" Yeager (born June 16, 1940, San Francisco) is an American engineer. He is best known for being the inventor of a packet-switched, "Ships in the Night," multiple-protocol router in 1981, during his 20 year tenure at Stanford's Knowledge Systems Laboratory. The code was licensed by upstart Cisco Systems in 1987 and comprised the core of the first Cisco IOS.
He is also known for his role in the creation of the IMAP mail protocol, and for writing the ttyftp serial line file transfer program, which was developed into the MacIntosh version of the Kermit protocol at Columbia University. He has also worked 5 years for NASA Ames Research Center and 10 years at Sun Microsystems. At Sun as the CTO of Project JXTA he filed 40 US Patents, and as Chief Scientist at Peerouette, Inc., 2 US and 2 European Union Patents. He has so far been granted 20 US Patents 4 of which are on High Performance Email Servers, and 16 on P2P and distributed computing.
He received his bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1964; his master's degree in mathematics from San Jose State University in San Jose, California, in 1966; and completed his doctoral course work at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington in 1970. Then decided to abandon mathematics for a career in software engineering and research to the skepticism of his thesis advisor because Bill thought the future was in computing.
- Valley of the Nerds: Who Really Invented the Multiprotocol Router, and Why Should We Care?, Public Broadcasting Service, Accessed August 12, 2007.
- Router Man, NetworkWorld, Accessed August 12, 2007.
- Pete Carey, "A Start-Up's True Tale: Often-told story of Cisco's launch leaves out the drama, intrigue", San Jose Mercury News, December 1, 2001.
- Sun Microsystems biography
- Valley of the Nerds: Who Really Invented the Multiprotocol Router, and Why Should We Care?
- "A start-up's true tale", Mercury News, 2001-01-12
- Interview at Networkworld.com
- Personal Server and network - Patent Application for Peerouette P2P Technology
- Global community naming authority - Patent Application for Peerouette P2P Technology
- [US Patent 6,167,402 - High Performance Message Store]
- [US Patent 6,735,770 - Method and apparatus for high performance access to data in a message store]
- [US Patent 6,418,542 - Critical signal thread]
- [US Patent 6,457,064 - Method and apparatus for detecting input directed to a thread in a multi-threaded process]
- [US Patent 7,065,579 - System using peer discovery and peer membership protocols for accessing peer-to-peer platform resources on a network]
- [US Patent 7,127,613 - Secured peer-to-peer network data exchange]
- [US Patent 7,136,927 - Peer-to-peer resource resolution]
- [US Patent 7,167,920 - Peer-to-peer communication pipes]
- [US Patent 7,213,047 - Peer trust evaluation using mobile agents in peer-to-peer networks]
- [US Patent 7,203,753 - Propagating and updating trust relationships in distributed peer-to-peer networks]
- [US Patent 7,222,187 - Distributed trust mechanism for decentralized networks]
- [US Patent 7,254,608 - Managing Distribution of Content Using Mobile Agents in Peer-to-Peer Networks]
- [US Patent 7,275,102 - Trust Mechanisms for a Peer-to-Peer Network Computing Platform]
- [US Patent 7,290,280 - Method and apparatus to facilitate virtual transport layer security on a virtual network]
- [US Patent 7,308,496 - Representing Trust in Distributed Peer-to-Peer Networks]
- [US Patent 7,340,500 - Providing peer groups in a peer-to-peer environment]
- [US Patent 8,108,455 - Mobile Agents in Peer-to-Peer networks]
- [US Patent 8,160,077 - Peer-to-Peer communication pipes]
- [US Patent 8,176,189 - Peer-to-Peer network computing platform]
- [US Patent 8,359,397 - Reliable peer-to-peer connections]