History of Internet- Part 1


 History of Internet


The Internet has transformed the computing and communications industries like nothing else before it. The inventions of the telegraph, the telephone, radio, and computer laid the groundwork for this unparalleled convergence of powers. The Internet is a global broadcasting capacity, a means for information transmission, and a medium for cooperation and interaction between persons and their computers that is not geographically limited. The Internet is one of the most effective instances of the benefits of long-term investment and dedication to information infrastructure research and development.

Beginning with early packet switching research, the government, business, and academia have collaborated to develop and implement this fascinating new technology. Today, words like "bleiner@computer.org" and "http://www.acm.org" roll off the tongue of the average person.

This is a brief, unavoidably superficial, and incomplete history. There is a lot of information available on the Internet right now, covering history, technology, and usage. A stroll to nearly any bookshop will provide shelves of Internet-related material.

If you want to know what is internet and its uses  - What is the Internet. 

Several of us involved in the creation and growth of the Internet give our perspectives on its origins and history in this paper3. This history is organized around four major themes. There is the technological evolution, which began with early research on packet switching and the ARPANET (and related technologies) and continues to extend the frontiers of the infrastructure along multiple dimensions such as scalability, performance, and higher-level functionality. There is the aspect of global and complicated operational infrastructure operations and management. There's the social component, which resulted in a large community of Internauts collaborating to build and grow the technology. There is also the commercialization component, which leads to an incredibly effective transfer of research discoveries into a widely distributed and accessible information infrastructure.

Today, the Internet is a ubiquitous information infrastructure, the first prototype of what is commonly referred to as the National (or Global or Galactic) Information Infrastructure. Its history is complicated and encompasses numerous facets, including technological, organizational, and communal issues. And its impact extends not just to the technical disciplines of computer communications, but also to society as we move toward greater use of online technologies for electronic commerce, information collection, and community management.

Origin Of The Internet

A series of memos made by J.C.R. Licklider of MIT in August 1962 outlining his “Galactic Network” concept was the first known explanation of the social interactions that may be facilitated by networking. He envisioned a worldwide interconnected network of computers that would allow anybody to rapidly access data and applications from any location. In spirit, the notion was similar to today's Internet. Beginning in October 1962, Licklider was the first director of DARPA's computer research program. He persuaded his successors at DARPA, Ivan Sutherland, Bob Taylor, and MIT researcher Lawrence G. Roberts, of the relevance of this networking idea while at DARPA.

In July 1961, Leonard Kleinrock of MIT released the first work on packet switching theory, and in 1964, he published the first book on the subject. Kleinrock persuaded Roberts of the theoretical viability of communications using packets rather than circuits, which was a significant step forward in the development of computer networking. Another critical step was to get the computers to communicate with one another. To investigate this, Roberts, in collaboration with Thomas Merrill, linked the TX-2 computer in Massachusetts to the Q-32 computer in California over a low-speed dial-up telephone connection in 1965, establishing the first (though tiny) wide-area computer network ever created. This experiment revealed that the time-shared computers could operate effectively together, running programs and obtaining data from the remote machine as needed, but that the circuit-switched telephone system was completely unsuitable for the purpose. Kleinrock's belief in the importance of packet switching was validated.

Roberts moved to DARPA in late 1966 to explore the computer network concept and rapidly put together his design for the "ARPANET," which he published in 1967. There was also a presentation on a packet network concept from the UK by Donald Davies and Roger Scantlebury of NPL at the conference where he presented the paper. Scantlebury informed Roberts about the NPL research, as well as that of Paul Baran and others at RAND. In 1964, the RAND group published a study on packet switching networks for secure voice in the military. The work at MIT (1961-1967), RAND (1962-1965), and NPL (1964-1967) all transpired simultaneously, with none of the researchers knowing about the other projects. The term "packet" was taken from NPL work, and the intended line speed for the ARPANET design was increased from 2.4 kbps to 50 kbps.

After Roberts and the DARPA-funded community had established the general structure and requirements for the ARPANET, DARPA issued an RFQ for the creation of one of the essential components, the packet switches known as Interface Message Processors (IMPs). In December 1968, a group led by Frank Heart of Bolt Beranek and Newman won the RFQ (BBN). While the BBN team worked on the IMPs, with Bob Kahn playing a key role in the overall ARPANET architectural design, Roberts worked with Howard Frank and his team at Network Analysis Corporation to design and optimize the network topology and economics, and Kleinrock's team at UCLA prepared the network measurement system.

Kleinrock's Network Measurement Center at UCLA was chosen as the first node on the ARPANET due to his early discovery of packet switching theory and his emphasis on analysis, design, and measurement. All of this came together in September 1969, when BBN deployed the first IMP at UCLA and linked the first host computer. A second node was given by Doug Engelbart's research on "Augmentation of Human Intellect" (which includes NLS, an early hypertext system) at Stanford Research Institute (SRI). SRI provided assistance to the Network Information Center, which was directed by Elizabeth (Jake) Feinler and included duties such as keeping tables of hostname to address mapping and a directory of RFCs.

The first host-to-host communication was transmitted from Kleinrock's laboratory to SRI one month later when SRI was linked to the ARPANET. Two new nodes have been added at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah. These last two nodes included application visualization projects, with Glen Culler and Burton Fried at UCSB researching methods for displaying mathematical functions using storage displays to deal with the problem of refresh over the net, and Robert Taylor and Ivan Sutherland at Utah researching methods of 3-D representations over the net. By the end of 1969, four host computers had been linked together to form the first ARPANET, and the fledgling Internet had taken flight. Even at this early point, it should be emphasized that networking research included work on both the underlying network and how to use the network. This custom is still practiced today.

During the next years, computers were swiftly added to the ARPANET, and work on creating a functionally full Host-to-Host protocol and other network software continued. The Network Working Group (NWG), directed by S. Crocker, completed the first ARPANET Host-to-Host protocol, known as the Network Control Protocol, in December 1970. (NCP). As the ARPANET sites finished integrating NCP in 1971-1972, network users were finally able to start developing applications.

Kahn conducted a big, successful demonstration of the ARPANET at the International Computer Communication Conference in October 1972. (ICCC). This was the first time the public saw this revolutionary network technology in action. Electronic mail, the first “hot” application, was also debuted in 1972. Ray Tomlinson of BBN created the initial email message send and read software in March, inspired by the ARPANET developers' desire for a simple coordination mechanism. Roberts enhanced its utility in July by developing the first email utility software that could list, selectively read, file, forward, and react to messages. From there, email soared to become the most used network application for more than a decade. This was a foreshadowing of the type of activity we witness now on the World Wide Web, specifically, the huge increase of all types of “people-to-people” traffic.

To read more about part 2 of the post History of the Internet Part 2

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