Can't believe it is only 40 years of the Internet existence. In 1971, I was only 7 years old and barely remember some big event news such as moon landing of Neil Armstrong and the crew but technology has evolved into something that I am now enjoy so much, the Internet. This was a single step of a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. For the internet, that first step was more of a stumble.
On 29 October 1969, engineers 400 miles apart at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) and Stanford Research Institute (SRI) prepared to send data between the first nodes of what was then known as Arpanet. This naming convention was commissioned by the US Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA).
The fledgling network was to be tested by Charley Kline attempting to remotely log in to a Scientific Data Systems computer that resided at SRI. Figure shows complete network diagram of the first Internet, by 1971 the fledgling internet had spanned the US.
First thing they did was that of Mr. Kline typed an "L" and then asked his colleague Bill Duvall at Stanford's SRI via a telephone headset if the letter had arrived.
It had, Bill replied. Followed by an "O". Duvall said that arrived too. Another character typed was a "G". Duvall could only report that the system had crashed.
They work tirelessly for long hour and everything went fine. After that first misstep, the network almost never put a foot wrong. The rest has made history.
Big changes came when 40 years ago was Dr. Larry Roberts who watched remotely from Washington, the MIT scientist who worked out the fundamental technical specifications of the Arpanet. The engineers who built the hardware that made Arpanet work, did so to his design. "They thought it was a horrible idea," he said.
Bob Taylor, head of Arpa's Information Processing Techniques Office, wanted Arpanet built to end the crazy situation of every institution he funded demanding ever more computer power and duplicating research on those machines. "At the time computers were completely incompatible and moving data was a huge chore," he said.
The main issue was how to break apart the data into chunks so that you can send data without losing them in transit. So engineers thinking about dividing data. The Arpanet became the internet in the 1970s but the change was largely cosmetic. The fundamental technological idea that made it work, known as packet switching, was demonstrated on that October evening. Hence packet switching got its name thanks to late British scientist Donald Davies who was creating a network that used this technique at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). Not only did it make it easier, and cheaper, to use telephone lines it helped speed up the passing of data.
"If you have packets arriving in little pieces you can very quickly sort them," said Roger Scantlebury, one of Dr. Davies' colleagues. "But if you have a huge message you have to wait for that to finish before anything else can happen."
"When we first started we were just going to build something to show it would work, but fairly quickly Dr. Donald Davies realized that in order for it to have any impact it needed to be a proper working system, and we actually built the network which went live at the start of 1970," he said.
From those first two nodes, Arpanet quickly grew and by December of 1969 it had four nodes. By 1972 it had 37 and then started the process of connecting up networks to each other and the internet, a network of networks, came into being.
Thanks to all engineers who helped put things from theory into practical use especially Dr. Donald Davies and his team in England.
The work is concentrating on ways to improve security, enshrine fairness so no-one can hog capacity and guarantee quality of connection to support exquisitely time sensitive applications such as remote surgery.
There's no doubt that the net's first step was the start of a giant leap.
Final words, the appreciation and give big thanks to all who helped made this Internet possible, became the real useful for people around the world to communicate and share endless ideas, research works, pleasure and business, data and information. Without them it certainly we may not have come thus far.
References: http://news.bbc.co.uk and http://wikipedia.com