HDSCLC INTERNET INFORMATION An Overview of This Page * Introduction * "Internet"an article by Bruce Sterling * How Does the Internet Work? + The Basics + What Comprises the Internet? + The Internet's Power Tools * Internettiquette * The Internet Timeline by Robert H Zakon * Further Reading _________________________________________________________________ Introduction The Internet is the largest computer network in the world, a network made up of other networks, close to 20,000 in all. Internet "watchers" estimate that 1,000 new networks are added each month. At this point in its evolution, no one knows exactly how big the Internet is because it is a massive "collection of connections," with no central registry where every connection is recorded. While its size makes it sometimes difficult to navigate -- a true downside -- its size also has an upside -- its openness. The Internet is literally open to hundreds of thousands of personal computers whose "operators" have access to networks that, in turn, provide gateways to the Internet. _________________________________________________________________ Internet Bruce Sterling Some thirty years ago, the RAND Corporation, America's foremost Cold War think-tank, faced a strange strategic problem. How could the US authorities successfully communicate after a nuclear war? Postnuclear America would need a command-and-control network, linked from city to city, state to state, base to base. But no matter how thoroughly that network was armored or protected, its switches and wiring would always be vulnerable to the impact of atomic bombs. A nuclear attack would reduce any conceivable network to tatters. And how would the network itself be commanded and controlled? Any central authority, any network central citadel, would be an obvious and immediate target for an enemy missile. The center of the network would be the very first place to go. RAND mulled over this grim puzzle in deep military secrecy, and arrived at a daring solution. The RAND proposal (the brainchild of RAND staffer Paul Baran) was made public in 1964. In the first place, the network would have no central authority. Furthermore, it would be designed from the beginning to operate while in tatters. The principles were simple. The network itself would be assumed to be unreliable at all times. It would be designed from the get-go to transcend its own unreliability. All the nodes in the network would be equal in status to all other nodes, each node with its own authority to originate, pass, and receive messages. The messages themselves would be divided into packets, each packet separately addressed. Each packet would begin at some specified source node, and end at some other specified destination node. Each packet would wind its way through the network on an individual basis. The particular route that the packet took would be unimportant. Only final results would count. Basically, the packet would be tossed like a hot potato from node to node to node, more or less in the direction of its destination, until it ended up in the proper place. If big pieces of the network had been blown away, that simply wouldn't matter; the packets would still stay airborne, lateralled wildly across the field by whatever nodes happened to survive. This rather haphazard delivery system might be "inefficient" in the usual sense (especially compared to, say, the telephone system) -- but it would be extremely rugged. During the 60s, this intriguing concept of a decentralized, blastproof, packet-switching network was kicked around by RAND, MIT and UCLA. The National Physical Laboratory in Great Britain set up the first test network on these principles in 1968. Shortly afterward, the Pentagon's Advanced Research Projects Agency decided to fund a larger, more ambitious project in the USA. The nodes of the network were to be high-speed supercomputers (or what passed for supercomputers at the time). These were rare and valuable machines which were in real need of good solid networking, for the sake of national research-and-development projects. In fall 1969, the first such node was installed in UCLA. By December 1969, there were four nodes on the infant network, which was named ARPANET, after its Pentagon sponsor. The four computers could transfer data on dedicated high- speed transmission lines. They could even be programmed remotely from the other nodes. Thanks to ARPANET, scientists and researchers could share one another's computer facilities by long-distance. This was a very handy service, for computer-time was precious in the early '70s. In 1971 there were fifteen nodes in ARPANET; by 1972, thirty-seven nodes. And it was good. By the second year of operation, however, an odd fact became clear. ARPANET's users had warped the computer-sharing network into a dedicated, high-speed, federally subsidized electronic post- office. The main traffic on ARPANET was not long-distance computing. Instead, it was news and personal messages. Researchers were using ARPANET to collaborate on projects, to trade notes on work, and eventually, to downright gossip and schmooze. People had their own personal user accounts on the ARPANET computers, and their own personal addresses for electronic mail. Not only were they using ARPANET for person-to-person communication, but they were very enthusiastic about this particular service -- far more enthusiastic than they were about long-distance computation. It wasn't long before the invention of the mailing-list, an ARPANET broadcasting technique in which an identical message could be sent automatically to large numbers of network subscribers. Interestingly, one of the first really big mailing-lists was "SF- LOVERS," for science fiction fans. Discussing science fiction on the network was not work-related and was frowned upon by many ARPANET computer administrators, but this didn't stop it from happening. Throughout the '70s, ARPA's network grew. Its decentralized structure made expansion easy. Unlike standard corporate computer networks, the ARPA network could accommodate many different kinds of machine. As long as individual machines could speak the packet-switching lingua franca of the new, anarchic network, their brand-names, and their content, and even their ownership, were irrelevant. The ARPA's original standard for communication was known as NCP, "Network Control Protocol," but as time passed and the technique advanced, NCP was superceded by a higher-level, more sophisticated standard known as TCP/IP. TCP, or "Transmission Control Protocol," converts messages into streams of packets at the source, then reassembles them back into messages at the destination. IP, or "Internet Protocol," handles the addressing, seeing to it that packets are routed across multiple nodes and even across multiple networks with multiple standards -- not only ARPA's pioneering NCP standard, but others like Ethernet, FDDI, and X.25. As early as 1977, TCP/IP was being used by other networks to link to ARPANET. ARPANET itself remained fairly tightly controlled, at least until 1983, when its military segment broke off and became MILNET. But TCP/IP linked them all. And ARPANET itself, though it was growing, became a smaller and smaller neighborhood amid the vastly growing galaxy of other linked machines. As the '70s and '80s advanced, many very different social groups found themselves in possession of powerful computers. It was fairly easy to link these computers to the growing network-of- networks. As the use of TCP/IP became more common, entire other networks fell into the digital embrace of the Internet, and messily adhered. Since the software called TCP/IP was public-domain, and the basic technology was decentralized and rather anarchic by its very nature, it was difficult to stop people from barging in and linking up somewhere-or-other. In point of fact, nobody *wanted* to stop them from joining this branching complex of networks, which came to be known as the "Internet." Connecting to the Internet cost the taxpayer little or nothing, since each node was independent, and had to handle its own financing and its own technical requirements. The more, the merrier. Like the phone network, the computer network became steadily more valuable as it embraced larger and larger territories of people and resources. A fax machine is only valuable if everybody else has a fax machine. Until they do, a fax machine is just a curiosity. ARPANET, too, was a curiosity for a while. Then computer-networking became an utter necessity. In 1984 the National Science Foundation got into the act, through its Office of Advanced Scientific Computing. The new NSFNET set a blistering pace for technical advancement, linking newer, faster, shinier supercomputers, through thicker, faster links, upgraded and expanded, again and again, in 1986, 1988, 1990. And other government agencies leapt in: NASA, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, each of them maintaining a digital satrapy in the Internet confederation. The nodes in this growing network-of-networks were divvied up into basic varieties. Foreign computers, and a few American ones, chose to be denoted by their geographical locations. The others were grouped by the six basic Internet "domains": gov, mil, edu, com, org and net. (Graceless abbreviations such as this are a standard feature of the TCP/IP protocols.) Gov, Mil, and Edu denoted governmental, military and educational institutions, which were, of course, the pioneers, since ARPANET had begun as a high-tech research exercise in national security. Com, however, stood for "commercial" institutions, which were soon bursting into the network like rodeo bulls, surrounded by a dust-cloud of eager nonprofit "orgs." (The "net" computers served as gateways between networks.) ARPANET itself formally expired in 1989, a happy victim of its own overwhelming success. Its users scarcely noticed, for ARPANET's functions not only continued but steadily improved. The use of TCP/IP standards for computer networking is now global. In 1971, a mere twenty-one years ago, there were only four nodes in the ARPANET network. Today there are tens of thousands of nodes in the Internet, scattered over forty-two countries, with more coming on-line every day. Three million, possibly four million people use this gigantic mother-of-all-computer-networks. The Internet is especially popular among scientists, and is probably the most important scientific instrument of the late twentieth century. The powerful, sophisticated access that it provides to specialized data and personal communication has sped up the pace of scientific research enormously. The Internet's pace of growth in the early 1990s is spectacular, almost ferocious. It is spreading faster than cellular phones, faster than fax machines. Last year the Internet was growing at a rate of twenty percent a month. The number of "host" machines with direct connection to TCP/IP has been doubling every year since 1988. The Internet is moving out of its original base in military and research institutions, into elementary and high schools, as well as into public libraries and the commercial sector. Why do people want to be "on the Internet?" One of the main reasons is simple freedom. The Internet is a rare example of a true, modern, functional anarchy. There is no "Internet Inc." There are no official censors, no bosses, no