How The Internet Got Started

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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.
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