A Brief History of the Internet Adapted primarily from The Internet Society (ISOC) by Dr. Mike Downing Kutztown University of PA Fall 2009
Galactic Network • The first recorded description of modern networking was a series of memos written by J.C.R. Licklider of MIT in August 1962 discussing his "Galactic Network" concept. • He envisioned a globally interconnected set of computers through which everyone could quickly access data and programs from any site. • In spirit, the concept was very much like today’s Internet. • Licklider was the first head of the computer research program at DARPA, starting in October 1962.
DARPA • The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is an agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of new technology for use by the military. • DARPA has been responsible for funding the development of many technologies which have had a major impact on the world, including computer networking, as well as NLS, which was both the first hypertext system, and an important precursor to the contemporary ubiquitous graphical user interface (GUI). • Early networking technology was developed in the 1950s in response to Cold War threats from the Soviet Union. Source: Wikipedia
DARPANET • The (D)ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) created by ARPA of the United States Department of Defense during the Cold War, was the world's first operational packet switching network, and the predecessor of the global Internet. • Due to Kleinrock's early development of packet switching theory and his focus on analysis, design and measurement, his Network Measurement Center at UCLA was selected to be the first node on the ARPANET. • In October 1972 Bob Kahn organized a large, very successful demonstration of the ARPANET at the International Computer Communication Conference (ICCC). This was the first public demonstration of this new network technology to the public.
Packet Switching • Leonard Kleinrock at MIT published the first paper on packet switching theory in July 1961 and the first book on the subject in 1964. • Packet switching is a network communications method that groups all transmitted data, irrespective of content, type, or structure into suitably-sized blocks, called packets. T • he network over which packets are transmitted is a shared network which routes each packet independently from all others and allocates transmission resources as needed. T • he principal goals of packet switching are to optimize utilization of available link capacity and to increase the robustness of communication. • When traversing network adapters, switches and other network nodes, packets are buffered and queued, resulting in variable delay and throughput, depending on the traffic load in the network.
Early Email • At the same time that the Internet technology was being experimentally validated and widely used amongst a subset of computer science researchers, other networks and networking technologies were being pursued. • The usefulness of computer networking - especially electronic mail - demonstrated by DARPA and Department of Defense contractors on the ARPANET was not lost on other communities and disciplines, so that by the mid-1970s computer networks had begun to spring up wherever funding could be found for the purpose. • With the exception of BITNET and USENET, these early networks (including ARPANET) were purpose-built - i.e., they were intended for, and largely restricted to, closed communities of scholars; there was hence little pressure for the individual networks to be compatible and, indeed, they largely were not.
“Internet” • On October 24, 1995, the Federal Networking Council (FNC) unanimously passed a resolution defining the term Internet. This definition was developed in consultation with members of the internet and intellectual property rights communities. • RESOLUTION: “Internet" refers to the global information system that – • is logically linked together by a globally unique address space based on the Internet Protocol (IP) or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons; • is able to support communications using the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons, and/or other IP-compatible protocols; and • provides, uses or makes accessible, either publicly or privately, high level services layered on the communications and related infrastructure described herein.
Popular Success • Personally, I began using the Internet in 1992, as part of UseNet. • At that time, there was no GUI. Instead, you had to type commands at a DOS Prompt :\> • I participated in various group discussions about literature (called “listserves”). • The Internet become widespread in 1995. • AOL was the most successful ISP (Internet Service Provider), although they have been eclipsed by ATT, Comcast, and Verizon.
Dot-Com Bubble • The "dot-com bubble" was a speculative bubble covering roughly 1998–2001 (with a climax on March 10, 2000 with the NASDAQ peaking at 5132.52) during which stock markets in Western nations saw their equity value rise rapidly from growth in the more recent Internet sector and related fields. • The period was marked by the founding (and, in many cases, spectacular failure) of a group of new Internet-based companies commonly referred to as dot-coms. Companies were seeing their stock prices shoot up if they simply added an "e-" prefix to their name and/or a ".com" to the end, which one author called "prefix investing". • A combination of rapidly increasing stock prices, market confidence that the companies would turn future profits, individual speculation in stocks, and widely available venture capital created an environment in which many investors were willing to overlook traditional metrics such as price to earnings ratios in favor of confidence in technological advancements. Source: Wikipedia
Companies that have Profited from the Internet • Google • Yahoo • Microsoft • Cisco • Amazon • Intel • eBay
The Future • The most pressing question for the future of the Internet is not how the technology will change, but how the process of change and evolution itself will be managed. • With the success of the Internet has come a proliferation of stakeholders - stakeholders now with an economic as well as an intellectual investment in the network. • We now see, in the debates over control of the domain name space and the form of the next generation IP addresses, a struggle to find the next social structure that will guide the Internet in the future. • The form of that structure will be harder to find, given the large number of concerned stake-holders. • If the Internet stumbles, it will not be because we lack for technology, vision, or motivation. It will be because we cannot set a direction and march collectively into the future.
Sources • The Internet Society (ISOC): (http://www.isoc.org/internet/history/brief.shtml#Timeline) • Wikipedia