The Internet has been called the most important invention in the history of humanity. We are still within the early days of this global network, but it’s already changing everything about how we work and live.
If it weren’t for the internet, you most likely wouldn’t be reading this right away. However, how much does one actually understand when the internet was invented?
Even if you’re old enough to have lived through it all, much of this amazing story wasn’t known at the time.
So let’s take a walk through the event of this fantastic invention and pick up some amazing facts along the way.
The Internet Was “Invented” as a Military Project
Although people consider the internet as the thing that brings them memes and Netflix, it absolutely was invented for a dire reason – the threat of nuclear war.
The concern was that one nuclear bomb could interrupt communications throughout the country. So a system that would keep working even if large parts of it were disabled was a fairly high priority.
A scientist named J.C.R. Licklider who worked for MIT and ARPA (now called DARPA) came up with a thought for a “Galactic Network” that could keep working even if large parts were destroyed.
ARPA liked this concept very much! So you may thank them for getting the entire internet ball rolling in the first place.
Information On the internet Comes In Packets
When you watch a Netflix video or send an email, all that information is converted into a large number of small info packets.
These are each sent independently across the spider’s web that makes up the internet and then reassembled on the other end so that the receiver can make sense of the message.
This is a fundamental part of how the web works and it’s also why it can withstand disruption. If some packets don’t make it, they will be sent again. If one path through the network is blocked, the packets simply take another router.
This method is understood as “packet switching”. It had been invented in 1965, a mere three years after Licklider came up together with his Galaxy Network idea. However, that network ended up being named “ARPANET” instead, and packet switching made it possible.
The First Internet Message Was “LO”
LO? Why would that be the foremost message sent over ARPANET? Well actually, the message was meant to read “LOGIN”, but only the first two letters made it to the receiving computer.
Those two historic letters made the journey from UCLA to Stanford on 29 October 1969. Just a couple of months after Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the Moon.
In 1969 the Internet Consisted Of Just 4 Computers
It’s true, ARPANET only had four computers connected. Today, about half the earth people have internet access, with over one device per person connecting to the current global network. We’ve come a long way.
Internet is brief For Internetwork
OK, ARPANET wasn’t really the internet yet. The word “internet” is an abbreviation for “internetwork”. In other words, the internet is just a network of networks.
That first few computers were quickly joined by others who wanted to get in on the party. The matter was that nobody really knew how to handle the traffic from numerous potential computers all directly.
Packet switching was the proper approach, but there’s more than one way to modify a packet. It was the world’s toughest traffic congestion, so how was it solved?
The Internet has existed for quite a long time and we have all benefited from it in one way or the other. But did you know some of the facts of the internet? I hope this article was good to come by.
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