Happy Birthday iLanga, Inc.

iLanga, Inc. turns 20 years old today. A little history lesson for your reading pleasure…

In the late 1980s I became involved with a research project at the university where I was teaching at the time. The research involved modelling the physics behind bouncing radio waves off micrometeor trails (when dust and small chunks of rock enter the Earth’s atmosphere they create an ionised trail which can, under suitable geometry restrictions, act as a radio reflector). The only company actually making commercial equipment to use this technique for radio communication was in Kent, WA, USA, and I wangled a job with them.

Unfortunately, that company relied quite heavily on military money and grants (meteor-burst communications is a reliable communications technique in all-out nuclear war scenarios), and when the cold war ended in the early 1990s, that money evaporated. In 1993, the writing was on the wall, and I started looking around for alternate jobs. Not a good time. In December 1993 I was laid off.

Eventually I was offered a contract position porting a DOS financial application to Windows. Extremely boring, but it helped pay the bills. In order to be a contractor I had to incorporate. The missus suggested calling the company Sun Computer (as we were in the midst of winter). That was a no go, for obvious reasons. However, we hauled out our multilingual dictionary and decided on iLanga – the Zulu language word for sun.

iLanga, Inc. was incorporated in Washington state on 31 January, 1994.