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History of the Internet

History of the Internet

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Published by: ivaylo on Aug 29, 2010
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History of the Internet1
History of the Internet
Commemorative plaque listing some of the early Internet pioneers
Before the wide spread of internetworking (802.1) that led to the Internet,most communication networks were limited by their nature to only allowcommunications within the stations on the local network and the prevalentcomputer networking method was based on the central mainframe computermodel. Several research programs began to explore and articulate principlesof networking between physically separate networks, leading to thedevelopment of the packet switching model of digital networking. Theseresearch efforts included those of the laboratories of Vinton G. Cerf atStanford University, Donald Davies (NPL), Paul Baran (RAND Corporation),and Leonard Kleinrock at MIT and at UCLA. The research led to thedevelopment of several packet-switched networking solutions in the late1960s and 1970s, including ARPANET, Telenet, and the X.25 protocols.Additionally, public access and hobbyist networking systems grew inpopularity, including
unix-to-unix copy
(UUCP) and FidoNet. They werehowever still disjointed separate networks, served only by limited gatewaysbetween networks. This led to the application of packet switching to develop a protocol for internetworking, wheremultiple different networks could be joined together into a super-framework of networks. By defining a simplecommon network system, the Internet Protocol Suite, the concept of the network could be separated from its physicalimplementation. This spread of internetworking began to form into the idea of a global network that would be calledthe Internet, based on standardized protocols officially implemented in 1982. Adoption and interconnection occurredquickly across the advanced telecommunication networks of the western world, and then began to penetrate into therest of the world as it became the de-facto international standard for the global network. However, the disparity of growth between advanced nations and the third-world countries led to a digital divide that is still a concern today.Following commercialization and introduction of privately run Internet service providers in the 1980s, and theInternet's expansion for popular use in the 1990s, the Internet has had a drastic impact on culture and commerce.This includes the rise of near instant communication by electronic mail (e-mail), text based discussion forums, andthe World Wide Web. Investor speculation in new markets provided by these innovations would also lead to theinflation and subsequent collapse of the Dot-com bubble. But despite this, the Internet continues to grow, driven bycommerce, greater amounts of online information and knowledge and social networking known as Web 2.0.
Three terminals and an ARPA
In the 1950s and early 1960s, before the widespread inter-networking that led to the Internet, most communicationnetworks were limited in that they only allowed communications between the stations on the network. Somenetworks had gateways or bridges between them, but these bridges were often limited or built specifically for asingle use. One prevalent computer networking method was based on the central mainframe method, simplyallowing its terminals to be connected via long leased lines. This method was used in the 1950s by Project RAND tosupport researchers such as Herbert Simon, at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, whencollaborating across the continent with researchers in Sullivan, Illinois, on automated theorem proving and artificialintelligence.A fundamental pioneer in the call for a global network, J.C.R. Licklider, articulated the ideas in his January 1960paper, Man-Computer Symbiosis."A network of such [computers], connected to one another by wide-band communication lines [whichprovided] the functions of present-day libraries together with anticipated advances in information storage and
 
