the Beginning, ARPA created the ARPANET.
And the ARPANET was without form and void.
And darkness was upon the deep.
And the spirit of ARPA moved upon the face of the
network and ARPA said, 'Let there be a protocol,' and
there was a protocol. And ARPA saw that it was good.
And ARPA said, 'Let there be more protocols,' and
it was so. And ARPA saw that it was good.
And ARPA said, 'Let there be more networks,' and it
-- Danny Cohen
Internet Timeline begins in 1962, before the word Internet
is invented. The worlds 10,000 computers are primitive,
although they cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. They
have only a few thousand words of magnetic core memory,
and programming them is far from easy.
data communication over the phone lines is an AT&T
monopoly. The Picturephone of 1939, shown
again at the New York Worlds Fair in 1964, is
still AT&Ts answer to the future of worldwide
the four-year old Advanced Research Projects Agency
(ARPA) of the U.S. Department of Defense, a future-oriented
funder of high-risk, high-gain research,
lays the groundwork for what becomes the ARPANET and,
much later, the Internet.
1992, when this timeline ends,
Internet has one million hosts
ARPANET has ceased to exist
are nine orders of magnitude faster
bandwidth is twenty million times greater.
MIT, a wide variety of computer experiments are going
on. Ivan Sutherland uses the TX-2 to write Sketchpad,
the origin of graphical programs for computer-aided design.
Licklider writes memos about his Intergalactic Network
concept, where everyone on the globe is interconnected
and can access programs and data at any site from anywhere.
He is talking to his own Intergalactic Network
of researchers across the country. In October, Lick
becomes the first head of the computer research program
at ARPA, which he calls the Information Processing Techniques
Kleinrock completes his doctoral dissertation at MIT
on queuing theory in communication networks, and becomes
an assistant professor at UCLA.
SAGE (Semi Automatic Ground Environment), based on earlier
work at MIT and IBM, is fully deployed as the North
American early warning system. Operators of weapons
directing consoles use a light gun to identify
moving objects that show up on their radar screens.
SAGE sites are used to direct air defense. This project
provides experience in the development of the SABRE
air travel reservation system and later air traffic
Satellite in production
of the ASCII alphabet
starts to talk with Larry Roberts of Lincoln Labs, director
of the TX-2 project, Ivan Sutherland, a computer graphics
expert whom he has hired to work at ARPA and Bob Taylor,
who joins ARPA in 1965. Lick contracts with MIT, UCLA,
and BBN to start work on his vision.
the first synchronous communication satellite, is launched.
NASAs satellite is assembled in the Hughes Aircraft
Companys facility in Culver City, California.
Total payload is 55 pounds.
joint industry-government committee develops ASCII (American
Standard Code for Information Interchange), the first
universal standard for computers. It permits machines
from different manufacturers to exchange data. 128 unique
7-bit strings stand for either a letter of the English
alphabet, one of the Arabic numerals, one of an assortment
of punctuation marks and symbols, or a special function,
such as the carriage return.
paper on secure packet switched networks
work on secure packet switching networks is taking place
at MIT, the RAND Corporation, and the National Physical
Laboratory in Great Britain. Paul Baran, Donald Davies,
Leonard Kleinrock, and others proceed in parallel research.
Baran is one of the first to publish, On Data Communications
Networks. Kleinrocks thesis is also published as
a seminal text on queuing theory.
new System 360 computers come onto the market and set
the de facto worldwide standard of the 8-bit byte, making
the 12-bit and 36-bit word machines almost instantly
obsolete. The $5 billion investment by IBM into this
family of six mutually compatible computers pays off,
and within two years orders for the System 360 reach
1,000 per month.
transaction processing debuts with IBMs SABRE
air travel reservation system for American Airlines.
SABRE (Semi-Automatic Business Research Environment)
links 2,000 terminals in sixty cities via telephone
leaves ARPA to return to MIT, and Ivan Sutherland moves
to IPTO. With IPTO funding, MITs Project MAC acquires
a GE-635 computer and begins the development of the
Multics timesharing operating system.
unveils the PDP-8, the first commercially successful minicomputer.
Small enough to sit on a desktop, it sells for $18,000
one-fifth the cost of a low-end IBM/360 mainframe.
The combination of speed, size, and cost enables the establishment
of the minicomputer in thousands of manufacturing plants,
offices, and scientific laboratories.
ARPA funding, Larry Roberts and Thomas Marill create
the first wide-area network connection. They connect
the TX-2 at MIT to the Q-32 in Santa Monica via a dedicated
telephone line with acoustic couplers. The system confirms
the suspicions of the Intergalactic Network researchers
that telephone lines work for data, but are inefficient,
wasteful of bandwidth, and expensive. As Kleinrock predicts,
packet switching offers the most promising model for
communication between computers.
in the year, Ivan Sutherland hires Bob Taylor from NASA.