board of directors, no stockholders. In principle, any node can speak as a peer to any other node, as long as it obeys the rules of the TCP/IP protocols, which are strictly technical, not social or political. (There has been some struggle over commercial use of the Internet, but that situation is changing as businesses supply their own links). The Internet is also a bargain. The Internet as a whole, unlike the phone system, doesn't charge for long-distance service. And unlike most commercial computer networks, it doesn't charge for access time, either. In fact the "Internet" itself, which doesn't even officially exist as an entity, never "charges" for anything. Each group of people accessing the Internet is responsible for their own machine and their own section of line. The Internet's "anarchy" may seem strange or even unnatural, but it makes a certain deep and basic sense. It's rather like the "anarchy" of the English language. Nobody rents English, and nobody owns English. As an English-speaking person, it's up to you to learn how to speak English properly and make whatever use you please of it (though the government provides certain subsidies to help you learn to read and write a bit). Otherwise, everybody just sort of pitches in, and somehow the thing evolves on its own, and somehow turns out workable. And interesting. Fascinating, even. Though a lot of people earn their living from using and exploiting and teaching English, "English" as an institution is public property, a public good. Much the same goes for the Internet. Would English be improved if the "The English Language, Inc." had a board of directors and a chief executive officer, or a President and a Congress? There'd probably be a lot fewer new words in English, and a lot fewer new ideas. People on the Internet feel much the same way about their own institution. It's an institution that resists institutionalization. The Internet belongs to everyone and no one. Still, its various interest groups all have a claim. Business people want the Internet put on a sounder financial footing. Government people want the Internet more fully regulated. Academics want it dedicated exclusively to scholarly research. Military people want it spy-proof and secure. And so on and so on. All these sources of conflict remain in a stumbling balance today, and the Internet, so far, remains in a thrivingly anarchical condition. Once upon a time, the NSFnet's high-speed, high-capacity lines were known as the "Internet Backbone," and their owners could rather lord it over the rest of the Internet; but today there are "backbones" in Canada, Japan, and Europe, and even privately owned commercial Internet backbones specially created for carrying business traffic. Today, even privately owned desktop computers can become Internet nodes. You can carry one under your arm. Soon, perhaps, on your wrist. But what does one do with the Internet? Four things, basically: mail, discussion groups, long-distance computing, and file transfers. Internet mail is "e-mail," electronic mail, faster by several orders of magnitude than the US Mail, which is scornfully known by Internet regulars as "snailmail." Internet mail is somewhat like fax. It's electronic text. But you don't have to pay for it (at least not directly), and it's global in scope. E-mail can also send software and certain forms of compressed digital imagery. New forms of mail are in the works. The discussion groups, or "newsgroups," are a world of their own. This world of news, debate and argument is generally known as "USENET. " USENET is, in point of fact, quite different from the Internet. USENET is rather like an enormous billowing crowd of gossipy, news-hungry people, wandering in and through the Internet on their way to various private backyard barbecues. USENET is not so much a physical network as a set of social conventions. In any case, at the moment there are some 2,500 separate newsgroups on USENET, and their discussions generate about 7 million words of typed commentary every single day. Naturally there is a vast amount of talk about computers on USENET, but the variety of subjects discussed is enormous, and it's growing larger all the time. USENET also distributes various free electronic journals and publications. Both netnews and e-mail are very widely available, even outside the high-speed core of the Internet itself. News and e-mail are easily available over common phone-lines, from Internet fringe- realms like BITnet, UUCP and Fidonet. The last two Internet services, long-distance computing and file transfer, require what is known as "direct Internet access" -- using TCP/IP. Long-distance computing was an original inspiration for ARPANET and is still a very useful service, at least for some. Programmers can maintain accounts on distant, powerful computers, run programs there or write their own. Scientists can make use of powerful supercomputers a continent away. Libraries offer their electronic card catalogs for free search. Enormous CD-ROM catalogs are increasingly available through this service. And there are fantastic amounts of free software available. File transfers allow Internet users to access remote machines and retrieve programs or text. Many Internet computers -- some two thousand of them, so far -- allow any person to access them anonymously, and to simply copy their public files, free of charge. This is no small deal, since entire books can be transferred through direct Internet access in a matter of minutes. Today, in 1992, there are over a million such public files available to anyone who asks for them (and many more millions of files are available to people with accounts). Internet