The History of the Internet (Part 3)


Video Script

On October 29, 1969, the first message was transmitted across the newly created ARPANET between computers at UCLA and SRI, the Stanford Research Institute. And so in this particular picture, we see the notes from Leonard Kleinrock notebook taken on October 29, 1969, showing that they talked to SRI hosts to host and it was really revolutionary moment on the internet. Because this was the first instance of a packet switch network being used that now forms the basis of the internet. Of course, it wasn’t exactly a success. They tried to transmit the word login, but only got the letters L o before the system crashed. So it wasn’t exactly a huge success, but it was a very small step toward the creation of the internet.

And so with that, ARPANET was born, ARPANET was the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, and it was really the first computer network of its kind in the United States. Connecting all sorts of research areas together. Above me is a picture of the ARPANET map from March 1977, showing several hosts all connected to the network and all the different ways that they talk to each other. It was originally started as a packet switch network of just four different sites that were connected to these devices called interface message processors, or IPS, which are really modern, early precursors to what a modern router does, taking the messages from a computer and translating it so that it can be sent over a packet switch network.

Of course, ARPANET wasn’t the only network at that time. As we saw in the video at the beginning of this module, there are many different networks created all across the world. For example, with ARPANET by the 1970s, there were sometimes 20 new hosts coming online every day, you had the National Physical Laboratory in Great Britain, you had merits, the Michigan Educational Research Information Triad. You had supply days in France, and then you had the proliferation of public networks such as X25, and Usenet. Which were all public networks that were available through telephone providers at that time.

But all these different networks were disconnected you really couldn’t get from one network to the other network. And so we needed something else to really build the modern internet that we use today. And so that comes from the work of Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn, who were two engineers for ARPANET. And they began working in the 1970s for a way that we could connect all of these computer systems together using a similar technology. And so their work really led to the creation of what we call TCP, the Transmission Control Protocol, which is the underlying technology for most computer networks today. And their work was so revolutionary that the two of them received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. So let’s take a quick look as Vinton Cerf talks a little bit about the history of the internet and around the birth of the modern internet that we know today.