Chuck Forsberg

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Charles Alton Forsberg
Born (1944-05-06)May 6, 1944
Wilmette, Illinois, USA
Died September 24, 2015(2015-09-24) (aged 71)
Portland, Oregon, USA
Nationality United States
Other names Chuck Forsberg
Education M.S., Electrical engineering (1968)[1]
Alma mater University of Wisconsin
Years active 1968–?
Notable work YMODEM, ZMODEM
Engineering career
Discipline Computer engineering
Employer(s) Tektronix
Projects Tektronix 4010
Awards Dvorak Award for Excellence in Telecommunications

Charles Alton "Chuck" Forsberg (May 6, 1944 – September 24, 2015)[1] developed two data transmission protocols popular for uploading and downloading files from dial-up bulletin board systems in the 1990s. He received a Dvorak Award for Excellence in Telecommunications in 1992 for developing ZMODEM.[2] He was also the project engineer on the Tektronix 4010-series graphics terminals.

The widely adopted ZMODEM used a sliding window protocol. Rather than wait for positive acknowledgment after each block is sent, it sent blocks in rapid succession and resent unacknowledged blocks later. By avoiding delays due to latency, the bandwidth usable for transmission more closely approached the bandwidth of the underlying link. ZMODEM could also resume interrupted transfers without retransmitting the already-received blocks. In addition to developing the protocol, Forsberg developed software for sending and receiving files using ZMODEM.

Forsberg then wrote a version Zmodem G, which was for use over "guaranteed error free" communications lines, such as Ethernet or short serial-to-serial computer connections. This protocol waived the usual retransmission overhead, to send files as fast as possible.

Originally, he wrote a program for Unix called rbsb (receive batch / send batch) which used block 0 to transmit a file's name, and optionally date and time, since Ward Christensen designed Xmodem to start at block 1, leaving block 0 available. Christensen suggested Forsberg call his protocol Ymodem because it was "one better" than Xmodem. Forsberg created the program YAM, which in traditional Unix nomenclature stood for Yet Another Modem after "Modem.asm" the original version of Xmodem released by Christensen in the CP/M User's group in 1977.

Forsberg most recently resided in Portland, Oregon prior to his death. He ran data transmission software company Omen Technology which he founded in 1984.[3] He was an amateur radio operator (call sign WA7KGX)[4] and a licensed aircraft pilot.[3]

Jesse Walker cited Forsberg as a participant in WMAS, a pirate radio station at Western Military Academy in Alton, Illinois.[5] He graduated from the academy in 1962.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Charles Alton Forsberg obituary". Anewtradition.com. Retrieved 2015-10-10. 
  2. ^ John C. Dvorak. "Dvorak Awards". Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "About Omen Technology". Archived from the original on September 15, 2015. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  4. ^ "Amateur License – WA7KGX – FORSBERG, CHARLES A". Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  5. ^ Walker, Jesse (2001). Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America. NYU Press. pp. 199, 305. ISBN 978-0-8147-9381-7.