file-transfers are becoming a new form of publishing, in which the reader simply electronically copies the work on demand, in any quantity he or she wants, for free. New Internet programs, such as "archie," "gopher," and "WAIS," have been developed to catalog and explore these enormous archives of material. The headless, anarchic, million-limbed Internet is spreading like bread-mold. Any computer of sufficient power is a potential spore for the Internet, and today such computers sell for less than $2,000 and are in the hands of people all over the world. ARPA's network, designed to assure control of a ravaged society after a nuclear holocaust, has been superceded by its mutant child the Internet, which is thoroughly out of control, and spreading exponentially through the post-Cold War electronic global village. The spread of the Internet in the 90s resembles the spread of personal computing in the 1970s, though it is even faster and perhaps more important. More important, perhaps, because it may give those personal computers a means of cheap, easy storage and access that is truly planetary in scale. The future of the Internet bids fair to be bigger and exponentially faster. Commercialization of the Internet is a very hot topic today, with every manner of wild new commercial information- service promised. The federal government, pleased with an unsought success, is also still very much in the act. NREN, the National Research and Education Network, was approved by the US Congress in fall 1991, as a five-year, $2 billion project to upgrade the Internet "backbone." NREN will be some fifty times faster than the fastest network available today, allowing the electronic transfer of the entire Encyclopedia Britannica in one hot second. Computer networks worldwide will feature 3-D animated graphics, radio and cellular phone-links to portable computers, as well as fax, voice, and high- definition television. A multimedia global circus! Or so it's hoped -- and planned. The real Internet of the future may bear very little resemblance to today's plans. Planning has never seemed to have much to do with the seething, fungal development of the Internet. After all, today's Internet bears little resemblance to those original grim plans for RAND's post- holocaust command grid. It's a fine and happy irony. How does one get access to the Internet? Well -- if you don't have a computer and a modem, get one. Your computer can act as a terminal, and you can use an ordinary telephone line to connect to an Internet-linked machine. These slower and simpler adjuncts to the Internet can provide you with the netnews discussion groups and your own e-mail address. These are services worth having -- though if you only have mail and news, you're not actually "on the Internet" proper. If you're on a campus, your university may have direct "dedicated access" to high-speed Internet TCP/IP lines. Apply for an Internet account on a dedicated campus machine, and you may be able to get those hot-dog long-distance computing and file-transfer functions. Some cities, such as Cleveland, supply "freenet" community access. Businesses increasingly have Internet access, and are willing to sell it to subscribers. The standard fee is about $40 a month -- about the same as TV cable service. As the Nineties proceed, finding a link to the Internet will become much cheaper and easier. Its ease of use will also improve, which is fine news, for the savage UNIX interface of TCP/IP leaves plenty of room for advancements in user-friendliness. Learning the Internet now, or at least learning about it, is wise. By the turn of the century, "network literacy," like "computer literacy" before it, will be forcing itself into the very texture of your life. _________________________________________________________________ HOW DOES THE INTERNET WORK? The Basics The main "job" of the Internet is data traffic. Simply, it exists to transmit information from one computer to another. It all begins with information, which are referred to as "packets." You are on one host and want to send data to another. Either the other host is directly connected to the Internet (which means your data is sent directly), or it isn't (in which case the data is sent via a subnetwork of forwarding hosts). This is why sometimes correctly dispatched e-mail sometimes doesn't reach a "legitimate" recipient -- the forwarding hosts may be "down" or otherwise impaired. Anyway, whatever the information is, it is sent either in a packet or a group of packets, either directly or via a chain of forwarding hosts. The facility for sending packets from one host to another is called the IP, or Internet Protocol. The Internet, it can be said, "uses IP" to perform its "packet passing." In conjunction with IP, the Internet uses TCP (Transport Control Protocol) to accomplish data movement. The majority of Internet applications use the TCP/IP combination. TCP creates an illusory dedicated connection between two computers, just as if your IBM compatible was wired directly to that mainframe out in California. TCP also ensures that your data gets to where it needs to go. WE'RE ALL CONNECTED Beyond the ethereal magic of IP/TCP, there's some hardware that is necessary to make the Internet work. It all begins with "bridges." Bridges are what connects two separate networks and makes it seem that they are seamlessly connected, i.e., one big network. Bridges are able to "watch" the traffic of packets crossing them, and are also able to recognize a packet on network A bound for network B, and "copy" it over. Next is the "router" (pronounced "rooter," as in Route 66). Routers connect two or more IP networks. Finally, there are "gateways." Gateways link two different "protocols" together. For instance, if network A uses IP and network B uses Novell, it's the gateway that performs all the necessary conversions so that traffic can flow between the two networks. What Comprises the Internet? OVERVIEW * Electronic Mailing Lists - enable you to join in on discussion groups and meet people with similar professional and casual interests all over the "net." (PINET has identified physics-specific discussion groups for the convenience of its subscribers.) Read "What's New on the Internet" each month for new lists of interest to physicists and physics educators. * Electronic Mail Servers - allow you to retrieve vast amounts and varieties of information. Periodically, PINET will update its listing of those "listservs" that serve the physics community. * Information Retrieval - Many computers allow Internet "explorers" to visit their file archives and take files for free; access PINET's online tutorials on Telnet and FTP for full details. Also provided are listings of sites that encourage you to access them by FTP and Telnet. * Bulletin Boards - Access USENET, the enormous online bulletin board system connected to Internet sites all over the globe. Type "go pitin" at any PINET Main Command Prompt for complete information and access to over 4000 "newsgroups" with over 40 MegaBytes of conversation being exchanged daily. THE INTERNET'S POWER TOOLS * When You Need to Fetch It, Use GOPHER The problem of locating resources on the Internet has been mitigated somewhat by "GOPHER," a "search engine" of sorts that is, for the most part, completely menu-driven. Once connected to a Gopher "server," you see a menu. You make a choice, which takes you to another menu, etc. Ultimately, you're taken to the information resource you originally began looking for when you made your initial menu choice. Gopher will either display the info on your terminal, provide a facility to transfer it to your PC, or advise of a mechanism whereby it can be electronically mailed to you. Gopher will sometimes merely initiate a Telnet session (see PINET's Telnet tutorial) with a host that has the information, or -- more commonly -- ask you to enter a "search string" that will allow Gopher to narrow the search for you. The bottom line is that Gopher will find whatever data you specify no matter where it is. It all happens in the background. Gopher may use dozens of additional Gopher servers to help you find what you're looking for, but on the surface all you will notice is the "Working ..." message as it prowls the information networks for you. To experience what's called "Gopherspace," try logging on to the following Gopher servers that allow public Telnet access (for more help on Telnet, view the Telnet tutorial): Location Server's Address Login As: -------- ---------------- --------- Australia info.anu.edu.au info Austria finfo.tu-graz.ac.at info Canada nstn.ns.ca fred Germany gopher.th-darmstadt.de gopher Italy siam.mi.cnr.it gopher Poland gopher.torun.edu.pl gopher Sweden gopher.chalmers.se gopher United Kingdom info.brad.ac.uk info United States gopher.msu.edu gopher There are more Gopher servers out there; please contact the PINET Administrator at admin@aip.org for additional information. ARCHIE AND WHAT IT CAN DO FOR YOU Archie servers exist to locate the information you specify no matter where the database containing it may be located. Archie is prone to overuse and can be painfully slow, but once familiar with the interface and command structure, it can be used effectively and rewardingly. Below is a list of some Archie servers that you can telnet to (see PINET's Telnet tutorial); while Archie has a unique command set, only the entry-level commands will be mentioned, as they will allow you to display the particular server's "setup" environment and view a list of commands and other options. Open a Telnet session with one of the following servers, logging in as "archie" (successful logins are rewarded with the archie> prompt): Location Server Address -------- -------------- Australia archie.au Austria archie.univie.ac.at Germany archie.th-darmstadt.de Japan archie.ad.jp United Kingdom archie.doc.ic.ac.uk United States archie.sura.net (Maryland) archie.unl.edu (Nebraska) archie.rutgers.edu (New Jersey) archie.ans.net (New York) NOTE: Use Archie servers that are geographically close to you to minimize network sluggishness. Please contact the PINET Administrator for additional Archie servers around the world. THE WAIS OF THE WORLD WAIS (denoting Wide Area Information Server) is software designed to search for and retrieve information from networks. To use WAIS, you type in "keywords" -- words that describe what you're looking for -- at a particular site, and the WAIS software searches for information containing the keywords. While ARCHIE looks only at document titles, WAIS can actually "read" the documents. WAIS will return a report of its "hits" and beckon you to read further or to initiate a new search. To become acclimated to WAIS, use PINET's direct access to the InterNIC Registration Services Center (type "go netlook"), and follow the instructions provided once connected to use that site's WAIS search mode. To fully experience WAIS, telnet to quake.think.com and login as wais. Be warned: the system is rather slow and not very user-friendly. But it is a good example of the standard UNIX WAIS interface. (There are Windows-like interfaces available.) A Quick Guide to Internettiquette MAIL ETIQUETTE Because e-mail is written and not spoken, and because it lends itself to quickness and informality, and -- furthermore -- because we don't see facial expressions or hear tones of