The Internet: Today's Communication Revolution Essay

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The Internet: Today's Communication Revolution

In the past decade, the Internet has emerged as the newest of communication media. It gives users quick access to information from around the world. People can chat with friends, read up to the minute news, and find samples of other media, such as music, movies, and books. However, the Internet required the construction of a considerable foundation before it became the information clearinghouse that is today.

It is difficult to pick a particular event in history and say “It all began with...” because of the numerous technologies that the Internet descends from. One could certainly trace the beginning of this project back to the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). Or, it could be
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In 1961, Leonard Klienrock wrote “Information Flow in Large Communication Nets.” (PBS Online) A year before this publication, J.C.R Licklider penned an article entitled “Man-Computer Symbiosis” that began to open a window into the potential that we see in computers today. His idea of symbiosis provided roles for both mankind and machinery. In Licklider's prediction, humanity would do do the creative part of the work, outlining concepts and basics. They would then use computers to make the computations necessary to fill in all of the gaps with specific data. In essence, the computer would become mankind's cognitive beast of burden. We would monitor and control the machines as they performed our more menial and tedious tasks for us.

The ARPANet project began in the late sixties, with a proposition to link computers across the country to a network controlled by Interface Message Processors. The IMPs, as they were abbreviated, would exist at each node of the network, connecting each major computer the main network. So, in the end, each node would consists of at least two computers: one to manage the connection to the network, and one to actually serve information and do calculations. The first IMPs were built by BBN, based on an already existing piece of hardware, the Honeywell DDP-516. The first two nodes of this new network existed at UCLA and Stanford.

PBS Online's map of the early ARPANet.

E-mail was one of the first modern-day applications

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