The History of the Internet

I plagiarized everything below this paragraph from somewhere, I just don’t know where I got it from. I found it saved on my Google Drive from a long time ago. It’s interesting, so I post it here for your perusal.

The history of the Internet begins with the development of electronic computers in the 1950s. Initial concepts of packet networking originated in several computer science laboratories in the United States, Great Britain, and France. The US Department of Defense awarded contracts as early as the 1960s for packet network systems, including the development of the ARPANET (which would become the first network to use the Internet Protocol.) The first message was sent over the ARPANET from computer science Professor Leonard Kleinrock’s laboratory at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to the second network node at Stanford Research Institute (SRI).

Packet switching networks such as ARPANET, Mark I at NPL in the UK, CYCLADES, Merit Network, Tymnet, and Telenet, were developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s using a variety of communications protocols. The ARPANET in particular led to the development of protocols for internetworking, in which multiple separate networks could be joined into a network of networks.

Access to the ARPANET was expanded in 1981 when the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded the Computer Science Network (CSNET). In 1982, the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) was introduced as the standard networking protocol on the ARPANET. In the early 1980s the NSF funded the establishment for national supercomputing centers at several universities, and provided interconnectivity in 1986 with the NSFNET project, which also created network access to the supercomputer sites in the United States from research and education organizations. Commercial Internet service providers (ISPs) began to emerge in the late 1980s. The ARPANET was decommissioned in 1990. Private connections to the Internet by commercial entities became widespread quickly, and the NSFNET was decommissioned in 1995, removing the last restrictions on the use of the Internet to carry commercial traffic.

Since the mid-1990s, the Internet has had a revolutionary impact on culture and commerce, including the rise of near-instant communication by electronic mail, instant messaging, voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone calls, two-way interactive video calls, and the World Wide Web with its discussion forums, blogs, social networking, and online shopping sites. The research and education community continues to develop and use advanced networks such as NSF’s very high speed Backbone Network Service (vBNS), Internet2, and National LambdaRail. Increasing amounts of data are transmitted at higher and higher speeds over fiber optic networks operating at 1-Gbit/s, 10-Gbit/s, or more. The Internet’s takeover of the global communication landscape was almost instant in historical terms: it only communicated 1% of the information flowing through two-way telecommunications networks in the year 1993, already 51% by 2000, and more than 97% of the telecommunicated information by 2007.[1] Today the Internet continues to grow, driven by ever greater amounts of online information, commerce, entertainment, and social networking.

Off the Beaten Track

Sometimes I wander in thoughts and in actions.

Hiking the Adirondacks as a kid, I remember there were are all kinds of marked trails. They’ve got little signs tacked to trees marking colors. In some places, where there were no trees, they painted colors on the rock. These are the marked, well beaten trails. Sometimes they had helpful wooden signs posted here and there showing you the trail map. There was no GPS back then, but we always carried a topographical trail map in our pockets.

And then there was bushwhacking. We’d purposely wander off the beaten track. That’s where we’d get lost if we didn’t know what we were doing. My father always seemed to know what he was doing. We rarely got lost. Maybe we had awkward shortcuts, but never would we be lost. The moss always grew on the north side of the tree trunks.

It was not without adventure including bushwhacking itself and the occasional rattlesnake hiding under a rock or rotting tree branch.

Bushwhacking meant making your way through the thicket – broken branches and bushes, trudging over leaves and pine needles, encountering gnats, flies, and annoying threads left behind by spiderwebs. Sometimes there’d be some cool rocks to climb on. We had a collapsible metal cup we’d whip out when you came to a spring or stream, and we always had canteens too.

The Boyd solution to the snakes was simple enough. They were more scared of you than you were of them, my Dad used to say, so make a lot of noise. Get a big stick and whack at the tall grass on the hill you are climbing. Never got bit. Saw a lot of rattlesnakes and copperheads, though. My older brothers used to kill them by beating them with big sticks. Saw black bears, deer and pretty vistas.

Every aspect of that childhood still affects the way I am in front of my computer as an adult.

I prefer lesser known trails. Sometimes I prefer to bushwhack. Sometimes I get lost.

My computer hobby is this: the operating system that makes the thing work and the various desktop environments that sit on top of it. I’m always fiddling, never satisfied. My wife chuckles at me for this. “Are you installing Linux again?” “Well I screwed up something. It won’t boot, so I’m just reinserting the DVD. Don’t worry, I’ve been through this a million times.”

In 1983, Brooklyn, New York, I had a black screen with green words on it. That was what a computer looked like. It was a Tandy Radio Shack running the TRSDOS operating system. On that machine I used my first word-processor, wrote my first book, and learned BASIC programming.

Oh, why do I bore you? Windows came along. OS2 came along. Linux came along. FreeBSD and it’s latest incarnation TrueOS using Lumina -tried that too. Dabbled with Solaris. The worldwide web came along, domain names, another book, Turbo Pascal, perl and PHP. Added a wonderful wife, a job, pets, smart phones, tablets, laptops, and self-built computers, and here I sit, on my days off, fiddling.

Gotta stop now. See what’s going on in one of my other workspaces downloading Debian with their weird jigdo file download thingamabob. I’ll just press crl-alt right arrow and this whole screen flips over to the next one to see whuz up. I’ve got seven different screens called workspaces, all running different programs, or sometimes just there, all with different window background pictures, many that I took myself.