voice, it's rather easy to be misunderstood. In order to minimize any misunderstandings, please consider the following in your electronic communications: * E-mail always seems ruder than it's supposed to, so always watch your "tone of voice." Try to read messages as neutrally as possible, and compose messages that way too. * Avoid sarcasm; it rarely goes over well electronically. E-mail cannot be retrieved once you've sent it -- once you've said it, they've read it, and what you may have intended to say doesn't matter anymore. * Try using a smiley face -- :-) -- which casts anything you say as a joke, when sending e-mail that is prone to be being misunderstood or if you're an inveterate jokester. It's best to avoid humor altogether, unless you're a deft writer. * Be aware that the recipient of your email can forward your message to others. Until encryption becomes a standard feature of electronic mail services, your messages could end up almost anywhere, if someone decides to redistribute it. Therefore, don't send anything you wouldn't want to admit sending. * Your electronic mail privileges allow you to save your mail messages to an "mbox" if desired. By pruning your mbox frequently and also deleting unwanted messages on a regular basis, you'll be making the e-mail system at your site faster. INTERNET CONDUCT Depending on what network you're on, or on which network you are attempting to conduct traffic, there can be various rules of conduct that vary in strictness. You should always be aware of the rules that apply to your site and to the sites that you connect to. The following is a brief rundown of general rules of conduct that you should observe once you go out on the Internet in earnest: * Make sure that the network you use as your home base sanctions connections to "foreign" networks. This is more pertinent to government networks. * Make sure that you can use the network's services for professional endeavors, i.e., arranging meetings, etc. Profit-making use is strictly forbidden. * Generally speaking, advertising is taboo on the Internet, but "new product announcements" are acceptable. * When considering use of a site's FTP pub ("public") directory as a pickup/dropoff point for large files, check with the system administrator (try postmaster@internet.address) as to the site's policies for making such deposits and retrievals. Remember, it's the site's disk space and CPU time and wear and tear that you're using. * Some FTP sites limit both the number of anonymous logins or the times of day they will allow anonymous ftp. The site is granting you anonymous access out of generosity, so don't complain if you find your connect request being refused. _________________________________________________________________ THE INTERNET TIMELINE: A LINEAR HISTORY Robert H Zakon hobbes@hobbes.mitre.org * 1956 + USSR launches Sputnik, first artifial earth satellite. In response, US 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 (:amk:) * 1962 + Paul Baran, RAND: "On Distributed Communications Networks" - Packet-switching networks; no single outage point * 1967 + ACM Symposium on Operating Principles - Plan presented for a packet-switching network * 1968 + Network presentation to the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) * 1969 + ARPANET commissioned by DOD for research into networking + First node at UCLA [Network Measurements Center - Xerox DSS 7:SEX] and soon after at: [legend = function - system:os] + Stanford Research Institute (SRI) [NIC - SDS940/Genie] + UCSB [Culler-Fried Interactive Mathematics + IBM 360/75:OS/MVT] + U of Utah [Graphics (hidden line removal) + DEC PDP-10:Tenex] + Use of Information Message Processors (IMP) [Honeywell 516 mini computer with 12K of memory] developed by Bolt Beranek and Newman, Inc. (BBN) First Request for Comment (RFC): "Host Software" by Steve Crocker * 1970 + ALOHAnet developed by Norman Abrahamson, U of Hawaii (:sk2:) + ARPANET hosts start using Network Control Protocol (NCP). * 1971 + 15 nodes (23 hosts): UCLA, SRI, UCSB, U of Utah, BBN, MIT, RAND, SDC, Harvard, Lincoln Lab, Stanford, UIU(C), CWRU, CMU, NASA/Ames * 1972 + International Conference on Computer Communications with demonstration of ARPANET between 40 machines organized by Bob Kahn. + InterNetworking Working Group (INWG) created to address need for establishing agreed upon protocols. Chairman: Vinton Cerf. + Ray Tomlinson of BBN invents email program to send messages across a distributed network. (:amk:) * 1973 + First international connections to the ARPANET: England and Norway + Bob Metcalfe's Harvard PhD Thesis outlines idea for Ethernet (:amk:) * 1974 + Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn publish "A Protocol for Packet Network Internetworking" which specified in detail the design of a ransmission Control Program (TCP). (:amk:) + BBN opens Telenet, commercial version of ARPANET (:sk2:) * 1975 + Operational management of Internet transferred to DCA (now DISA) + "Jargon File", by Raphael Finkel at SAIL, first released (:esr:) * 1970s + Store and Forward Networks + Used electronic mail technology and extended it to conferencing + HM Elizabeth, Queen of the United Kingdom sends out an e-mail (anyone know the exact year?) * 1976 + UUCP (Unix-to-Unix CoPy) developed at AT&T Bell Labs and distributed with UNIX one year later. * 1977 + THEORYNET created at U of Wisconsin providing electronic mail to over 100 researchers in computer science (using uucp). * 1979 + Meeting between U of Wisconsin, DARPA, NSF, and computer scientists from many universities to establish a Computer Science Department research computer network. + USENET established using uucp between Duke and UNC by Tom