Let’s help two IT guys find a 1990s photo

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I received this request via email recently, and, while it involves a decidedly trivial matter, we are intent on giving it our best shot. And by “we” I mean that I am confident that we can count on your assistance, too.

Email reads:

I've got a really oddball request for you.  Back in the early nineties, I was on a team responsible for putting in Ethernet at my large company (Rockwell International).  We used to get the various trade magazines.  In one of them was an ad, and my boss joked that the picture would be what a coworker (Rod Paris) and I would look like in 20 years.  We laughed and hung it on the wall.

So, I'm still friends with that coworker.  We lost the picture, and we've both tried repeatedly to search for the advertisement, because we'd like to see how close the ad actually was!  I even paged through a bunch of old trade magazines that were put online.  We can't find it.

The problem:  We're not sure which trade magazine it was, and we're not sure which company placed the ad.  We only know the ad showed a skinny little “car dealer” type, I believe in a checked suit, handing the keys of a moped to a large biker type, who was sitting on the moped.  The biker type was looking incredulously at the camera, presumably shocked to be on a moped.

 Thanks a lot!

Jim McClurg

Not a lot to go on here, which is why I figured enlisting the help of you, the Network World reader, would offer the most promising route to success.

McClurg suggested in another email that the publication in question may have been LAN Times, InfoWorld or Network World. He couldn’t rule out the likes of PC Magazine, but was reasonably confident that it was something more networking-related. Paris added Cabling News to the list of suspects.

Based on the description of the scene, I’m going to guess that it was an attack ad of some kind, or at least an unflattering portrayal of a rival vendor’s technology.

Chances are it ran in multiple publications.

So does anyone remember a print ad fitting the description? Maybe a guess as to the vendor? Or just have a hunch about where to look?

If so, please drop me a line at buzz@nww.com. If not, any social media sharing of this post that you can do might prove helpful.

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