Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Happy Birthday(s) to the Internet!
Happy Birthday, Internet! September 2, 1969 was the date that the first two ARPAnet computers were connected at UCLA. Those were UCLA's Sigma-7 mainframe and the Internet Message Processor (IMP) that would connect with the network-to-be.
But some mark the beginning of the Internet as the day the first message was transmitted between network nodes: UCLA to Stanford. That was October 29, 1969. So, we have two birthdays. Some media are citing Sept. 2, while UCLA will hold the official 40th anniversary celebration on Oct. 29.
Significantly, Leonard Kleinrock, director of the project, says of the transmission on Oct. 29, "That was the first breath of life the Internet ever took."
But, he also notes, it was on Sept. 2, 1969, that data bits first moved between two machines—UCLA's Sigma and its IMP. For still more facts, see: http://internetanniversary.cs.ucla.edu/slides/internet35/kleinrock_welcome.pdf
All the details are in my book, On the Way to the Web. Have a look and decide for yourself. (For more blasts from the online past, follow mikebanks on twitter.)