The internet has been around long enough that most of us take it for granted. We’ll look back to its beginnings. You’ve got mail! Today, on Engineering Works!
It’s hard to imagine life without the internet. E-mail. The World Wide Web. Online shopping. In fact, Finland has declared broadband internet access a legal right. The internet has come a long way since the first message, it wasn’t even e-mail yet, in 1969. At first, it wasn’t even the internet. It was the ARPA-net, and it connected computer terminals, terminals, no PCs or laptops yet, in California and Utah.
And that first message wasn’t even a joke. It was just two letters. L and O. It was supposed to be longer: the word, login. But the system crashed after the first two letters. Some things never change.
The internet has come a long way since those first four terminals. Now more than a billion people a month access the ‘net. And they use the ‘net differently from what the earliest developers expected. The first network’s computers were about 400 miles apart. Now we get spam from all over the world. The early research that led to today’s internet was paid for by the Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, or ARPA. The idea behind the original network was to give researchers a way to exchange research information quickly. Not an Amazon.com in sight.
We’re logging off our net. See you next time.
Engineering Works! is made possible by Texas A&M Engineering and produced by KAMU-FM in College Station. Learn more about engineering. Visit us on the World Wide Web.