Fifty Years ago Today

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From Fast Company:

50 years ago today, the internet was born in Room 3420
When I visited UCLA’s Boelter Hall last Wednesday, I took the stairs to the third floor, looking for Room 3420. And then I walked right by it. From the hallway, it’s a pretty unassuming place.

But something monumental happened there 50 years ago today. A graduate student named Charley Kline sat at an ITT Teletype terminal and sent the first digital data transmission to Bill Duvall, a scientist who was sitting at another computer at the Stanford Research Institute (now known as SRI International) on the other side of California. It was the beginning of ARPANET, the small network of academic computers that was the precursor to the internet.

At the time, this brief act of data transfer wasn’t anything like a shot heard round the world. Even Kline and Duvall didn’t appreciate the full significance of what they’d accomplished: “I don’t remember anything specifically memorable about that night, and I certainly didn’t realize that what we had done was anything special at the time,” says Kline. But their communications link was proof of the feasibility of the concepts that eventually enabled the distribution of virtually all the world’s information to anybody with a computer.

Today, everything from our smartphones to our garage door openers are nodes on the network that descended from the one Kline and Duvall tested that day. How they and others established the original rules for shuttling bytes around the world is a tale worth sharing—especially when they tell it themselves.

And they restored the room as a museum:

20191029-internet.jpg

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on October 29, 2019 10:12 AM.

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