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History of the Internet

A few milestones of the Internet we know and enjoy today:

  • 1836 — Telegraph. Cooke and Wheatstone patent it.
  • The Atlantic cable of 1858 was established to carry instantaneous communications across the ocean for the first time.
  • 1876 — Telephone. Alexander Graham Bell Exhibits.
  • 1957 – October 4th – the USSR launches Sputnik, the first artificial earth satellite
  • In 1962, Dr. J.C.R. Licklider was chosen to head ARPA’s research in improving the military’s use of computer technology. Licklider was a visionary who sought to make the government’s use of computers more interactive.
  • Around Labor Day in 1969, BBN delivered an Interface Message Processor (IMP) to UCLA, and when they turned it on, it just started running. The plan was unprecedented: Kleinrock, a pioneering computer science professor at UCLA, and his small group of graduate students hoped to log onto the Stanford computer and try to send it some data.They would start by typing “login,” and seeing if the letters appeared on the far-off monitor.”We set up a telephone connection between us and the guys at SRI…,” Kleinrock … said in an interview: “We typed the L and we asked on the phone,

    “Do you see the L?”
    “Yes, we see the L,” came the response.
    “We typed the O, and we asked, “Do you see the O.”
    “Yes, we see the O.”
    “Then we typed the G, and the system crashed”…

    Yet a revolution had begun”…

  • In October 1972 there was to be an International Conference on Computer Communications. The idea was to install a packet switch and a Terminal Interface Processor or TIP in the basement of the Washington Hilton Hotel, and actually let the public come in and use the ARPANET, running applications all over the U.S.  The demo was a roaring success, much to the surprise of the people at AT&T who were skeptical about whether it would work.
  • 1973 — Global Networking becomes a reality.
  • 1974 — Packets become mode of transfer
  • 1976 — Networking comes to many – Queen Elizabeth sends out an e-mail.  UUCP (Unix-to-Unix CoPy) developed at AT&T Bell Labs and distributed with UNIX.
  • 1982 — TCP/IP defines future communication
  • 1983 — Internet gets bigger – Name server developed. Desktop workstations come into being.
  • 1984 — Growth of Internet Continues – Number of hosts breaks 1,000. Domain Name Server (DNS) introduced.
  • 1987 — Commercialisation of Internet Born – Number of hosts 28,000.
  • 1988 — NSFNET backbone upgraded to T1 (1.544 Mbps) – Internet Relay Chat (IRC) developed
  • 1989 — Large growth in Internet – Number of hosts breaks 100,000
  • 1991 — Most Important development to date – World-Wide Web (WWW) released by CERN; Tim Berners-Lee developer. Initially non-graphic (this came later, MOSAIC, 1993).
  • 1992 — Multimedia changes the face of the Internet – Number of hosts breaks 1 Million. The term “Surfing the Internet” is coined by Jean Armour Polly.
  • 1993 — The WWW Revolution truly begins – Number of Hosts 2 Million. 600 WWW sites.
  • 1994 — Commercialisation begins – Number of Hosts 3 Million. 10,000 WWW sites. 10,000 News groups.
  • 1996 — Microsoft enter – 12.8 Million Hosts, 0.5 Million WWW Sites. The WWW browser war begins, fought primarily between Netscape and Microsoft, has rushed in a new age in software development, whereby new releases are made quarterly with the help of Internet users eager to test upcoming (beta) versions.
  • 1997 — 19.5 Million Hosts, 1 Million WWW sites, 71,618 Newsgroups.
  • 1998 — Internet users get to be judges in a performance by 12 world champion ice skaters on 27 March, marking the first time a television sport show’s outcome is determined by its viewers.  Open source software comes of age.
  • 2000 — The US timekeeper (USNO) and a few other time services around the world report the new year as 19100 on 1 Jan. A massive denial of service attack is launched against major web sites, including Yahoo, Amazon, and eBay in early February
  • 2002 — Having your own blog becomes hip.
  • 2008 — NASA successfully tests the first deep space communications network modeled on the Internet, using the Disruption-Tolerant Networking (DTN) software to transmit images to/fron a science spacecraft ~20 million miles above Earth.  Google’s crawler reaches 1 trillion pages.
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