History of the Internet2retrieval and [other] symbiotic functions."
 —
J.C.R. Licklider,
[1]
In August, 1962, Licklider and Welden Clark published the paper "On-Line Man Computer Communication", one of the first descriptions of a networked future.In October, 1962, Licklider was hired by Jack Ruina as Director of the newly established IPTO within DARPA, witha mandate to interconnect the United States Department of Defense's main computers at Cheyenne Mountain, thePentagon, and SAC HQ. There he formed an informal group within DARPA to further computer research. He beganby writing memos describing a distributed network to the IPTO staff, whom he called "Members and Affiliates of theIntergalactic Computer Network". As part of the information processing office's role, three network terminals hadbeen installed: one for System Development Corporation in Santa Monica, one for Project Genie at the University of California, Berkeley and one for the Compatible Time-Sharing System project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Licklider's identified need for inter-networking would be made obvious by the apparent waste of resources this caused."For each of these three terminals, I had three different sets of user commands. So if I was talking online withsomeone at S.D.C. and I wanted to talk to someone I knew at Berkeley or M.I.T. about this, I had to get upfrom the S.D.C. terminal, go over and log into the other terminal and get in touch with them. [...] I said, it'sobvious what to do (But I don't want to do it): If you have these three terminals, there ought to be one terminalthat goes anywhere you want to go where you have interactive computing. That idea is the ARPAnet."
 —
Robert W. Taylor, co-writer with Licklider of "The Computer as a Communications Device", in aninterview with the New York Times,
[2]
Although he left the IPTO in 1964, five years before the ARPANET went live, it was his vision of universalnetworking that provided the impetus that led his successors such as Lawrence Roberts and Robert Taylor to furtherthe ARPANET development. Licklider later returned to lead the IPTO in 1973 for two years.
[3]
Packet switching
At the tip of the internetworking problem lay the issue of connecting separate physical networks to form one logicalnetwork. During the 1960s, Paul Baran (RAND Corporation), produced a study of surviveable networks for the USmilitary. Information transmitted across Baran's network would be divided into what he called 'message-blocks'.Independently, Donald Davies (National Physical Laboratory, UK), proposed and developed a similar network basedon what he called packet-switching, the term that would ultimately be adopted. Leonard Kleinrock (MIT) developedmathematical theory behind this technology. Packet-switching provides better bandwidth utilization and responsetimes than the traditional circuit-switching technology used for telephony, particularly on resource-limitedinterconnection links.
[4]
Packet switching is a rapid store-and-forward networking design that divides messages up into arbitrary packets,with routing decisions made per-packet. Early networks used message switched systems that required rigid routingstructures prone to single point of failure. This led Tommy Krash and Paul Baran's US Military funded research tofocus on using message-blocks to include network redundancy,
[5]
which in turn led to the widespread urban legendthat the Internet was designed to resist nuclear attack.
[6]
 
[7]
 
History of the Internet3
Networks that led to the Internet
ARPANET
Len Kleinrock and the first Interface Message Processor.[8]
Promoted to the head of the informationprocessing office at DARPA, Robert Taylorintended to realize Licklider's ideas of aninterconnected networking system. Bringing inLarry Roberts from MIT, he initiated a projectto build such a network. The first ARPANETlink was established between the University of California, Los Angeles and the StanfordResearch Institute on 22:30 hours on October29, 1969. By December 5, 1969, a 4-nodenetwork was connected by adding theUniversity of Utah and the University of California, Santa Barbara. Building on ideasdeveloped in ALOHAnet, the ARPANET grewrapidly. By 1981, the number of hosts hadgrown to 213, with a new host being addedapproximately every twenty days.
[9]
 
[10]
ARPANET became the technical core of whatwould become the Internet, and a primary toolin developing the technologies used.ARPANET development was centered aroundthe Request for Comments (RFC) process, stillused today for proposing and distributingInternet Protocols and Systems. RFC 1, entitled"Host Software", was written by Steve Crocker from the University of California, Los Angeles, and published onApril 7, 1969. These early years were documented in the 1972 film Computer Networks: The Heralds of ResourceSharing.International collaborations on ARPANET were sparse. For various political reasons, European developers wereconcerned with developing the X.25 networks. Notable exceptions were the
 Norwegian Seismic Array
(NORSAR) in1972, followed in 1973 by Sweden with satellite links to the Tanum Earth Station and Peter Kirstein's research groupin the UK, initially at the Institute of Computer Science, London University and later at University CollegeLondon.
[11]
X.25 and public access
Based on ARPA's research, packet switching network standards were developed by the InternationalTelecommunication Union (ITU) in the form of X.25 and related standards. While using packet switching, X.25 isbuilt on the concept of virtual circuits emulating traditional telephone connections. In 1974, X.25 formed the basisfor the SERCnet network between British academic and research sites, which later became JANET. The initial ITUStandard on X.25 was approved in March 1976.
[12]
The British Post Office, Western Union International and Tymnet collaborated to create the first international packetswitched network, referred to as the International Packet Switched Service (IPSS), in 1978. This network grew fromEurope and the US to cover Canada, Hong Kong and Australia by 1981. By the 1990s it provided a worldwide

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