History of Online Distributed Information Systems and the World Wide Web
In the early 1960's, Paul Baran, who worked for a government agency known as the RAND Corporation was commissioned by the U.S. Air Force to analyze how the government could maintain control over complex weapons after a nuclear attack. What he introduced to the world was a system of computers that were to be decentralized.
These computers would communicate to others using packet switching networks, which meant that "bursts" of information could be sent via wires and cables along networked routes, and be rerouted or resent if needed.
In 1968 The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) awarded the ARPANET packet switching network contract to BBN. The physical network was constructed in 1969, linking four nodes:
* University of California at Los Angeles
* SRI (in Stanford)
* University of California at Santa Barbara
* University of Utah.
BBN selected a Honeywell minicomputer as the base on which they would build the switch. The network was wired together via 50 kbps circuits. The first e-mail program was created by Ray Tomlinson of BBN. ARPANET was currently using the Network Control Protocol or NCP to transfer data. This allowed communications between hosts running on the same network.
In 1973 development began on the new protocol which was later named TCP/IP. This new protocol allowed diverse computer networks to interconnect and communicate with each other. The term "Internet" was first used by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn in paper on Transmission Control Protocol.
In 1976, the Department of Defense began to experiment with the TCP/IP protocol and soon decided to require it for use on ARPANET. Then, in 1979 USENET (the decentralized news group network) was created by Steve Bellovin, a graduate student at University of North Carolina, and programmers Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis. It was based on UUCP.
On January 1st, 1983 every machine connected to ARPANET had to use TCP/IP. TCP/IP became the core Internet protocol and replaced NCP entirely. Also, in 1983 the University of Wisconsin created Domain Name System (DNS). This allowed packets to be directed to a domain name, which would be translated by the server database into the corresponding IP number. This made it much easier for people to access other servers, because they no longer had to remember numbers.
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About the Author: Larry Enzer, owner and webmaster of Monmouth Web Developers has been designing and implementing online systems since thebeginning of the internet revolution.
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