The History Of 
The Internet

... Internet History Timeline ...

By Dave Kristula, March 1997 / Update: August 2001 / Expansion: 2009
[ 1957-1973 | 1974-1983 | 1984-1990 | 1991-1995 | 1996-Present ]
The "Stealthy" (stelletheeU) Alternate Internet History - We wrote It for Fun for the Prevent The Trace Online Game

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(Potential Origin and Beginning -- The History of the Internet)

The USSR launches Sputnik, the first artificial earth satellite. In response, the United States forms the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) within the Department of Defense (DoD) to establish US lead in science and technology applicable to the military.
Backbones: None - Hosts: None
RAND Paul Baran, of the RAND Corporation (a government agency), was commissioned by the U.S. Air Force to do a study on how it could maintain its command and control over its missiles and bombers, after a nuclear attack. This was to be a military research network that could survive a nuclear strike, decentralized so that if any locations (cities) in the U.S. were attacked, the military could still have control of nuclear arms for a counter-attack.

Baran's finished document described several ways to accomplish this. His final proposal was a packet switched network.

"Packet switching is the breaking down of data into datagrams or packets that are labeled to indicate the origin and the destination of the information and the forwarding of these packets from one computer to another computer until the information arrives at its final destination computer. This was crucial to the realization of a computer network. If packets are lost at any given point, the message can be resent by the originator."
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Backbones: None - Hosts: None
ARPA awarded the ARPANET contract to BBN. BBN had selected a Honeywell minicomputer as the base on which they would build the switch. 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, and University of Utah. The network was wired together via 50 Kbps circuits.
Backbones: 50Kbps ARPANET - Hosts: 4
The first e-mail program was created by Ray Tomlinson of BBN.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) was renamed The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (or DARPA)

ARPANET was currently using the Network Control Protocol or NCP to transfer data. This allowed communications between hosts running on the same network.

Backbones: 50Kbps ARPANET - Hosts: 23
Development began on the protocol later to be called TCP/IP, it was developed by a group headed by Vinton Cerf from Stanford and Bob Kahn from DARPA. This new protocol was to allow diverse computer networks to interconnect and communicate with each other.
Backbones: 50Kbps ARPANET - Hosts: 23+

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As with any historical references, I encourage you to seek additional resources around the Internet to verify and fill in details for your research.

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