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History of internet

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The internet in the year 2009. We send e-mails, make calls at the internet and discuss topics we take an interest in. Even our banking is going virtual. But what we take for granted today was only a vague idea 50 years ago. In order to understand how we got this far let's go back to 1957, when everything began. Before 1957, computers only worked on one task at a time. This is called Batch Processing. Of course, this was quite ineffective. With computers getting bigger and bigger they had to be stored in special cooled rooms. But then, the developers couldn't work directly on the computers anymore. Specialists had to be called in to connect them. Programming at that time entered lot of manual work and the indirect connection to the computers led to a lot of bugs, wasting time and fraying the developers' nerves. The year 1957 marked a big change. A remote connection had to be installed so that the developers could work directly on the computers. At the same time, the idea of time sharing came up. This is the first concept in computer technology to share the processing power of one computer with multiple users. On October the 4th, in 1957, during the Cold War, the first unmanned satellite, Sputnik I, was sent into orbit by the Soviet Union. The fear of a missile gathered urge. In order to secure America's leading technology the US founded the Defense Advanced Research project Agency in February, 1958. At that time, knowledge was only transferred by people. The DARPA planned a large-scale computer network in order to accelerate knowledge transfer and avoid the doubling up of already existing research. This network would become the ARPANET. Furthermore, three other concepts were to be developed, which are fundamental for the history of the internet. The concept of a military network by the RAND Corporation in America, The commercial network of the National Physical Laboratory in England, and the scientific network CYCLADES in France. The scientific, military and commercial approaches of these concepts are the foundations for our modern internet. Let's begin with the ARPANET, the most familiar of these networks. Its development began in 1966. Universities were generally quite cautious about sharing their computers. Therefore, small computers were put in front of the mainframe. This computer, the Interface Message Processor, took over control of the network activities, while the mainframe was only in charge of the initialization of programs and data files. At the same time, the IMP also served as interface for the mainframe. Since only the IMPs were inter-connected in a network, this was also called IMP sub-net. For the first connections between the computers, the Network Working Group developed the Network Control Protocol. Later on, the NCP was replaced by the more efficient Transmission Control Protocol. The specific feature of the TCP is the verification of the file transfer. Let's take a short detour to England. Since the NPL network was designed on a commercial basis, a lot of users and file transfer were expected. In order to avoid congestion of the lines, the sent files were divided into smaller packets, which were put together again at the receiver. Packet-switching was born. In 1962, American ferret aircraft discovered middle- and long-range missiles in Cuba, which were able to reach the United States. This brought fear of an atomic conflict. At that time, information systems had a centralized network architecture. To avoid a breakdown during attack, a decentralized network architecture had to be developed, which in case of lost of a node would still be operative communication still used to work through radiowaves that would have caused problems in case of an atomic attack. the ionosphere would be affected and the longwave radiowaves wouldn't work anymore. Therefore, they had to use direct waves, which, however, don't have a long range. A better solution was the model of a distributed network. Thus, long distances could be covered with a minimum of interference. Another milestone followed with the development of the French network CYCLADES. Since CYCLADES had a far smaller budget than ARPANET, and thus also fewer nodes the focus was laid on the communication with other networks. In this way, the term 'Internet' was born. Moreover, CYCLADES concept went further than ARPA's and NPL's. During communication between sender and receiver the computers were not to intervene anymore, but simply serve as a transfer node. CYCLADES protocol went through whole machines, using a physical layer that was implemented into the hardware, providing a direct connection with the receiver: an end-to-end structure. Inspired by the CYCLADES Network and driven by the incompatibility between the networks, that connection gained in importance everywhere. The phone companies developed the X.25 protocol, which enabled communication through the service in exchange for a monthly basic charge, of course. DARPA's Transmission Control Protocol was to connect the computers through gateways. And the International Organization for Standardization designed the OSI reference model. The innovation of OSI was the attempt to standardize the network from its ends, and the channel's division into separate layers. Finally, the TCP assimilated the preferences of the OSI reference model and gave way to the TCP-IP protocol, a standard which guaranteed compatibility between networks, and finally merged them, creating the Internet. By February the 28th 1990 the ARPANET hardware was removed, but the Internet was up and running.

Video Details

Duration: 8 minutes and 9 seconds
Country: Germany
Language: English
Producer: Melih Bilgil
Director: Melih Bilgil
Views: 6,301
Posted by: nordstern on Feb 17, 2009

"History of the internet" is an animated documentary explaining the inventions from
time-sharing to file-sharing, from arpanet to internet. The clip shows a brief overview
of this history and shall animate to go on discovering the history of the internet.

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