How was the internet created 1

ARPANET: The Internet in its infancy

The triumphant advance of computers began in the 1960s. For home users, the technical devices were mostly still unaffordable due to their price, but in the areas science and military It was hard to imagine life without calculating machines - and they also became increasingly important for small and medium-sized companies. In order to enable a faster exchange of information, many of them tried to network their machines even back then. To understand: In the 1960s, scientists still had to send data in the form of printouts - a cumbersome and time-consuming process. Furthermore, one has to consider the historical context in order to correctly classify the development of the Arpanet: The USA was in the Cold War with the Soviet Union.

At that time, the two great powers were not only engaged in a rapid arms race and a hopeless proxy war in Vietnam, they also tried to outbid each other in the field of science - for example with regard to space travel. Taking into account the political situation at the time, it is hardly surprising that the order to establish a US computer network came from the military - more precisely from the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). The then President Dwight D. Eisenhower (the well-known Eisenhower Matrix also goes back to him) founded ARPA as an authority of the Ministry of Defense in 1958 and thus reacted to the launch of the Soviet Sputnik satellite.

In order to better coordinate scientific projects and thereby catch up with the research lead of the Soviet Union, the authority had the task of organizing military research projects centrally (by the way, the authority is still active under the name DARPA). To this end, the project was also devoted to networking computers from various university research institutions. In 1962, the computer scientist and psychologist J. C. R. Licklider took over a management position at ARPA. He himself already had a concrete idea for a network and was able to inspire the two IT pioneers Robert Taylor and Ivan Sutherland for his vision. From then on, the two computer scientists researched one decentralized network (Licklider himself left ARPA and with it the project in 1964).

Although there was initially no support from the Ministry of Defense, the research work achieved considerable success in 1965 and was completed in 1969. BBN Technologies was then commissioned for the technical implementation - an IT company for which, interestingly, Licklider had worked for a long time as Vice President.

On October 29, 1969, about three months after Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were the first people to set foot on the moon, the programmer Charley Kline was able to send the first completely readable message via ARPANET: "login". At that time, the newly developed network consisted of exactly four computers at four different locations: the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), the Stanford Research Institute (SRI International) and the University of Utah (UU).