Internet is 30 years old

G V Joshi
The Internet, a revolutionary communications system used daily by billions of people the world over, turned 30 .The computer network officially began functioning when it fully substituted previous networking systems Jan 1, 1983.
On that day, it was for the first time that the American army switched to use of the Internet protocol suite (IPS) communications system, which paved the way for the arrival of the World Wide Web (www).
Based on designs by Welsh scientist Donald Davies, the Arpanet network began as a military project in the late 1960s.It was developed at many American universities, including the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) and the Stanford Research Institute.
Shri. Abhay Bhushan one of the first computer science graduates from the Indian Institute of Technology, (IIT) Kanpur, has done pioneering work in the development of the ARPAnet , He was recognized for his contributions in 1994 at the 25th anniversary celebration of the ARPAnet.
In 1973, work on the IPS and Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) technology began. The new systems made sure that the network was not exposed to a single point of failure. By Jan 1 1983, the substitution of the older system for the new Internet protocol had been completed and the Internet was born.
British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee later used it to host a system of interlinked hypertext documents in 1989, known as the World Wide G V Joshi writes on science issues Web.
On October 4, 1957, the Russians launched Sputnik, man’s first foray into outer space, and the U.S. government got worried about the Russians’ ability to launch a satellite, as the same technology could be used to drop a nuclear weapon on America.
The then President Eisenhower immediately created the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) an aggressive military campaign – cold war – to compete with and surpass the Soviet activities. ARPA was the U.S. government’s research agency for all space and strategic missile research for some years. NASA was formed in 1958, and the activities of ARPA moved away from aeronautics and focused mainly on computer science and information processing.
One of ARPA’s goals was to connect mainframe computers at different universities around the country and the defence establishments, so that they would be able to communicate with each other quickly in case of a war, using a common language and a common protocol. Thus was born the ARPAnet – the world’s first multiple-site computer network in 1969. The original ARPAnet eventually grew into the Internet.
The Internet has a number of possible ‘birthdays’. On September 2, 1969, Len Kleinrock, a computer scientist and his team at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) – the midwives for the Internet – connected two computers kept side by side with a short cable. The data these computers exchanged was tiny and meaningless – merely a test message – but it prepared the ground that eventually grew into the Internet.
About a month later on October 29, 1969, the UCLA computer was connected to one at Stanford Research Institute (SRI), Palo Alto, California and the first message ever to be sent on the Internet was sent successfully from UCLA to SRI.
When it comes to the birth of the Internet, Jan. 1, 1983, also has its supporters. On that date, the American National Science Foundation’s university network, a precursor to the World Wide Web (WWW), became operational.
A strange mixture of American Army’s money, developments in computer science and engineering as well as scientific expertise slowly brought on the ARPAnet or Internet, as we know today.
Internet is the short form for International network and is considered as a proper noun. It is international because it is a global network connecting millions of computers. More than 130 countries including India are linked into exchanges of data, news and opinions.
Use of the term “Internet” to describe a single global network of computers originated in December 1974 with the publication of the first full specification of Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) that was written by Vincent Cerf, Carl Sunshine and Yogen Dalal, an Indian computer engineer from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mumbai and Ph. D in computer science from Stanford University, California No one person invented the Internet. It was a collaborative effort.
Leonard Kleinrock was the first to publish a paper about the idea of packet switching, which is essential to the Internet. He did so in 1961. J.C.R. Licklider was the first to describe an Internet-like worldwide network of computers, in 1962. He called it the “Galactic Network.”
Larry G. Roberts created the first functioning long-distance computer networks in 1965 and designed the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPAnet), the seed from which the modern Internet grew, in 1966.
Bob Kahn and Vincent Cerf invented the TCP which moves data on the modern Internet, in 1972 and 1973. If any two people “invented the Internet,” it was Kahn and Cerf – but they have publicly stated that “no one person or group of people” invented the Internet.
Sometimes referred to as a “network of networks,” the Internet became visible to the general public in the early 1990s. By the beginning of the 21st century approximately 360 million people, or roughly 6 percent of the world’s population, were estimated to have access to the Internet. It is widely assumed that at least half of the world’s population will have some form of Internet access by 2015.
All good things also have some holes and the Internet is not an exception.
The pornographic content is a sure hazard for children and adolescents. In case you have a personal computer or a laptop at home with the Internet facility, use some locking device like a ‘password’, so that no one can use the computer in your or your spouse’s absence.
Keep a watch while your children are using the Internet for doing their homework.
The problem is not yet serious in India because computers are still expensive and beyond the reach of the common man. However, it will assume the form of an epidemic with rising incomes. It is better to be forewarned and forearmed.
The world has definitely changed due to the Internet’s ability to communicate with ease from practically any location. In a few short decades, the internet has grown from a network of a few dozen computers to practically connecting the entire world’s population.
These last 20 years have seen tremendous growth, what the Internet has in store for the next 20 years is any body’s guess… Today, the Internet is a part of every sphere of life. Looking at the wide range of the positive effects of Internet, it is sure to reign in future too!


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