Truscott and Steve Bellovin. * 1981 + BITNET, the "Because Its Time NETwork" + Started as a cooperative network at the City University of New York + Provides electronic mail and listserv servers to distribute information. + Unlike USENET, where client s/w is needed, electronic mail is the only tool necessary. + CSNET (Computer Science NETwork) built by UCAR and BBN through seed money granted by NSF to provide networking services (specially email) to university scientists with no access to ARPANET. CSNET later becomes known as the Computer and Science Network. (:amk:) + Minitel (Teletel) is deployed across France by French Telecom. * 1982 + INWG establishes the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP), as the protocol suite, commonly known as TCP/IP, for ARPANET. + This leads to one of the first definition of an "internet" as a connected set of networks, specifically those using TCP/IP, and "Internet" as connected TCP/IP internets. + DoD declares TCP/IP suite to be standard for DoD (:vgc:) + EUnet (European UNIX Network) is created by EUUG to provide email and USENET services. (:glg:) * 1983 + Name server developed at U of Wisconsin, no longer requiring users to know the exact path to other systems. + Cutover from NCP to TCP/IP (1 January) + CSNET / ARPANET gateway put in place + ARPANET split into ARPANET and MILNET; the latter became integrated with the Defense Data Network created the previous year. + Desktop workstations come into being, many with Berkeley UNIX which includes IP networking software. + Need switches from having a single, large time sharing computer connected to Internet per site, to connection of an entire local network. + Berkeley releases 4.2BSD incorporating TCP/IP (:mpc:) + EARN (European Academic and Research Network) established. Very similar to the way BITNET works. + FidoNet developed by Tom Jennings. + 1984 Domain Name Server (DNS) introduced. + # of hosts breaks 1,000 + JUNET (Japan Unix Network) established using UUCP. + JANET (Joint Academic Network) established in the UK using the Coloured Book protocols. * 1986 + NSFNET created (backbone speed of 56Kbps) + NSF establishes 5 super-computing centers to provide high-computing power for all (JVNC@Princeton, PSC@Pittsburgh, SDSC@UCSD, NCSA@UIUC, Theory Center@Cornell). + ARPANET bureaucracy keeps it from being used to interconnect centers and NSFNET comes into being with the aid of NASA and DOE. + This allows an explosion of connections, especially from universities. + Cleveland Freenet (start of NPTN) comes on-line (:sk2:) + Network News Transfer Protocl (NNTP) designed to enhance Usenet news performance over TCP/IP. + Mail Exchanger (MX) records developed by Craig Partridge allowing non-IP network hosts to have domain addresses. + 1987 NSF signs a cooperative agreement to manage the NSFNET backbone with Merit Network, Inc. (IBM and MCI involvement was through an agreement with Merit). Merit, IBM, and MCI later founded ANS. + UUNET is founded with Usenix funds to provide commercial UUCP and Usenet access + 1000th RFC: "Request For Comments reference guide" + # of hosts breaks 10,000 + # of BITNET hosts breaks 1,000 * 1988 + Internet worm burrows through the Net + 1989 # of hosts breaks 100,000 + NSFNET backbone upgraded to T1 (1.544Mbps) + RIPE (Reseaux IP Europeens) formed (by European service providers) to ensure the necessary administrative and technical coordination to allow the operation of the pan-European IP Network. (:glg:) + First relay between a commercial electronic mail carrier (Compurserve) and the Internet through Ohio State University (:jg1:) * 1990 + ARPANET ceases to exist + Second relay between a commercial electronic mail carrier (MCI Mail) and the Internet through the Corporation for the National Research + Initiative (CNRI) + Electronic Frontier Foundation is founded by Mitch Kapor * 1991 + Commercial Internet eXchange (CIX) Association, Inc. formed by General Atomics (CERFnet), Performance Systems International, Inc. (PSInet), and UUNET Technologies, Inc. (AlterNet) (:glg:) + WAIS released by Thinking Machines Corporation + Gopher released by University of Minnesota + US High Performance Computing Act (Gore 1) establishes the National Research and Education Network (NREN) + 1992 Internet Society is chartered + World-Wide Web released by CERN + # of hosts breaks 1,000,000 + NSFNET backbone upgraded to T3 (44.736Mbps) + First MBONE audio multicast (March) and video multicast (November) * 1993 + InterNIC created by NSF to provide specific Internet services: (:sc1:) + directory and database services (AT&T) + registration services (Network Solutions Inc.) + information services (General Atomics/CERFnet) + US White House comes on-line: o President Bill Clinton: president@whitehouse.gov o Vice-President Al Gore: vice-president@whitehouse.go o First Lady Hillary Clinton: root@whitehouse.gov (-:rhz:-) + Internet Talk Radio begins broadcasting (:sk2:) + United Nations and World Bank come on-line (:vgc:)US National Information Infrastructure Act + Businesses and media really take notice of the Internet + Mosaic takes the Internet by storm; WWW proliferates at a 341,634% annual growth rate of service traffic. Gopher's growth is 997% * 1994 + Communities begin to be wired up directly to the Internet + First flower shop taking orders via the Internet + Shopping malls arrive on the Internet + Mass marketing finds its way to the Internet with mass e-mailings + Worms of a new kind find their way around the Net - WWW Worms (W4), joined by Spiders, Wanderers, Crawlers, and Snakes ... + "A Day in the Life of the Internet" begs to be published (:rhz:) Internet growth summary: Date Hosts | Date Hosts Networks