From the Archives
Making a Difference
Alumni Travel Program
THE ROAD TO THE
Vannevar Bush (Science Advisor to Pres. Roosevelt during WWII) proposes
MEMEX, a machine to store vast amounts of information.
IBM develops the first hard disk: it was as big as two refrigerators
and held 5MB of data.
Sputnik I launched by USSR.
Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) formed in the Department of
Time-sharing, the concept of linking many users to a single computer
by remote terminals, is developed in the late 1950s and early 60s
Leonard Kleinrock publishes first paper on packet switching networks.
Paul Baran of RAND develops the idea of distributed, packet-switching
Computers at MITs Lincoln Lab and System Development Corp. in
Santa Monica, Calif., are directly linked in the first Wide Area Network.
ARPA sponsors study on cooperative network of time-sharing computers.
Bob Taylor at ARPA receives funding for a networking experiment to tie
together computers at a number of universities.
Wes Clark comes up with the idea of using dedicated hardware to perform
network functions; the devices are eventually called Interface Message
ARPA mails 140 Requests for Proposals to prospective contractors to
build the first four IMPs. Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN) wins the contract
to create ARPANET. They have $1 million and less than a year to turn
the theory into a working system.
BBN installs the first ARPANET IMP nodes at UCLA, Stanford Research
Institute, UC Santa Barbara, and U of Utah using Honeywell 516 mini-computers
with 12K of memory.
ARPANET hosts start using Network Control Protocol (NCP). ARPANET
has 15 nodes (23 hosts). File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is established.
Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) is established.
BBNs Ray Tomlinson 63 invents e-mail; it quickly
becomes the networks most popular application.
Bob Metcalfe outlines the idea for Ethernet in his Harvard Ph.D. thesis.
He and David Boggs later create the first Ethernet network between computers
named Michelson and Morley (19th c. scientists who proved ether didnt
exist) at Xerox PARC.
Xerox/Alto computer is built. (Some argue it was the first personal
computer, although it was never offered for sale.) It had the first
graphical user interface (GUI), used a mouse, and was linked to other
PCs by Ethernet.
Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn establish Transmission Control Protocol (TCP).
They use the term Internet for the first time.
The Altair 8800, generally recognized as the first PC, is invented by
Bob Metcalfe at Xerox PARC. (It is actually a kit you have to build
Microsoft is founded.
The Apple II computer goes on the market.
Vint Cerf, Steve Crocker, and Danny Cohen create a plan to separate
the routing functions of TCP into a separate protocol called Internet
IBM releases its IBM PC, retailing for $4,500.
Paul Severino 69 founds InterLan, the first company to provide
Ethernet adaptor products.
TCP/IP are established as the standard protocol suite for ARPANET.
The first PC LAN is demonstrated at the National Computer Conference.
The entire ARPANET switches from NCP to IP. Time magazine names
its 1982 Man of the Year: the personal computer. ARPANET is split into
military and civilian sections: the Internet is born.
Berkeley releases Unix 4.2BSD. It includes TCP/IP.
Internet hosts breaks 500. [Source for Internet host figures: Hobbes
The Macintosh computer, the first affordable personal computer with
a genuine graphical user interface, is launched.
# Internet hosts breaks 1,000.
NSF funds its national supercomputing initiative.
Richard Mandelbaum 65 co-founds NYSERNet, the first nongovernment
Martin Schoffstall 82 creates SNMP (with 3 colleagues).
Severino sells Interlan to Micom Systems for $64 million.
NSFNet is created to connect the supercomputing sites with a backbone
speed of 56Kbps.
NSF-funded regional networks, including NYSERNet, SDSCNET, JVNCNET,
and SURANET, become operational.
Severino founds Wellfleet Communications, named fastest-growing company
in 1992 and 93.
# Internet hosts breaks 5,000.
# Internet hosts breaks 10,000.
Kwabena Akufo 80 co-founds SigmaNetwork Systems.
John Russo 78 starts GeoNet as sole proprietorship; adds e-mail
& Internet services in about two years.
Jim Pelkey 68 interviews Internet and computing pioneers.
First gateways between commercial electronic mail carriers and the Internet
are established: Compuserv through Ohio State University and MCI through
the Corporation for the National Research Initiative.
Schoffstall co-founds PSINet, the first commercial spin-off from NYSERNet.
# Internet hosts breaks 100,000.
ARPANET ceases to exist.
WWW software created by Tim Berners-Lee; designed to display text only.
NSF lifts restrictions on the commercial use of the NSFNet backbone.
# Internet hosts breaks 600,000.
Akufo sells Sigma Network Systems to SMC.
# Internet hosts breaks 1,000,000.
Russo incorporates GeoNet.
United Nations and White House go online.
Mosaic, a friendlier graphical interface for browsing the WWW, is released.
# Internet hosts breaks 2,000,000.
Annual growth rate of the Web is 341,634%.
# Internet hosts breaks 3,000,000 (July).
Mukesh Chatter 82 co-founds NeoRAM; manufacturing is added later
and the company becomes Nexabit Networks.
Severinos Wellfleet merges with Synoptics and becomes Bay Networks.
NSF stops funding the NSFNet backbone; Internet backbone traffic begins
routing through commercial providers.
# Internet hosts breaks 8,000,000 (July).
Traditional online dial-up systems (Compuserve, America Online, Prodigy)
begin to provide Internet access.
# Internet hosts breaks 14,000,000 (January).
Richard Mandelbaum 65 founds AppliedTheory, a spin-off from NYSERNet.
Chatter co-founds Nexabit Networks.
Akufo co-founds NetCore Systems.
# Internet hosts breaks 21,000,000 (January).
Netscape releases the source code for its Netscape Navigator browser
to the public domain.
Windows 98; the company is sued by the U.S. Justice Department and 19
states for violating the Sherman Act.
Russo sells GeoNet to Level 3 Communications (Jim Crowe 72).
Bay Networks acquired by Nortel Networks for approx. $9 billion (Severino
had resigned as chair of Bay Networks in 1996).
# Internet hosts breaks 36,000,000 (July).
Mandelbaums AppliedTheory goes public.
Chatters Nexabit purchased by Lucent for approximately $896 million.
Akufos NetCore purchased by Tellabs for approximately $575 million.
More than 100 million Americans are on the Internet; 96% of them use
it for e-mail. [Source: Jupiter Communications]
Tomlinson wins the 2000 George R. Stibitz Computer Pioneer Award.
Chatter co-founds Axiowave Networks.
Microsoft loses its antitrust battle in U.S. District Court and is ordered
to divide itself into two separate companies, an operatmg systems company
that would own the Windows operating system and an applications company
that would own the Internet Explorer and other applications. The firm
appeals the decision
The WWW includes more than 1 billion unique, indexable pages. [Source: