Al Gore Wasn’t Even There 40 Years Ago


Internet Turns 40 Today: First Message Crashed System

Everyone surfing for last-minute Halloween costumes and pictures of black Lolcats today—what you might call the 40th anniversary of the Internet—can give thanks to the simple network message that started it all: “lo.”

On October 29, 1969, that message became the first ever to travel between two computers connected via the ARPANET, the computer network that would become the Internet.

The electronic dispatch was supposed to be the word “login,” but only the first two letters were successfully sent before the system crashed.

Still, that humble greeting marked the start of a phenomenon that has become such an important part of modern life that many experts argue access to it should be a right rather than a privilege.

ARPANET — The First Internet

The ARPANET was the first wide area packet switching network, the “Eve” network of what has evolved into the Internet we know and love today.

The ARPANET was developed by the IPTO under the sponsorship of DARPA, and conceived and planned by Lick Licklider, Lawrence Roberts, and others as described earlier in this section.

The ARPANET went into labor on August 30, 1969, when BBN delivered the first Interface Message Processor (IMP) to Leonard Kleinrock’s Network Measurements Center at UCLA. The IMP was built from a Honeywell DDP 516 computer with 12K of memory, designed to handle the ARPANET network interface. In a famous piece of Internet lore, on the side of the crate, a hardware designer at BBN named Ben Barker had written “Do it to it, Truett”, in tribute to the BBN engineer Truett Thach who traveled with the computer to UCLA on the plane.

The UCLA team responsible for installing the IMP and creating the first ARPANET node included graduate students Vinton Cerf, Steve Crocker, Bill Naylor, Jon Postel, and Mike Wingfield. Wingfield had built the hardware interface between the UCLA computer and the IMP, the machines were connected, and within a couple of days of delivery the IMP was communicating with the local NMC host, an SDS Sigma 7 computer running the SEX operating system. Messages were successfully exchanged, and the one computer ARPANET was born.

. . .

The first full ARPANET network connection was next, planned to be with Douglas Engelbart’s NLS system at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI), running an SDS-940 computer with the Genie operating system and connected to another IMP. At about 10:30 PM on October 29’th, 1969, the connection was established over a 50 kbps line provided by the AT&T telephone company, and a two node ARPANET was born. As is often the case, the first test didn’t work flawlessly, as Kleinrock describes below:

At the UCLA end, they typed in the ‘l’ and asked SRI if they received it; ‘got the l’ came the voice reply. UCLA typed in the ‘o’, asked if they got it, and received ‘got the o’. UCLA then typed in the ‘g’ and the darned system CRASHED! Quite a beginning. On the second attempt, it worked fine!

– Leonard Kleinrock, The Birth of the Internet.

Below is a record of the first message ever sent over the ARPANET.

internet

See also:
Internet’s 40th anniversary marked in U.S.
Internet turns 40 with birthday party
How 40 years of the Internet changed the world
Internet Pioneer Celebrates 40th Birthday Of Brainchild
Internet Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary
DARPA Celebrates Internet’s 40th Anniversary With Balloon Hunt
DARPA Celebrates Internet Anniversary with Bizarre Balloon Challenge
DARPA issues balloon-hunting $40k ‘Network Challenge’
ARPANET
History of ARPANET
DARPA
DARPA

Thank God for military research, it not only keeps us safe, it improves our lives, money well spent.

/we’ve come a long way from 50 kbps phone lines baby!

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