Published on February 20, 2014
1957 USSR Launches Sputnik USSR Launches Sputnik into space and, with it, global communications. 1958 Bell Labs Invents Modem Bell Labs researchers invent the modem (modulator demodulator), which converts digital signals to electrical (analog) signals and back, enabling communication between computers. 1958 U.S. Government Creates ARPA The United States government creates the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in response to Sputnik launch.
1961 1962 ASCII Is Developed Leonard Kleinrock Pioneers Packet-Switching J.C.R. Licklider Conceives Intergalactic Network Leonard Kleinrock pioneers the packet-switching concept in his Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) doctoral thesis about queueing theory: Information Flow in Large Communication Nets. J.C.R. Licklider writes memos about his Intergalactic Network concept of networked computers and becomes the first head of the computer research program at ARPA. The first universal standard for computers, ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Exchange) is developed by a joint industry-government committee. ASCII permits machines from different manufacturers to exchange data. The United States government creates the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in response to Sputnik launch.
1964 — 1967 1965 1965 Paul Baran, Donald Davies Develop Message Blocks/Packetswitching ARPA Sponsors Networking Study Lawrence Roberts & Thomas Marill Create First Wide-area Network The Rand Corporation's Paul Baran develops message blocks in the U.S., while Donald Watts Davies, at the National Physical Laboratory in Britain, simultaneously creates a similar technology called packetswitching. The technology revolutionizes data communications. ARPA sponsors study on "cooperative network of timesharing computers." Lawrence Roberts (MIT) and Thomas Marill get an ARPA contract to create the first widearea network (WAN) connection via long distant dial-up between a TX-2 computer in Massachusetts and a Q-32 computer in California. The system confirms that packet switching offers the most promising model for communication between computers.
1964 — 1967 1965 1965 Charles Herzfeld Approves Funds for Computer Networking Experiment Bolt Beranek and Newman Wins IMP Development Contract IMP Network Links First Four Nodes As ARPA director, Charles Herzfeld approves funding to develop a networking experiment that would tie together multiple universities funded by the agency. The result would be the ARPAnet, the first packet network and a predecessor to today’s Internet. Bolt Beranek and Newman, Inc. (BBN) is awarded the ARPA contract to build the Interface Message Processors. The physical Interface Message Processor (IMP) network is constructed, linking four nodes: University of California at Los Angeles, SRI (in Stanford), University of California at Santa Barbara, and University of Utah.
1964 — 1967 1972 1973 IMP Network Grows Ray Tomlinson Invents Email TCP/IP Protocol Development Begins Fifteen nodes (23 hosts) comprise the IMP network. Ray Tomlinson of BBN invents the email program to send messages across a distributed network. The "@" sign is chosen from the punctuation keys on Tomlinson's Model 33 Teletype to separate local from global emails, making "user@host" the email standard. Development begins on what will eventually be called TCP/IP protocol by a group headed by Vint Cerf (Stanford) and Robert Kahn (DARPA). The new protocol will allow diverse computer networks to interconnect and communicate with each other.
1974 Vint Cerf, Robert Kahn Coin 'Internet' Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn publish "A Protocol for Packet Network Interconnection" which specifies in detail the design of a Transmission Control Program (TCP) and coins the term “Internet” for the first time. 1977 Lawrence Landweber Creates Computer Science Network Lawrence Landweber creates CSNET (Computer Science Network), a network for all US university and industrial computer research groups. By 1984, over 180 university, industrial, and government computer science departments are participating in CSNET. 1980 — 1989 Lawrence Landweber Forges First U.S.- Europe Network Gateways Lawrence Landweber establishes the first network gateways between the U.S. and European countries. He also establishes the “Landweber Conferences,” which are instrumental in showing scientists from around the world how to implement national academic and research networks in their countries.
1982 1984 1987 Kilnam Chon Connects Asia to Internet First Email in Germany Nancy Hafkin Helps Develop ICT In Africa Kilnam Chon, a Professor at Keio University in Japan, develops the first Internet connection in Asia, called SDN, and his pioneering work inspires others to promote the Internet’s regional growth. The first email arrives in Germany from the U.S. on August 3, 1984. "Willkommen CSNET," it says. Werner Zorn plays a critical role in this event and establishing the German Internet. Nancy Hafkin helps facilitate the ECA’s African Information Society Initiative, which establishes the first email connectivity in more than 10 African countries.
1988 — 1989 1989 Van Jacobson Solves Internet Congestion Tim Berners-Lee Creates WWW Van Jacobson develops algorithms for the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) that help solve the problem of congestion and are still used in over 90% of Internet hosts today At CERN, the European Physical Laboratory, Tim Berners-Lee creates the World Wide Web. Robert Cailliau is a key proponent of the project, and helps Berners-Lee author a proposal for funding. Later, Cailliau develops, along with Nicola Pellow, the first web browser for the Mac OS operating system. 1990 Linus Torvalds Creates Linux Linus Torvalds creates Linux and becomes a leading supporter of Open Source software. Toru Takahashi Promotes Internet In Japan Toru Takahashi helps bring the Internet to Japan and promotes it throughout Asia in the 1990s. He is key to the early commercial development of the Internet in the region.
1991 1991 Al Gore Creates Bill to Fund "Information Superhighway" World Wide Web Opens to Public Al Gore creates the Highperformance Computing and Communications Act of 1991 (the Gore Bill), which allocates $600 million for high performance computing and helps create the National Research and Educational Network. The Gore Bill also creates the National Information Infrastructure, known as the Information Superhighway. The World Wide Web is made available to the public for the first time on the Internet. George Sadowsky helps create global Internet training team George Sadowsky helps create the team that would train over 1,500 instructors from over 100 nations on Internet technologies, operation, management and governance. This initiative was crucial to the Internet’s global expansion.
1993 1996 1998 NCSA Releases Mosaic Browser Brewster Kahle Founds Internet Archive; Email Surpasses Postal Mail Blogs First Appear The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) releases the Mosaic browser, which helps popularize the World Wide Web among the general public. There is more email than postal mail in the U.S., and Brewster Kahle founds the Internet Archive, a free digital library with a mission to provide “universal access to all knowledge.” Chronicling over 85 billion pieces of deep Web geology, Kahle creates a history of the Internet’s formation. The advent of web publishing tools available to non-technical users spurs the rise of blogs.
1999 2000 2000 Mitchell Baker Helps Found Mozilla Project Nii Quaynor Brings Internet to Africa Aaron Swartz Co-Creates RSS Mitchell Baker gets involved in the Mozilla Project and becomes a founding chairperson of the Mozilla Foundation. She helps legitimize Open Source Internet application clients. Professor Nii Quaynor, known as Africa’s ‘Father of the Internet,’ convenes the first training workshop for the African Network Operators’ Group. His efforts have a profound impact on the continent’s Internet growth. Aaron Swartz co-creates RSS, a program that collects news from various web pages and puts them in one place for readers, with the goal of making information freely available to everyone.
2001 2006 2010 Jimmy Wales Launches Wikipedia Nancy Hafkin Pens "Cinderella or Cyberella?" China Dominates Internet Usage Jimmy Wales launches Wikipedia. There are half a million Internet users. Dr. Nancy Hafkin authors Cinderella or Cyberella?: Empowering Women in the Knowledge Society, a collection of essays that examines how information and communications technologies empower women. By 2010, there are over 450 million Chinese Internet users.
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