This Week, “Adoption of the Internet, part 1″
In 1995, our world changed. On April 30, 1995, the Internet as we know it began. The infrastructure was originally established by ARPANET, and then run for a decade by the National Science Foundation as NSFNET before being opened for commercialization and public access, and developed by ARPA indirectly resulting from competition with the Russians as far back as 1958.
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What it took to get there . . .
- DARPA was created in 1958 as the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. From the DARPA website “For more than fifty years, DARPA has held to a singular and enduring mission: to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security. The genesis of that mission and of DARPA itself dates to the launch of Sputnik in 1957, and a commitment by the United States that, from that time forward, it would be the initiator and not the victim of strategic technological surprises. Working with innovators inside and outside of government, DARPA has repeatedly delivered on that mission, transforming revolutionary concepts and even seeming impossibilities into practical capabilities. The ultimate results have included not only game-changing military capabilities such as precision weapons and stealth technology, but also such icons of modern civilian society such as the Internet, automated voice recognition and language translation, and Global Positioning System receivers small enough to embed in myriad consumer devices.
- Leonard Kleinrock conducted early research in queueing theory which proved important in packet switching, and published a book in the related field of digital message switching (without the packets) in 1961; he also later played a leading role in building and management of the world’s first packet-switched network, the ARPANET.
- The concept of switching small blocks of data was first explored independently by Paul Baran at the RAND Corporation in the US and Donald Davies at theNational Physical Laboratory (NPL) in the UK in the early to mid-1960s.
- A national effort to create a group of interconnected computers was initiated. This attracted smart people and innovation to what became ARPANET
- Leonard Kleinrock’s packet switching network created a way to reliably move data across nodes, and the RAND research expanded the capability of systems to move data across a network.
. . . part 2