The Internet – Following the Pattern of the Future

Some people would like to say that life is one big surprise party. You’ll never guess what you’ll get until you open the door. However, not all things in life come as surprises. There are some that were planned, patterned, and molded. One amazing example is the Internet.

Back when I was still a kid, I’ve watched science fiction movies where characters traveling in space would suddenly get a video transmission of their allies from a different planet. I’d usually ask my father if the television show was real; he’d just laugh and pat my head. Skip twenty five years later and now, we have Skype, Yahoo Messenger, and Google Hangouts.

It’s kind of amazing how the Internet evolved. My earliest memories of ever using the Internet was way back in 1999. I was learning how to use the email. Everyone thought that the Internet was something that was thought of back in the late 80’s and was now implemented in the 90’s. However, the concept of having a “World Wide Web” already existed in 1962.

A certain J.C.R Licklider from MIT produced a series of memos in August of 1962 where he described his “World Network” concept. He envisioned a world where computers were interconnected and everyone would be able to access data from any site in the world. If you think about it, the whole pattern does remind you of the Internet, right?

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In order to make his vision a reality, Mr. Licklider became the first head of the computer research program in DARPA in October 1962. However, a year before Licklider thought of the World Wide Web, Leonard Kleinrock have already published his first paper on packet switching theory. For all computer and Internet geeks out there, yes, he was already researching about data packets. Kleinrock then convinced his friend, Lawrence G. Roberts that it is possible for two computers to “communicate” via packets instead of circuits. Roberts was a good friend of Licklider, therefore he worked with Thomas Merill in 1965 to connect the TX-2 computer in Massachusetts to the Q-32 computer in California using a low speed dial-up telephone line. This became the first ever wide-area computer network ever built.

That was also the first ever dial-up connection. You could say that the event was the one that spawned all other Internet connections that we know today. Kleinrock, Licklider, and Roberts would become the pioneers of the Internet and more collaborations from other networking experts improved the way data packets were sent from one computer to the other. It wasn’t until the late 1970’s that the research community became very interested with the Internet, due to its rapid growth in the past few years. In the early 1980’s, dozens of vendors have expressed interest in developing commercial products for implementing Internet technology. A lot of vendors at that time have started using TCP/IP in their products.

Then in 1995, the FNC unanimously passed a resolution the defined the word “Internet”.

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