facts about the invention
of the Internet by Vinton Cerf in 1973.
|The Internet is a worldwide network of
thousands of computers and computer networks. It is a public, voluntary, and cooperative
effort between the connected institutions and is not owned or operated by any single
organization. The Internet and Transmission Control Protocols were initially
developed in 1973 by American computer scientist Vinton Cerf as part of a project
sponsored by the United States Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
(ARPA) and directed by American engineer Robert Kahn.
The Internet began as a computer network of ARPA (ARPAnet) that linked computer
networks at several universities and research laboratories in the United States. The World
Wide Web was developed in 1989 by English computer scientist Timothy Berners-Lee for the
European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).
"The design of the Internet was done in 1973
and published in 1974. There ensued about 10 years of hard work, resulting in the roll out
of Internet in 1983. Prior to that, a number of demonstrations were made of the technology
- such as the first three-network interconnection demonstrated in November 1977 linking
SATNET, PRNET and ARPANET in a path leading from Menlo Park, CA to University College
London and back to USC/ISI in Marina del Rey, CA." . - Vinton Cerf explains the
interconnection of computer networks that enables connected machines to communicate
directly. The term popularly refers to a particular global interconnection of government,
education, and business computer networks that is available to the public. There are also
smaller internets, usually for the private use of a single organization, called intranets.
Internet technology is
a primitive precursor of the Information Superhighway, a theoretical goal of computer
communications to provide schools, libraries, businesses, and homes universal access to
quality information that will educate, inform, and entertain. In early 1996, the Internet
interconnected more than 25 million computers in over 180 countries and continues to grow
at a dramatic rate.
How Internets Work
Internets are formed by connecting local networks through special computers in each
network known as gateways. Gateway interconnections are made through various communication
paths, including telephone lines, optical fibers, and radio links. Additional networks can
be added by linking to new gateways. Information to be delivered to a remote machine is
tagged with the computerized address of that particular machine.
Different types of
addressing formats are used by the various services provided by internets (see Internet
address). One format is known as dotted decimal, for example: 126.96.36.199. Another format
describes the name of the destination computer and other routing information, such as
"machine.dept.univ.edu." The suffix at the end of the internet address
designates the type of organization that owns the particular computer network, for
example, educational institutions (.edu), military locations (.mil), government offices
(.gov), and non-profit organizations (.org). Networks outside the United States use
suffixes that indicate the country, for example (.ca) for Canada.
Once addressed, the
information leaves its home network through a gateway. It is routed from gateway to
gateway until it reaches the local network containing the destination machine. Internets
have no central control, that is, no single computer directs the flow of information. This
differentiates internets from other types of online computer services, such as CompuServe,
America Online, and the Microsoft Network.
The Internet Protocol
The Internet Protocol is the basic software used to control an internet. This protocol
specifies how gateway machines route information from the sending computer to the
recipient computer. Another protocol, Transmission Control Protocol, checks whether the
information has arrived at the destination computer and, if not, causes the information to
Even though computer
interaction is in its infancy, it has dramatically changed our world, bridging the
barriers of time and distance, allowing people to share information and work together.
Evolution toward the Information Superhighway will continue at an accelerating rate.
Available content will grow rapidly, making it easier to find any information on the
Internet. New applications will provide secure business transactions and new opportunities
for commerce. New technologies will increase the speed of information transfer, allowing
direct transfer of entertainment-on-demand. Broadcast television may be replaced by
unicast, in which each home receives a signal especially tailored for what its residents
want to see when they want to see it.
Invention of the World Wide Web
from The Great Idea Finder
Computing from The Great Idea
ON THE BOOKSHELF:
by Janet Abbate / Hardcover - 268 pages (July 1999) / MIT Press
This sophisticated history is the best account so far published of the unpredictable and
turbulent evolution of the Internet. With its broad international context, the book will
be of value to makers and users of the global communications network, as well as to
science and technology policy makers.
The Evolution of Wired Life:From Alphabet to the Soul-Catcher Chip-How Information Technologies Change
Charles Jonscher / Hardcover - 224 pages (August 1999) / John Wiley & Sons
Charles Jonscher argues that to understand the true transformative powers of new
technologies, we must know about the long history of their development and realize that it
is the creativity and flexibility of the human mind that will always shape the new
technology and the ways we use it, not the other way around.
Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy
by Carl Shapiro, Hal R. Varian / Hardcover - 352 pages (Nov.1998) / Harvard Business
Begins with a description of the change brought on by
technology at the close of the century--but the century described is not this one, it's
the late 1800s. One hundred years ago, it was an emerging telephone and electrical network
that was transforming business.
Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet
by Katie Hafner, Matthew Lyon (Contributor) / Paperback - 304 pages
(1998) / Touchstone Books
Hafner and Lyon have written a well-researched story of the origins of the
Internet substantiated by extensive interviews with its creators. Essential reading for
anyone interested in the past -- and the future -- of the Net specifically, and
ON THE WEB:
Vinton G. Cerf
Vinton G. Cerf is vice president and chief Internet evangelist for
Google. In this role, he is responsible for identifying new enabling
technologies to support the development of advanced, Internet-based
products and services from Google. He will also be an active public face
for Google in the Internet world.
History of the Internet
Article by the pioneers for
How the Internet Came to Be
by Vinton Cerf, as told to Bernard Aboba. This article appears in "The
Online User's Encyclopedia," by Bernard Aboba, Addison-Wesley, November
1993, ISBN 0-201-62214-9
Vinton G. Cerf
Interview Vinton Cerf "Father of the Internet" by Nick Wingfield Staff Writer,
From the Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia.
Cerf grew up in Los Angeles. He did very well in school and showed a
strong aptitude for math. He had an unusual style of dress for a school
kid. He wore a jacket and tie most days. Cerf is still known for his
impeccable style. He is usually seen in three-piece suits.
WWW Design Decisions in
Tim Berners-Lee, December 95: MIT 6.001 Guest lecture
the Web into Existing Extension and Educational Technology
by R. Daniel Lineberger, Department of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M University
DID YOU KNOW?:
- "If you are looking for fathers of the Internet, try
Vint Cerf and Bob Khan who defined the "Internet Protocol" (IP) by which packets
are sent on from one computer to another until they reach their destination. I was lucky
enough to invent the Web at the time when the Internet already existed - and had for a
decade and a half." - Tim Berners-Lee
- It took the telephone 75 years and
television 13 years to acquire 50 million users. It has taken the
Internet five years. Today, more than 500 million people around the
world are connected to the Internet.
Sources in BOLD Type
page revised May 30, 2007.
Berners-Lee's invention has revolutionized the world like nothing
The invention of the Internet,
should be classed with the greatest events of the 20th Century.
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