Taylor pulls together the ideas about networking that
are gaining momentum amongst IPTOs computer-scientist
ARPA-funded JOSS (Johnniac Open Shop System) at the
RAND Corporation goes on line. The JOSS system permits
online computational problem solving at a number of
remote electric typewriter consoles. The standard IBM
Model 868 electric typewriters are modified with a small
box with indicator lights and activating switches. The
user input appears in green, and JOSS responds with
the output in black.
succeeds Sutherland to become the third director of IPTO.
In his own office, he has three different terminals, which
he can connect by telephone to three different computer
systems research sites around the nation. Why cant
they all talk together? His problem is a metaphor for
that facing the ARPA computer research community.
meets with Charles Herzfeld, the head of ARPA, to outline
his issues. Twenty-minutes later he has a million dollars
to spend on networking. The idea is to link all the
IPTO contractors. After several months of discussion,
Taylor persuades Larry Roberts to leave MIT to start
the ARPA network program.
the English inventor of packet switching, Donald Davies,
is theorizing at the British National Physical Laboratory
(NPL) about building a network of computers to test
his packet switching concepts.
introduces the DDP-516 minicomputer and demonstrates
its ruggedness with a sledgehammer. This catches Roberts
Roberts convenes a conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan,
to bring the ARPA researchers together. At the conclusion,
Wesley Clark suggests that the network be managed by interconnected
Interface Message Processors in front of the
major computers. Called IMPs, they evolve into todays
puts together his plan for the ARPANET. The separate
strands of investigation begin to converge. Donald Davies,
Paul Baran, and Larry Roberts become aware of each others
work at an ACM conference where they all meet. From
Davies, the word packet is adopted and the
proposed line speed in ARPANET is increased from 2.4
Kbps to 50 Kbps.
acoustically coupled modem, invented in the early sixties,
is vastly improved by John van Geen of the Stanford
Research Institute (SRI). He introduces a receiver that
can reliably detect bits of data amid the hiss heard
over long-distance telephone connections.
and the ARPA team refine the overall structure and specifications
for the ARPANET. They issue an RFQ for the development
of the IMPs.
Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN), Frank Heart leads a
team to bid on the project. Bob Kahn plays a major role
in shaping the overall BBN designs. BBN wins the project
works with Howard Frank and his team at Network Analysis
Corporation designing the network topology and economics.
Kleinrocks team prepares the network measurement
system at UCLA, which is to become the site of the first
ILLIAC IV, the largest supercomputer of its time, is
being built at Burroughs under a NASA contract. More
than 1,000 transistors are squeezed onto its RAM chip,
manufactured by the Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation,
yielding 10 times the speed at one-hundredth the size
of equivalent core memory. ILLIAC-IV will be hooked
to the ARPANET so that remote scientists can have access
to its unique capabilities.
of the first 2 nodes on the ARPANET
detail of the UCLA IMP log book, showing the successful
connection to SRI
Heart puts a team together to write the software that
will run the IMPs and to specify changes in the Honeywell
DDP- 516 they have chosen. The team includes Ben Barker,
Bernie Cosell, Will Crowther, Bob Kahn, Severo Ornstein,
and Dave Walden.
sites are selected. At each, a team gets to work on
producing the software to enable its computers and the
IMP to communicate. At UCLA, the first site, Vint Cerf,
Steve Crocker, and Jon Postel work with Kleinrock to
get ready. On April 7, Crocker sends around a memo entitled
Request for Comments. This is the first
of thousands of RFCs that document the design of the
ARPANET and the Internet.
team calls itself the Network Working Group (RFC 10),
and comes to see its job as the development of a protocol,
the collection of programs that comes to be known as
NCP (Network Control Protocol).
second site is the Stanford Research Institute (SRI),
where Doug Engelbart saw the ARPA experiment as an opportunity
to explore wide-area distributed collaboration, using
his NLS system, a prototype digital library.
SRI supported the Network Information Center, led by
Elizabeth (Jake) Feinler and Don Nielson.
the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Glen
Culler and Burton Fried investigate methods for display
of mathematical functions using storage displays to
deal with the problem of screen refresh over the net.
Their investigation of computer graphics supplies essential
capabilities for the representation of scientific information.
After installation in September, handwritten logs from UCLA show the first host-to-host connection, from UCLA to SRI, is made on October 29, 1969. The first 'Log-In' crashes the SRI host, but the next attempt works!