ARPANET’s First Mark Into Networked Computing
Created in February 1958, the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) was a response to the Soviet launch of Sputnik 1, the first artificial Earth satellite, to research and develop projects in technology and science beyond direct U.S. military applications.
Bob Taylor, an ARPA computer scientist, convinced a colleague to support a research project using funding from a ballistic missile defense program. Following three years of research, the ARPANET project was launched as the first network to connect two geographically-distinct computers.
On October 29, 1969 at 10:30 p.m. PT, the first successful message, “LO,”was sent from UCLA in Los Angeles to Stanford University in Silicon Valley. The message was supposed to be ‘“LOGIN”’ but the system crashed. Over seven years later, Queen Elizabeth II was sending her first email from a computer installed in the U.K.
Unbeknownst to most, ARPANET was morphing into a small but fast-growing global communication network.
Rising Computer Network Protocols
The ARPANET was the first public implementation of TCP/IP, two major protocols that now form an integral part of the Internet Protocol Suite. Taken together, this suite constitutes what we know as “the internet,” the global interconnected network that hundreds of millions of humans use daily without ever being aware of it. As additional computer nodes joined the ARPANET in different countries, novel technologies were developed to make the growing network more usable, most notably through standard network protocols.
Public computer protocols were created to govern how data is created, exchanged and interpreted between clients and servers on the same interconnected network, including Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) to send and receive emails, File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to exchange and read files or Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to structure and display web pages that we browse today.
HTTP is one of the most…