Some Fascinating History of the Internet - Comments Page 1

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Posted by:

Bob Kinsler
10 Feb 2020

I remember sitting in a room discussing how to get a supercomputer in DC to talk to a supercomputer in Belgium when I suggested that we teach each computer Morse Code.

Posted by:

henry robinson
10 Feb 2020

nothing about AL Gore, cant trust politicians

Posted by:

Reed Davis
10 Feb 2020

I began my career in computing in 1964 operating a Univac 1103A vacuum tube computer in NM. I retired from IT in 2011. What a wonderful career of being an “early adapter” through several programming languages (FORTRAN, COBOL, APL, BASIC, Unix, ADA, etc. ), managing a node on the NSFNet at WestNet and MidNet, and being a participant and witness to the acceptance and growth of this wonderful (albeit) frustrating field of technology. I have indeed been blessed!

Posted by:

David
10 Feb 2020

I had the old internet back in the early to mid 80s. I could remote into the DEC at work, switch host to the UNIX box, then connect to a university computer then jump to CWRU, where I received the ASCII graphic of the campus. check my email then gopher to most anywhere. No ads so things moved well even with a 300 baud acoustic modem.

Posted by:

MmeMoxie
10 Feb 2020

My first inkling of the "internet" was when hospitals across the nation started "talking to each other." It was a method of communication that was vital to healthcare and patients.


In 1996, I got my very first computer and learned what was needed to maintain my computer. It took me a long time to understand "networking" and what was possible. I have since learned, though I am far from an expert. I am simply comfortable around a network, now.


The Internet has expanded to something truly beyond itself. The IOT is still in its infancy. Will it come to pass, before I pass??? It has to some extent but not far enough.


Do I want an IOT, no I do not. I am not interested in that concept. I want my life less complicated, than an IOT.

Posted by:

Old Xeroid
10 Feb 2020

As one of 6 Regional NIE's (Network Installation Engineers) working for Xerox, I installed countless feet of RG-8 "thick co-ax" in the ceilings of NSA, the Pentagon, National Capitol, and the White House. Network equipment (servers, workstations, printers, etc) were attached to the cable with CS/MA-CD transceivers tapped into the co-ax every 2.5 meters. Our LASER printers were the only device available that could put President Carter's complete daily schedule on an 8 1/2 x 14 inch sheet of paper. By not seeing Wi-Fi coming, Xerox "fumbled the future" and lost that entire market that it had created.

Posted by:

MikieB
10 Feb 2020

I cut my teeth on an IBM 1401 computer that wasn't much more than a card sorter: A what?!! From that I went on to a Honeywell 800 mainframe hulk. I have even WALKED inside a computer while in the Air Force. Lots of vacuum tubes: WHAT again?

Posted by:

Stuart Berg
10 Feb 2020

Many years ago I went to a presentation about the future of computing. The presenter was Grace Hopper. She handed out a piece of wire 11.8 inches long to each person there. It represented how far electricity travels in a wire in one nanosecond. The point she was making was that the future would be computer parallelism because electricity can only go so fast. Another example she gave was a farmer with a huge tree stump to pull out of a field. If one oxen was not powerful enough to do it, the farmer didn't grow a bigger oxen. The farmer harnessed two or three oxen together to pull the stump.

Here is more information about Grace Hopper and her visualization of a nanosecond:
https://hackaday.com/2012/02/27/visualizing-a-nanosecond/

Posted by:

Charley
10 Feb 2020

Henry, Al Gore actually had an involvement with the Internet. He introduced a bill in congress to continue funding the Internet, "the information superhighway" as he called it. Later on, in an interview he said “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.”

The claim that Gore was actually trying to take credit for the “invention” of the Internet was plainly just derisive political posturing that arose out of a close presidential campaign.

Also, Gore was one of the few members of congress who actually understood the value of the early Internet.

For more see https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/internet-of-lies/

Posted by:

LoJohJr
10 Feb 2020

Well, I see your note to post only if you want to ask a question, but I want to post this anyway. You know something, Bob - well, know this - for those of us not too I T savvy, but who, thanks to your wonderful newsletter we enjoy and benefit from so much, now at least know a little of the ABCs of the internet and computers - we would put your name - BOB RANKIN - right at the top in front of Leonard Kleinrock, Bob Taylor, Vint Cerf or J.R. Licklider - after all, for a lot of us, YOU originated (for us, anywho) the internet AND computers!!! Thanks so much for all you have done and still do for us, the I T challenged!!!