Domains ----- --------- + ----- --------- -------- ------- 1969 4 | 07/89 130,000 650 3,900 04/71 23 | 10/89 159,000 837 06/74 62 | 10/90 313,000 2,063 9,300 03/77 111 | 01/91 376,000 2,338 08/81 213 | 07/91 535,000 3,086 16,000 05/82 235 | 10/91 617,000 3,556 18,000 08/83 562 | 01/92 727,000 4,526 10/84 1,024 | 04/92 890,000 5,291 20,000 10/85 1,961 | 07/92 992,000 6,569 16,300 02/86 2,308 | 10/92 1,136,000 7,505 18,100 11/86 5,089 | 01/93 1,313,000 8,258 21,000 12/87 28,174 | 04/93 1,486,000 9,722 22,000 07/88 33,000 | 07/93 1,776,000 13,767 26,000 10/88 56,000 | 10/93 2,056,000 16,533 28,000 01/89 80,000 | 01/94 2,217,000 20,539 30,000 ____# Countries____ ____# Countries____ Date I B U F O Date I B U F O ----- --- --- --- --- --- ----- --- --- --- --- --- 09/91 31 47 79 49 01/93 50 50 101 72 31 12/91 33 46 78 53 04/93 56 51 107 79 31 02/92 38 46 92 63 08/93 59 51 117 84 31 04/92 40 47 90 66 25 02/94 62 51 125 88 31 08/92 49 46 89 67 26 (I)nternet (B)ITNET (U)UCP (F)IDONET (O)SI USENET growth summary: Date Sites ~MB ~Posts Groups | Date Sites ~MB ~Posts Groups ---- ----- --- ------ ------ + ---- ----- --- ------ ------ 1979 3 2 3 | 1984 900 225 1980 15 10 | 1985 1300 1.0 375 1981 150 0.5 20 | 1986 2200 2.0 946 241 1982 400 35 | 1987 5200 2.1 957 259 1983 600 120 | 1988 7800 4.4 1933 381 ~ approximate: MB - megabytes per day, Posts - articles per day HELP: Where is this data archived from 1989- ? Hobbes' Internet Timeline Copyright (c)1993-4 by Robert H Zakon. Permission is granted for use of this document in whole or in part for non commercial purposes as long as appropriate credit is given to the author/ maintainer. For commercial uses, please contact the author first. Hobbes' Internet Timeline was compiled from a number of sources, with some of the stand-outs being: Cerf, Vinton (as told to Bernard Aboba). "How the Internet Came to Be." This article appears in The Online User's Encyclopedia, by Bernard Aboba. Addison-Wesley, 1993. Hardy, Henry. "The History of the Net." Master's Thesis, School of Communications, Grand Valley State University. ftp://umcc.umich.edu/pub/users/seraphim/doc/nethist#.txt Hauben, Ronda and Michael. "The Netizens and the Wonderful World of the Net." Kulikowski, Stan II. "A Timeline of Network History." (author's email below) Quarterman, John. The Matrix: Computer Networks and Conferencing Systems Worldwide. Bedford, MA: Digital Press. 1990 Internet growth summary compiled from: * zone program reports maintained by Mark Lottor at: ftp://ftp.nw.com/pub/zone * connectivity table maintained by Larry Landweber at: ftp://ftp.cs.wisc.edu/connectivity_table USENET growth summary compiled from Quarterman and Hauben sources above Contributors to Hobbes' Internet Timeline have their initials next to the contributed items in the form (:zzz:) and are: * amk - Alex McKenzie (mckenzie@bbn.com) * esr - Eric S. Raymond (esr@locke.ccil.org) * glg - Gail L. Grant (grant@pa.dec.com) * jg1 - Jim Gaynor (gaynor@agvax.ag.ohio.state.edu) * mpc - Mellisa P. Chase (pc@mitre.org) * sc1 - Susan Calcari (susanc@is.internic.net) * sk2 - Stan Kulikowski (stankuli@uwf.bitnet) - see sources section * vgc - Vinton Cerf (vcerf@isoc.org) - see sources section _________________________________________________________________ For Further Reading: The Whole Internet Catalog & User's Guide by Ed Krol. (1992) O'Reilly and Associates, Inc. A clear, non-jargonized introduction to the intimidating business of network literacy. Many computer- documentation manuals attempt to be funny. Mr. Krol's book is *actually* funny. The Matrix: Computer Networks and Conferencing Systems Worldwide. by John Quarterman. Digital Press: Bedford, MA. (1990) Massive and highly technical compendium detailing the mind-boggling scope and complexity of our newly networked planet. The Internet Companion by Tracy LaQuey with Jeanne C. Ryer (1992) Addison Wesley. Evangelical etiquette guide to the Internet featuring anecdotal tales of life-changing Internet experiences. Foreword by Senator Al Gore. Zen and the Art of the Internet: A Beginner's Guide by Brendan P. Kehoe (1992) Prentice Hall. Brief but useful Internet guide with plenty of good advice on useful machines to paw over for data. Mr Kehoe's guide bears the singularly wonderful distinction of being available in electronic form free of charge. I'm doing the same with all my F&SF Science articles, including, of course, this one. My own Internet address is bruces@well.sf.ca.us. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMPUTER NETWORK BY RONDA HAUBEN Comer, Douglas E. (1991) Internetworking With TCP/IP: Volume I Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ Comer, Douglas E. (1991) RFC 14 Principles, Protocols, and Architecture, (second edition). Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ Quarterman, John S. (1990) The Matrix: Computer Networks and Conferencing Systems Worldwide 746 p. Digital Press, Bedford, MA. Malamud, Carl. (1993) Exploring the Internet: A Technical Travelogue 379 p. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ Bell, Gordon, "Gordon Bell Calls for a U.S. Research Network,"IEEE90 Spectrum vol. 25, no. 2, pa. 54-57, IEEE Spectrum, New York, NY, Feb. 1988. Catlett, Charles E., "The NSFNET: Beginnings of a National Research Internet,"" Academic Computingvol. 3, no. 5, pp. 18-21, Academic Computing Publications, Inc., McKinney, TX, January 1989. Quarterman, John S. and Josiah C. Hoskins, "Notable Computerg Networks,"Communications of the ACM vol. 29, no. 10, pp. 932-971, Association from Computing Machinery, Inc., New York, NY, October 1986 Markoff, John, "A Supercomputer in Every Pot," New York Times p. 1, New York, NY, December 29, 1988.