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Y490 Politics of the
Internet
September 25, 2012
Internet Pioneers
Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider: developed the idea
of a universal network while working at DARPA
Video
He also was a big supporter of
time-sharing vs. batch processing
computers.
Robert Taylor: succeeded Licklider at DARPA
Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO)
What Did Licklider Want?
 The Department of Defense operated
computers or computer-like equipment
for many different functions:
 Missiles and satellites, Strategic Air
command
 Battleship control systems
 Army field operations
 Licklider wanted all of them to be able to
communicate with each other
More Internet Pioneers
L-R: Vint Cerf,
Robert Kahn, Len
Kleinrock, and Larry
Roberts –
Team members from
Bolt, Beranek and
Newman (BBN) and
the Lincoln Labs at
MIT and later at
UCLA who created
the first IMP and
connected the first
two nodes.
Key Innovations







TCP/IP Routers and Packet Switches
Local Area Networks (LANs)
Fiber Optics (big Internet pipes)
UNIX with TCP/IP kernel
Integration of TCP/IP into all computers
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
Multimedia standards and protocols
TCP/IP
 TCP = transfer control protocol
 IP = Internet protocol
 Pioneered by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn
Three Types of Switching
 Circuit
 Message
 Packet
video on the difference between
circuit and packet switching
What does a packet look
like?
Advantages of Packet Switching
over Message Switching
 Packets all have the same size
 No waiting for entire message to end
before sending next message
 More options in routing
Pioneers of Packet
Switching
 Paul Baran
 Donald Davies
Baran was concerned about creating a network that could
survive a nuclear attack. Davies was looking for a more
efficient network that would work with time-sharing systems.
Davies came up with the name; both given credit for the
concept.
Ethernet
 Developed by Robert Metcalfe and
others at Xerox PARC in 1973-75
 Connects computers locally and allows
them to connect to the Internet from one
shared node
Ethernet and the Internet
 Ethernet made it possible for offices to
network computers locally (via Local
Area Networks or LANs) without
connecting them directly to large,
mainframe computers
 Wide Area Networks (WANs) did the
same for organizations with multiple sites
 The Internet was adapted for connecting
LANs and WANs as well as larger
computers
Fiber Optics and the
Internet Backbone
 In order to speed up
first voice and later
data
communications on
the public switched
network, the US
and other countries
moved from satellite
and copper cable
networks to fiber
optics networks
Sergey Brin on TED
Undersea Fiber Optic
Cables
Fiber moves closer to
home
 Fiber backbone
 Fiber to the curb (FTTC)
 Fiber to the home (FTTH)
Pioneers of the Web: 1980
 Tim Berners-Lee
 Robert Caillau
HTML developed for scientists at
The CERN complex in Geneva
What is HTML?
 Hypertext Markup Language
 Predominant standard for creating web
pages and web sites
 These pages can be accessed by
standard “web browsers”
 Permits the combination of text, graphics,
and other media on a single page and
links to other pages
URLs
 Uniform Resource Locators
 A system for locating uniform resource
names (URNs) on the Internet
 For example, the URL
http://www.indiana.edu identifies a
resource that is obtainable via HTTP
(hypertext transfer protocol) from a
network called www.indiana.edu
World Wide Web
 Berners-Lee and Cailliau proposed in
March 1989 the creation of what was to
become the World Wide Web.
 They went on to create the World Wide
Web Consortium (W3C) to make
technical decisions about it.
The Rise of Microcomputers and
Hacker Culture
 1976 Apple I computer sold to computer hobbyists
 Paul Allen and Bill Gates create a BASIC language
compiler for microcomputers
 1981 IBM PC begins to compete in the microcomputer
market
What motivated the PC
revolution?
 Desire for the dispersion of computing
power to “the people”
 Avoiding dependence on large,
centralized computing systems owned by
large organizations
Some Interesting
Historical Facts
 Although Apple led the way to mass
consumer markets, it was overtaken by
PCs and PC-clones in the 1980s
 Microsoft was the main beneficiary of the
rise of PC clones
 The switch from narrow band to
broadband networks enabled the rise of
web-based firms like Google and
Facebook
Good Questions in the
Textbook
 How has the historical development of the
Internet shaped its contemporary
characteristics?
 Is TCP/IP a radical communication
technology?
 How important is the do-it-yourself, or hacker,
ethos for making sense of the Internet’s
development?
 Assess the impact of the World Wide Web and
the graphical browser on the diffusion of the
Internet.
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