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← History of the Internet

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Showing Revision 7 created 11/26/2011 by voxplural.

  1. The internet in the year 2009

  2. we send e-mails, make calls over the internet,
  3. and discuss topics we take interest in.
  4. Even our baking is going virtual.
  5. But what we take for granted today
  6. was only a vague idea 50 years ago.
  7. In order to understand how bit got this far
  8. lets go back to 1957 when everything began.
  9. Before 1957 computers only worked one task at a time.
  10. This was called "Batch Processing".
  11. Of course this was quite ineffective.
  12. With computers getting bigger and bigger
  13. they had to be stored in special cooled rooms
  14. but then the developers couldn't work directly on the computers any more -
  15. Specialists had to be called in to connect them.
  16. Programming at that time meant a lot of manual work
  17. and the indirect connection to the computers
  18. led to a lot of bugs wasting time
  19. and fraying developers' nerves.
  20. The year 1957 marked a big change.
  21. A remote connection had to be installed,
  22. third developers could work directly on the computers.
  23. At the same time the idea of time sharing came up.
  24. This is the first concept in computer technology
  25. to share the processing power of one computer
  26. with multiple users
  27. On October 4th 1957 during the Cold War
  28. the first unmanned satellite, Sputnik I,
  29. was sent into orbit by Soviet Union
  30. The fear of "Missile Gap" emerged.
  31. In order to secure America's lead in technology,
  32. The US founded the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency
  33. in February 1958.
  34. At that time knowledge was only transfered by people.
  35. The DARPA planed a large scale computer network
  36. in order to excelerate knowledge transfer
  37. and avoid doubling up of already existing research.
  38. This network would become the ARPANET.
  39. Furthermore three other concepts were to be developed,
  40. which are fundamental for the history of the internet
  41. The concepts of a military network by the RAND Corporation in America,
  42. the commercial network of National Physical Laboratory in England,
  43. and the scientific network, CYCLADES, in France.
  44. The scientific, military, and commercial approaches of these concepts
  45. are the foundations for our modern Internet.
  46. Let's begin with the ARPANET,
  47. the most familiar of these networks.
  48. Its development began in 1966
  49. Universities were generally quite cautious about sharing their computers.
  50. Therefore small computers were put in front of the mainframe
  51. This computer, the Interface Message Processor
  52. took over control of the network activities,
  53. while the mainframe was only in charge of the initialization of programs and data files.
  54. At the same time, the IMP also served as interface for the mainframe.
  55. Since only the IMPs were inter-connected in the network,
  56. this was also called IMP subnet.
  57. For the first connections between the computers,
  58. the Network Working Group developed the Network Control Protocol
  59. Later on, the NCP was replaced by the more efficient
  60. Transmission Control Protocol
  61. the specific feature of TCP is the verification of the file transfer.
  62. Let's take a short detour to England.
  63. Since the NPL network was designed on a commercial basis,
  64. a lot of users and file transfer were expected.
  65. In order to avoid congestion of the lines,
  66. The sent files were divided into smaller packets,
  67. which were put together again at the receiver.
  68. Packet-Swiching was born.
  69. In 1962 American ferret aircraft discovered
  70. middle and long range missiles in Cuba
  71. which were able to reach the United States.
  72. This stoked fear of an atomic conflict.
  73. At that time information systems had a centralized network architecture,
  74. To avoid breakdown during an attack,
  75. a de-centralized network architecture had to be developed,
  76. which in case of loss of node would still be operative.
  77. Communication still used to work through the radio waves
  78. that would be of course problems in case of an atomic attack
  79. The ionosphere would be affected
  80. and long-wave radio waves wouldn't work any more.
  81. Therefore they had to use direct waves
  82. ,which, however, don't have a long range
  83. A better solution was the model of a distributed network.
  84. Thus long distances could be covered with a minimum of interference.
  85. Another milestone followed with the develoment of the French network, CYCLADES.
  86. Since CYCLADES had a far smaller budget than ARPANET,
  87. and thus also fewer nodes,
  88. the focus was layed on communication with other networks.
  89. In this way the term "inter-net" was born.
  90. Moreover, CYCLADES' concept went further than ARPA's and the NPL's.
  91. During communication between sender and receiver,
  92. the computers were not to intervene anymore,
  93. but simply serve as a transfer node.
  94. CYCLADES' protocol went through all machines using a physical layer
  95. that was implemented into the hardware,
  96. providing a direct connection with the receiver and end-to-end structure.
  97. Inspired by the CYCLADES network and driven by the incompatibility between the networks
  98. their connection gained importance everywhere.
  99. The phone companies developed the x.25 protocol
  100. which enabled communication through their servers
  101. in exchange for monthly basic charge of cost
  102. DARPA's Transmission Control Protocol was to connect the computers through gateways
  103. and the International Organization for Standardization
  104. designed the OSI reference model
  105. The innovation of OSI was the attempt to
  106. standardize the network from its ends
  107. and the channel's division into separated layers.
  108. Finally the TCP assimiliated the preferences of the OSI reference model
  109. and gave way to the TCP/IP protocol -
  110. a standard which guaranteed compatibility between networks
  111. and finally merged them, creating the INTERNET
  112. By February 28th 1990, the ARPANET hardware was removed,
  113. but the internet was up and running.