ARPANET

Chances are you’ve heard of this acronym a time or 200, and due to the role it plays in our everyday lives, it deserves its due…and the next few hundred words.

In the beginning, there was ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), which was the genesis of the Internet. The U.S. Defense Department funded this wide area network to make communications better and easier for the military and to improve computer equipment and enable people to more easily access it.

ARPANET connected universities and research centers and was the first network to use packet switching (in case you’re wondering, the packet switches were called Interface Message Processors (IMP’s)). It began with 2 nodes that connected Stanford with UCLA. Due to its success, its web quickly spread to include universities across the country.

The idea of a network of interconnected computers sprang from the mind of MIT’s Leonad Kleinrock in 1962. He dubbed it The Galactic Network. The name didn’t stick, but his vision did. He wanted a way to easily and quickly access data and information from other computers connected to the network. Sound familiar?

While Vint Cerf is widely considered the “father of the internet”, Kleinrock could have justifiably called himself its grandfather. Cerf, a Stanford professor, didn’t come up with TCP/IP until 1972. And he didn’t create its open architecture alone. He worked with UCLA’s Bob Kahn, who one could argue is the uncle of the Internet. Kahn may have been known as The Father of the Internet if not for his last name. Nobody would have wanted to “Kahn the Internet”.