MEETING ON NETWORKS
1988 was an important year in the history of FCCN. In June of that year, the FCCN hosted a Meeting On Networks which brought together a large number of Portuguese teachers and researchers in Lisbon, who were interested in accessing the advantages of the communications and computer networks already demonstrated for the development of higher education and scientific research.
Several important decisions and conclusions resulted from this Meeting on Networks:
It recognized the importance of data networks for the more rational use of computer equipment, messages and file sharing (first steps of electronic mail) and database consultation.
It stressed the importance of the interconnection of the new network with its European counterparts to combat the isolation of Portuguese researchers.
It established a team with the mission of promoting the establishment of an infrastructure that would connect Portuguese universities and other research-related institutions in a network. At that time, some still without access to any data network.
The purchase of a supercomputer that would remain accessible to the entire research and development community using a national network was decided upon. The chosen computer would be Convex C220, with a computing speed 20 times higher than the fastest scientific calculation computer available in Portugal at the time.
To contextualize the time and the world in which Portugal lived, we recall that this was a time when typewriters were still very popular; the first Nokia cellphone came on the market; the GIF format was being invented, and the programming language PERL was becoming available.