Histories of the Internet and the World Wide Web

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The internet is capable of broadcasting worldwide. Its uses are varied but revolved mainly on communications. Internet can be used to provide information, conduct research or work with others without being physically present.

In August 1962, J.C.R. Licklider of MIT discussed in a series of memos his concept of “Galactic Network” where people could access data and programs from any site. Licklider became the first head of the computer research program at DARPA and later his successors continued his work for networking concept.

At the same time, Leonard Kleinrock at MIT also started his own quest for packets that would be use for communications instead of communications. Kleinrock talked to Lawrence Roberts of the possibility of computer networking using packets. Roberts worked with Thomas Merrill to test on the idea. Using a TX-2 computer in Massachusetts, Roberts used a dial-up telephone line to connect to a Q-32 computer in California. It was the first ever wide-are computer network created. This experiment proved that computers could network and that circuit system could not get the job done, a packet switch would accomplish it better.

1966, Roberts developed the computer network concept further and plan for the “ARPANET”. Donald Davies and Roger Scantlebury of NPL from the UK were also working the on packet network concept around this time. Scantlebury informed Roberts of similar work by Paul Baran and others at RAND. The people at RAND had written a paper pertaining to packet switching networks for secure voice in military way back in 1964. The work at MIT from 1961-1967, RAND from 1962-1965 and at NPL from 1964 to 1967 all proceeded without the researchers knowing about the existence of similar researches. The NPL introduced the word “packet” and ARPANET design changed its line speed from 2.4 kbps to 50 kbps.

In August 1968, Roberts and DARPA had changed the specifications for ARPANET. The project to create the critical component of the Internet called packet switches Interface Message Processors (IMP”s) was awarded to Frank Heart at Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN). While the BBN team created the IMP’s with the help of Bob Kahn who made the ARPANET architectural design, Roberts together with Howard Frank and workers at Network Analysis Corporation were working on the topology of the network and economics and Kleinrock and team were working on the network measurement system.

Kleinrock’s packet switching theory served as the basis for the first node on the ARPANET. Their collaborative efforts bore fruit in September 1969 when BBN installed the first ever IMP at UCLA where the first host computer was connected. Doug Engelbart’s Augmentation of Human Intellect” at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) became the basis for the second node.

A month after SRI was connected to the ARPANET, the first message from computer host to another host was sent by Kleinrock to SRI. Two more nodes were added. The two nodes comprise of an application visualization project developed by Glen Culler and Burton Fried at UCSB to be able to refresh the net, Robert Taylor and Ivan Sutherland at Utah on 3-D use on the net. Towards the end of 1969, four host computers were connected into the ARPANET.

December 1970 when the Network Working Group (NWG) under S. Crocker completed the ARPANET Host-to-Host protocol referred to as the Network Control Protocol (NCP). NCP was implemented from 1971-197 allowing users to develop applications.

October 1972, Kahn made the first public demonstration of the ARPANET in the International Computer Communication Conference (ICCC). The electronic mail or email as it is known today was also introduced in the same year. It was in March 1972 when Ray Tomlinson at BBN created the basic send and read software for emails. July, Roberts improved on the basic functions by adding file, forward and respond features to the email.

Internet Concepts

ARPANET became the internet. Internet basically is made up of multiple independent networks originating with the ARPANET using packet switch. Later, the features grew which include packet satellite networks, ground-based packet radio networks and others. The technical ideas behind the internet is open architecture networking where network technology is not chosen by certain network architecture but selected by a provider and interact with other network through the “internetworking Architecture”.

The open architecture network allows individual networks to developed unique interface offered to users or providers. Each network is intended to fit the user and environment requirements of a particular network.

Kahn first broached the idea of open-architecture networking in 1972 at DARPA. It was supposedly part of the packet radio program but became a separate program later. To make the packet radio system work, an end-to-end protocol that could continue communication even with distractions such as jamming and interference. Kahn decided to create a protocol local to the packet radio network to eliminate the need for various operating systems and allow continuous use of NCP.

The NCP however was not capable of addressing networks further than destination IMP on ARPANET. This demanded that NCP be changed. Kahn made a new protocol that could support open-architecture network environment.


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