Who would have known ( except Al Gore, of course ) that the phrase "Information
Highway" was going to dominate our communications at the turn of the millenium.
Certainly, in the late '60s, I didn't... and get this... as a rookie salesman
for Honeywell EDP, I was on a few training calls in the very computer area of Bolt Berenek & Newman, in Cambridge
MA, where the ARPANET was being developed.
I saw... but clearly, didn't have "The Vision."
In truth... I HAD NO CLUE!
Though the ARPA project was not classified, per se, The ARPANET was not
a pop topic. Then again, ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) was funded by the Pentagon during the Cold War.
Friends, the fusion which was eventually to be shared over the NETwork (thus ARPANET) had nothing to do with jazz downloads,
though the number of computer scientists who were involved was not much greater than Stan Kenton's Band.
Their goal: To link remote computers together for transfering data -- rather
In retrospect... it seems to be an easy score... But, it hardly was back then at
a time when line speeds were 10 and 30 characters per second (a fraction of a faction of today's cable modems / fiber optics
/ wireless) on computer timesharing -- itself a recent "breakthrough" where people uploaded data from "dumb" terminals to
be manipulated on a "powerful" mainframes. (Today, there's more computing power in a cheapo desktop.)
Linking mainframe computers and transferring programs was a whole different scenario...
one requiring the "un-thinking" of timesharing's hub 'n spoke concept and obviously requiring faster data transfer speed.
Well, the computer scientist huffed and puffed and by Fall of 1969, they had created
enough lift to test-flight the ARPANET. They linked UCLA, Stanford & University of Utah computers on a "backbone"...
that's tech talk for a high-speed line.. Gave a thumbs up. And the ARPARNET was successfully launched into "cyberspace,"
though this term would not even be created until 1984. Soon, other universities and research centers
sites throughout the country became nodes on the ARPANET.
In 1983, the military carved out MILNET from the ARPANET. And, by 1988, ARPANET
officially became the INTERNET.
However, with over 20 years of development and operation, THE REALLY BIG STORY of
the INTERNET, as we all know it today, was just beginning. It had yet to see the explosive growth that was to be created
by the World Wide Web which technically provided the graphic interface, and by browsers such as Mosaic -- Netscape which initially
interpreted and represented the graphics so that today you can enjoy the photos of "The Handsome Herd" through the browser
of your choice.
HERE ARE SOME INTERESTING DATES
1968: BBN (Bolt, Berenek & Newman) awarded contract
from ARPA to build ARPANET using a Honeywell minicomputer.
1969: Stanford Research Institute, University of California
at Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah are connected with the first Internet "backbone" a 50Kbps connections provided
1971: Journalist Don Hoefler coins the term "Silicon Valley."
1972: The @ symbol is chosen as the locating
symbol for email addresses.
1972: ARPA renamed DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).
of TCP/IP (Internet Protocol) begins within DARPA.
1973: University College of London and Royal Radar Establishment
connect to ARPANET.
1976: Queen Elizabeth II sends the first royal email. (Jolly Good Move, Queenie!)
1979: On MsgGroup,
the first Arpanet mailing list, Kevin MacKenzie first uses the emoticon )-:
1983: Internet Activities Board (IAB) created.
Domain Name System (DNS) created at the University of Wisconsin.
1984: The term "cyberspace" is coined in William Gibson's
1988: First, self-replicating bug shuts down the Internet. (17 years later the saga continues)
Wide Web is released by French CERN.
AND THE REST... IS THE HISTORY
THAT IS BEING CREATED DAILY
It Could Include Your WebSite