How The Internet Got Started Essay Research

How The Internet Got Started Essay, Research Paper

How The Internet Got Started

Some thirty years ago , the Rand corporation , America’s formost cold

war think tank, faced a strange straegic problem. How could the US authrieties

succesfully communicate after a nuclear war?

Postnuclear America would need a comand-and-control network, linked from

city to city , state to state, base to base . But no matter how throughly that

network was armored or protected , its switches and wiring would always be

vulnerable to the impact of atomic bombs. A nuclear attack would reduce any

conceivable network to tatters. And how would the network itself be commanded

and controlled ? Any central authority, any network central citadel, would be

an obvious and immediate target for man enemy missle. The center of the network

would be the very first place to go.

RAND mulled over this grim puzzle in deep military secrecy, and arrived

at a daring solution made in 1964.The principles were simple . The network

itself would be assumed to be unreliable at all times . It would be designed

from the get-go to tyranscend its all times . It would be designed from the

get-go to transcend its own unrreliability. All the nodes from computers in

the network would be equal in status to all other nodes , each node with its

own authority to originate , pass , and recieve messages. The messages would be

divided into packets, each packet seperatly addressed. Each packet would begin

at some specified source node , and end at some other specified destination node

. Each packet would wind its way through the network on an individual

basis.In fall 1969, the first such node was insalled in UCLA. By December 1969,

there were 4 nodes on the infant network, which was named arpanet, after its

Pentagon sponsor.

The four computers could even be programed remotely from the other nodes.

thanks to ARPANET scientists and researchers could share one another’s computer

facilities by long -distance . This was a very handy service , for computer-

time was precious in the early ?70s. In 1971 ther were fifteen nodes in

Arpanet; by 1972, thirty-seven nodes. And it was good.

As early as 1977, TCP/IP was being used by other networks to link to

ARPANET. ARPANET itself remained fairly tightly controlled,at least until

1983,when its military segment broke off and became MILNET. TCP/IP became more

common,entire other networks fell into the digital embrace of the Internet,and

messily adhered. Since the software called TCP/IP was public domain and he

basic technology was decentralized and rather anarchic by its very nature,it as

difficult to stop people from barging in linking up somewhere or other. Nobody

wanted to stop them from joining this branching complex of networks, which came

tobe known as the “INTERNET”.

Connecting to the Internet cost the taxpayer little or nothing, since

each node was independent, and had to handle its own financing and its own

technical requirements. The more, the merrier. Like the phone network, the

computer network became steadily more valuable as it embraced larger and larger

territories of people and resources. A fax machine is only valuable if

everybody eles a fax machine. Until they do, a fax is just a curiosity.

ARPANET, too was a curiosity for a while. Then computer networking became an

utter necessity.

In 1984 the National Science Foundation got into the act,through its office

of Advanced Scientific Computing. The new NSFNET set a blisteing pace for

technical advancement linking newer, faster, shinier supercomputers, through

thicker, faster links,upgraded and expanded,again and again,in

l986,l988,l990.And other government agencies leapt in: NASA, National

Institutes of Health, Department of Energy, each of them maintaining a digital

satrapy in the INTERNET confederation.

The nodes in this growing network-of-networks were divided up into basic

varieties. Foreighn computers,and a few American ones chose to be denoted by

their geographical locations. The others were grouped by the six basic Internet

domains –gov, {government} mil {military}edu{education} these were of course,

the pioneers Just think, in l997 the standards for computer networking is now

global. In 1971, there were only four nodes in the ARPANET network. Today there

are tens of thousands of nodes in the Internet,scattered over forty two

countries and more coming on line every single day. In estimate, as of

December,l996 over 50 million people use this network. Probably, the most

important scientific instrument of the late twentieth century is the INTERNET.

It is spreading faster than celluar phones,faster than fax machines. The

INTERNET offers simple freedom. There are no censors,no bosses,etc. There are

only technical rules, not social, political,it is a bargain you can talk to

anyone anywhere,and it doesnt charge for long distance service. It belongs to

everyone and no one.

The most widely used part of the “Net” is the world Wide Web. Internet mail

is E mail a lot faster than the US Postal service mail Internet regulars call

the US mail the “snailmail” File transfers allow Internet users to access

remote machines and retrieve programs or text. Many internet computers allow

any person to acess them anonymously to simply copy their public files,free of

charge. Entire books can be transferred through direct access in a matter of


Finding a link to the Internet will become easier and cheaper. At the

turn of the century, Network literacy will be forcing itself into every

individuals life.


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