|Slide01||Internet: Past, present, future|
To get to the origins of the Internet, we have to go back in time to 1957. It was the International Geophysical Year, a year dedicated to gathering information about the upper atmosphere during a period of intense solar activity.
Eisenhower announced in 1955 that, as part of the activities, the USA hoped to launch a small Earth orbiting satellite. USSR announced that it hoped to do likewise. Planning in America focussed on a sophisticated three stage rocket, but in Russia they took a more direct approach. Strapping four military rockets together, on 4 October 1957 the USSR launched Sputnik I into Earth orbit.
The effect in the United States was electrifying, since it seemed overnight to wipe out the feeling on invulnerability the country had enjoyed since the explosion of the first nuclear bomb thirteen years before. One of the immediate reactions was the creation of the Advanced Research Projects Agency within the Ministry of Defence. Its mission was to apply state-of-the-art technology to US defence and to avoid being surprised (again!) by technological advances of the enemy. It was also given interim control of the US satellite program until the creation of NASA in October 1958.
1961: IBM introduced a 'Compatible Time Sharing System' into its 7090/94 series which allowed separate terminals in different offices to access the same hardware. The concept of "remote access" to a "host" computer had become reality. And if you could link to one computer from a desktop terminal, why not to another.... why not to all?