The Internet, Any Source Of Information Right Under Your Finger At The Press Of A Button

2358 words - 9 pages

Imagine talking about the latest elections with someone three thousand miles away without receiving a tremendous phone bill. Or sending a letter to a friend or relative and having it arrive one second later. How would it feel to know that any source of information is at your fingertips at the press of a button? All of these are possible and more with a system of networks all connected and sending information at light speed from place to place known as the Internet. This is a trend word for the nineties yet it has a background that spans all the way back to the sixties. The history of the Internet is a full one at that even though it has only been around for about 30 years. It has grown to be the greatest collection of networks in the world, its origins go back to 1962.In 1962 the original idea for this great network of computers sprung forth from a question 'How could U.S. authorities successfully communicate after a nuclear war?' The answer came from the Rand Corporation, America's foremost Cold War think-tank. Why not create a network of computers without one central main authoritative unit (Sterling 1) The Rand Corporation working along side the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) devised a plan. The network itself would be considered unreliable at all times; therefore it would never become too dependable and powerful. Each computer on the network or node would have its own authority to originate, pass, and receive messages. The name given to this network was the ARPANET.To fully understand the ARPANET, an understanding of how a network works is needed. A network is a group of computers connected by a permanent cable or temporary phone line. The sole purpose of a network is to be able to communicate and send information electronically. The plan for the ARPANET was to have the messages themselves divided into packets, each packet separately addressed to be able to wind its way through the network on an individual basis. If one node was gone it would not matter, the message would find a way to another node.The idea was kicked around by MIT, UCLA, and RAND during the sixties. After the British setup a test network of this type, ARPA decided to fund a larger project in the USA. The first university to receive a node called an Interface Message Processor for this network was UCLA around Labor Day, marking September 1, 1969 the birth date of the Internet as we know it today (Cerf 1). The next university was Stanford Research Institute (SRI) then UC Santa Barbara (UCSB), and finally University of Utah (Cerf 1).The original computers used to connect to the ARPANET were consider super computers of the time. Science Data Systems (SDS) Sigma 7 was the name of the original computer at UCLA (Cerf 1). Each one of the computers connected to each other at a speed of about 400,000 bytes per second or 400 kbps over a dedicated line, which was fast at the time. Originally they connected using a protocol, 'Network Control Protocol', or NCP but as time...

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