The Story of How the Internet Was Born
Ever wondered how the internet was born? Well, believe it or not, we actually have the Cold War to thank for its inception. I know, crazy, right?
60% of the world’s population uses the internet, and it’s all thanks to the Soviets launching the first satellite into orbit – Sputnik!
The U.S., believing they were leading the Russians in the space race, was shocked and feared the Soviet Union was up to something much more sinister than a satellite orbiting in space.
In response, the Americans thought it best to create something even grander to take back the upper hand in technological superiority – the internet! Now that’s big!
But first, NASA and the Department of Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) were created to further develop space and develop new technologies like space weapons, rocket ships, and computers.
The Americans were afraid the Soviets would attack their communications systems, hense creating a new type of network line – a ‘galactic network’ where computers would talk to one another – the ARPANET!
However, their first attempt of computer to computer communication wasn’t exactly a success. They tried to send the message ‘login’ from a computer at UCLA to one at Stanford University. The receiving computer only received ‘lo’ – close, but they were not quite there yet.
This near success sparked passion in many determined scientists who kept trying – until 1971 when an engineer named Ray Tomlinson was able to get his entire message delivered. The incredible message read… ‘QWERTYUIOP’ – not exactly poetry but revolutionary nonetheless. Not only was this the first complete message ever sent, but also the first email!
Many such networks like, ARPANET, sprung up, but it was difficult to collect them all into one worldwide network.
Enter computer scientist Vincent Cerf. In the late 70s, he developed a network that would connect all the computers throughout the world. He did this to create a way for the deaf love of his life to be able to communicate with the rest of the world. Now that’s romantic!
In 1991, Tim Berners Lee introduced us to the World Wide Web, which made it possible to send and receive images, data, and files. This is the internet as we know it today. It has progressed a great deal since 1991 and has changed our lives in countless ways. And just think, all of this thanks to love and war. Amazing!