The History Of The Internet

The internet has come a very long way in the past 50 years. New inovations such as integrated software and hardware has changed the way that poeple view and obtain information today. The internet is a global computer network connecting millions and millions of users throughout the world. "It is a network connecting many computer networks and is based on a common addressing system and communications protocol."It has become one of the fastest growing forms of communication today(Encyclodpedia Britannica 1999).
The Internet got started by the Defense Department as a Cold War experiment in the 1950’s. The government needed a way to relay information between tanks and headquarters so the ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) sought a way to let signals from the battlefield reach a headquarters computer using satellites and radio signals. At this time our command posts were hidden underground in fear of a nuclear attack. "Paul Baran, working for the U.S. Air Force, developed a network that could reroute itself around damage caused by the impact of an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile by using \'redundancy of connectivity\'". This meant that if there was a break in the network, the server would re-route the information on an alternate path through a new technique called \'packet switching\'. "Packet Switching is a means of breaking up the message being sent into small packets which carry enough information to seek out its destination and sending them out separately towards the destination server. The message after being broken up would take separate routes to the destination and then be re-assembled by the computer at the server where the message was being sent." This was good because with more than one route for information to travel on, the enemy did not have one central point to target their attack to break the lines of communication and if there ever was a break in the line, the information could still travel through.(http://www.davesite.com/webstation/nethistory.shtml)
This all interested the ARPA enough to fund the research and development of an experimental computer network with hopes of demonstrating the feasibility of remote computer operation from the battlefield. "Vinton Cerf also called "The Father of the Internet", a graduate student working at UCLA began to take interest in the 4 node ARPAnet, and in 1973 developed the first TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) software." TCP/IP software converts messages into streams, transmits them across different nodes or networks, and reassembles them at the destination point(http://www.mediamente.rai.it/english/bibliote/biografi/c/cerf.htm).
When it first started ARPAnet was limited mainly to military business by the ARPA but soon scientists began to use it to work on research through e-mail. Not long after the first mailing list appeared called SF-LOVERS. The ARPA repeatedly shut the growing number of mailing lists down but gave up after a while calling it a way to "test the networks mail capacity." The ARPAnet as it was now called began to grow and by the ‘80’s it began to link to other college and government networks. "NSFnet (national science foundation network) and the newly founded usenet were among the first to be connected. These links began the "ARPAinternet" later called just the internet." The internet grew rapidly over time and began to ease out of government ownership and into privately owned routes. In 1990 ARPAnet was shut down but by this time the internet had become completely public and no longer relied on the original ARPAnet. It however still used the TCP/IP technology developed by Cerf(Buick, Joanna and Jevtic, Zoran).
"Usenet was a network similar to ARPAnet created by graduate students and faculty members of the University of North Caroline and Duke University, who had seen ARPAnet but were unable to access the government created and controlled network." The structure of usenet mimicked the mailing lists of ARPAnet but was designed like a bulletin board to store messages onto one accessible computer rather than send them to each individual mailbox like the ARPAnet mailing lists. "Another difference was that in usenet the nodes were not directly connected like ARPAnet but used phone lines to transfer information. Messages on the early usenet would take up to a week to reach all of the nodes due to slow modems (300 bit per second) and poor phone lines and in some cases would take even longer (messages