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Internet turns 40; AP Lists Key Milestones

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 30 comments

Believe it or not, the Internet actually turns 40 this year; more specifically, its actual birthday points to Wednesday, as the first connection between two UCLA computers--pioneered by Len Kleinrock and his team of engineers--took place on that date back in 1969. Originally named Arpanet, the network was an experimental project for the U.S. Department of Defense, initially exchanging meaningless data.

However, it wasn't until the following month--October 29 in fact--that a network connection was established between two geographical locations: UCLA and the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, California. The network grew to include UC Santa Barbara and the University of Utah, and thus, as they say, was history.

The Associated Press posted an awesome timeline of the Internet, listing the global network's milestones. In 1972, Ray Tomlinson brought e-mail to the network, introducing the "@" symbol to specify addresses from other systems. In 1973, two international nodes were established in England and Norway. In 1983, a domain name system was proposed, offering ".com" and ".gov," with ".edu" following years later.

In 1988, one of the first Internet worms appeared and crippled thousands of computers. The first commercial Web browser, Netscape, was released back 1994, and Amazon loaded its online retail shelves a year later. Napster changed the music industry in 1999, and the dot-com crash of 2000 changed the way Internet websites generated revenue.

To read the full timeline, read the AP list here. To learn more about Internet pioneer Len Kleinrock, head here.

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Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    astrodudepsu , August 31, 2009 10:07 PM
    Wow, I didn't know Al Gore went to UCLA.
  • 18 Hide
    Greg_77 , September 1, 2009 12:18 AM
    "Originally named Arpanet, the network was an experimental project for the U.S. Department of Defense, initially exchanging meaningless data."

    Some things haven't changed... ;) 
  • 16 Hide
    matt87_50 , August 31, 2009 11:14 PM
    so let me get this strait.. they went to the moon AND started the internet in the SAME year? God the world was awesome back then. we are soo lame now, clearly we need another cold war or something...
Other Comments
    Display all 30 comments.
  • 20 Hide
    astrodudepsu , August 31, 2009 10:07 PM
    Wow, I didn't know Al Gore went to UCLA.
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , August 31, 2009 10:11 PM
    As a regular reader, I must protest to the HORRIBLE POPUP! Not to mention that it's Bing...but I can't even close the damn thing to read the article. Shame on you Toms...thought you had more class than this.
  • 12 Hide
    ssalim , August 31, 2009 10:19 PM
    and soon the "internets" will become self-aware and .... dun dun dun!
  • 2 Hide
    Hupiscratch , August 31, 2009 10:25 PM
    Congratulations INTERNET! Wishing you lot´s of yottabytes of transfers!!!!
  • 16 Hide
    matt87_50 , August 31, 2009 11:14 PM
    so let me get this strait.. they went to the moon AND started the internet in the SAME year? God the world was awesome back then. we are soo lame now, clearly we need another cold war or something...
  • 18 Hide
    Greg_77 , September 1, 2009 12:18 AM
    "Originally named Arpanet, the network was an experimental project for the U.S. Department of Defense, initially exchanging meaningless data."

    Some things haven't changed... ;) 
  • 1 Hide
    ubernoobie , September 1, 2009 12:23 AM
    happy early bday internet :D  , I'll be sure to send you a link to a cake :D 
  • 5 Hide
    Shadow703793 , September 1, 2009 12:34 AM
    Matt87_50so let me get this strait.. they went to the moon AND started the internet in the SAME year? God the world was awesome back then. we are soo lame now, clearly we need another cold war or something...

    Necessity is the mother of invention.
  • 3 Hide
    kingssman , September 1, 2009 12:47 AM
    As a mid aged person who saw internet since AOL 2.0 with dialup to this new thing called "high speed" I'm glad the internet is here. Everything from chatting, email, IM, message boards, Youtubes, filesharing, jpgs, webpages, web2.0 mobile computing, google.

    The internet truly has opened up my world
  • 0 Hide
    ravenware , September 1, 2009 1:13 AM
    Though it was DARPANET, or was just a DARPA project.
  • 11 Hide
    ravenware , September 1, 2009 1:13 AM
    ubernoobiehappy early bday internet , I'll be sure to send you a link to a cake


    There is no cake, it is a lie. :D 
  • 2 Hide
    AMDnoob , September 1, 2009 1:46 AM
    ravenwareThere is no cake, it is a lie.

    First of all, awesome game.

    Second, happy early b-day internet! I love you and have enjoyed the days we've spent together, bringing in knowledge and weird facts that I shouldn't know at this age. Your the best
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 1, 2009 2:39 AM
    Geez, I wouldn't have though so in 1999, but in 2009, the internet really shows it's roots as a defense project, since those defense/spy/spook types always wanted a way to spy on everybody, all the time, regardless of any wrong-doing. Now we socialize and post all of our personal info on Facebook so that the IRS/FBI/CIA/DIA/DEA/DOJ/SBI can mine through it for whatever purpose they want.
  • 4 Hide
    JasonAkkerman , September 1, 2009 2:58 AM
    April 1996 - Tom's Hardware was founded.
  • 2 Hide
    cybrcatter , September 1, 2009 3:12 AM
    astrodudepsuWow, I didn't know Al Gore went to UCLA.


    For those of you who play it, the part of Civ 4 that always makes me laugh is the fact that Al Gore's mug is on the "Internet" tech research icon.

    Happy b-day internet!
  • 0 Hide
    tommychan , September 1, 2009 3:58 AM
    I thought internet was orginated in Europe at 1980
    see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_World_Wide_Web
  • 2 Hide
    matt87_50 , September 1, 2009 5:45 AM
    tommychanI thought internet was orginated in Europe at 1980see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histo [...] d_Wide_Web


    I'd say that was the World Wide Web? its different to the Internet. the internet was the useful infrastructure.
    the World Wide Web just helped advertising and n00bs go online and destroy it for the rest of us (online shopping's cool tho).
  • 1 Hide
    anamaniac , September 1, 2009 6:23 AM
    JasonAkkermanApril 1996 - Tom's Hardware was founded.


    How could they forget this important date?

    Think I started using the net often back in '98.
  • 3 Hide
    snarfeck , September 1, 2009 11:11 AM
    *sung in a seductive voice*
    happy BIRTHday Mr. Internet
    *slowly takes off shirt*
    happy BIRTH[/b]day Mr. INTERNET

    i don't know why i wrote this lol.





  • 1 Hide
    r0x0r , September 1, 2009 12:46 PM
    1996: Dancing Baby meme appears. Bandwidth wastage rises successively each year. Now approaching the 99.99% wasted per year level.

    Bandwidth wastage...See also: Social networking, World of Warcraft, flame wars, 4chan.
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