Taming the lightning
(an international perspective)
Milestones a global timeline of telecommunications and computing
(a living document 1200 BC to 2003AD so far. Under construction)
"On March 10, 1876, in Boston, Massachusetts, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. Thomas Watson fashioned the device itself; a crude thing made of a wooden stand, a funnel, a cup of acid, and some copper wire. But these simple parts and the equally simple first telephone call -- "Mr. Watson, come here, I want you!" -- belie a complicated past. Bell filed his application just hours before his competitor, Elisha Gray, ... What's more, though neither man had actually built a working telephone, Bell made his telephone operate three weeks later using ideas outlined in Gray's Notice of Invention, methods Bell did not propose in his own patent," Tom Farley from his Telecom history page at Privateline.com
From the electric
phone to the Internet
He made his first conversation in Boston on March 10, 1876.
As he was
preparing to speak into the trumpet mouthpiece of his device he
spilled a jar of battery acid over his clothes. The words "Mr Watson,
come in here, I want you" were heard clearly in the next room where
Watson was tuned to the earpiece. When news of the invention got out the
chief engineer at the US Post Office declared there would be no need for
such a device as there were already plenty of messenger boys. Bell went
on to enable transmission of sound through a beam of light - the forerunner
of today's fibre optic systems.
“Internet refers to the global information system that - (i) is logically linked together by a globally unique address space based on the Internet Protocol (IP) or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons; (ii) is able to support communications using the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons, and/or other IP-compatible protocols; and (iii) provides, uses or makes accessible, either publicly or privately, high level services layered on the communications and related infrastructure described herein,” - Federal Networking Council (FNC) resolution, unanimously passed on October 24, 1995, defining the term Internet in consultation with members of the Internet and intellectual property rights communities.
1959: Polish immigrant
Baran joined RAND a US
‘think tank’ RAND and began working on ways to solve
cold war related military challenges, including how to ensure long
distance telephone network and military command and control networks
could survivie survive a nuclear attack. He devised the idea of
decentralised switching so the network could operate even if many of its
links and switching nodes had been destroyed.
All nodes would be
created equal, and able to
originate, pass and receive messages
with their own unique addresses. Many others began working on similar
solution around the same time that would feed into what would become the
first steps toward creating the Internet
1962: J.C.R. Licklider, the first head of the computer research program at the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) begins discussing his ‘Galactic Network’. He envisioned “a globally interconnected set of computers through which everyone could quickly access data and programs from any site”.
1966: MIT researcher
Lawrence G. Roberts further developed the computer network
concept at DARPA, and published his design for the ARPAnet and
began collaborating with a team from the National Physics Laboratory (NPL)
in Middlesex, England and Paul Baran’s team at the RAND group which had
produced a paper on packet switching networks for secure voice
communications in the military in 1964. It became evident that the three
groups had been working on the same objectives concurrently without
knowing of each other’s efforts.
We’re a long way from waving arms and flags in semaphore and Samuel
Morse’s electronic dot-dot-dash coded messages. Today the internet
presents such a pervasive and powerful force for communication and
change it has the world careering into a science fictional 21st
century like a freight train with no brakes.
computing & internet timeline
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