Posted by:

Dave Smart
10 Feb 2020

I recommend the coursera.org course Internet History, Technology and Security.The lead instructor is "Chuck" Severance at the University of Michigan. The course is free for audit online.

Posted by:

bb
10 Feb 2020

In her later years retired RDML Grace Hopper, when employed by DEC, gave out "PicoSeconds", an follow-on to her nano-seconds. It was a package of pepper. I have a signed package to include with my 11.8" wire.

I'm "RWB2", from when every ARPANET (or was it DARPANET - I fergit when the change was) was given a unique ID from the NIC (Network Information Center.) Till I die I will wonder who RWB and RWB1 were. The last time I checked, ~30 years ago, they were up to RWB934 or so.

Posted by:

Dave Leippe
11 Feb 2020

From my reads, it appears that the Internet evolved from early intranets, then Internet hook ups for the sending o9f electronic mail. One of the early studies of early network traffic found that 80% of the traffic was electronic mail, eventually re named email.
Al Gore did play an important part in the creation of the legislation, funding, and management of what became the Internet.
Besides we wouldn't have "algorithms" if it weren't for Al Gore...

Posted by:

Phil Thomas
11 Feb 2020

In 1984 while working for the Cleveland Indians, I personally purchased a Kaypro 2X batched system for $2,500.00. My wife almost killed me! I took the luggable to work and used it in my Player Development & Scouting job. One day our President, Peter Bavasi, came by and asked when we got a computer. I said we didn't and it was mine. Later he came back and told me to see the Indians' V.P. of Finance. He said the Indians just purchased my computer, but I could use it. I later became the Tribe's first I.T. Manager.

Posted by:

Phil Bowler
11 Feb 2020

I hope fellow readers will not fall into the trap of thinking the Internet is an entirely American achievement, however important the US contributions have been. One of many important European contributions is mentioned in this recent obituary: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/feb/09/peter-kirstein-obituary
The Internet’s greatest value, constantly under threat from authoritarian governments, is its global reach.

Posted by:

Joseph
11 Feb 2020

My first sight of a computer was in the early 60s at the satellite tracking station at Goonhilly Downs in Cornwall, England. Huge. It closed in 2006. I was asked to view some Philips attempts at micro computing a few years later but they were glorified adding machines. The first real computer I actually used, at the Bank of Israel, had multiple operators but no screen. After dabbling with some tiny Sinclairs using a TV for a screen and a cassette recorder for a disk I bought my first PC, a Televideo from California not Taiwan, in 1985, since which time I have owned countless numbers of them. Today it's back to cigarette-pack size.

Posted by:

Joseph
11 Feb 2020

I am still trying to work out how the yellow-on-black screened one-piece Televideo, which died after four years for lack of a replacement 6-wire keyboard, managed to play a 5.25" floppy disk of a Madonna song quite well (yes she is that old), the last thing I did with it before junking it "just to see what happens", considering it had no sound card and had never managed more than a beep until then. And how in tarnation did they manage to get a whole song into a floppy?

Posted by:

Steve Hyams
11 Feb 2020

On June 21st, 1948, at Manchester University, UK, shortly after 11 o'clock in the morning, the world's first stored-program electronic digital computer successfully executed its first program. That program was written by Tom Kilburn who, along with Freddie Williams designed and built the machine. The Manchester Baby, also known as the Small-Scale Experimental Machine (SSEM), was the world's first electronic stored-program computer

Posted by:

Norman Rosen
11 Feb 2020

Watched Video 4 as you suggested. Incredibly fascinating. My first experience with a computer was in 1965; the instructor said I want you to understand they are fast but stupid and if they do not give you the right answer, it is alright to kick them.

Posted by:

TN
12 Feb 2020

I started using BITNET e-mail from an IBM 3081 mainframe running VM/CMS in 1988. In 1992 or 1993 a coworker showed me a web page on NCSA Mosaic 1.0. I remember telling him, "That will never catch on." :-)

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