Category Archives: Internet History

Linucon History

A few days ago I mentioned I was going to give a talk about Internet history at Linucon. That went well, although some of the audience seemed surprised that my estimate of the age of the Internet was about 4600 years older than the nearest contender.

Linucon itself was an interesting attempt to exploit or enable the intersection (maybe 30%) between computing and science fiction fandom. The con had a certain do-it-yourself charm, and the participants seemed pleased. They plan to do it again next year.


Internet History?

In Albert-László Barabási’s book Linked, he is refering to the early deployment of IMPs (Interface Message Processors) on the ARPANET, and he says:
“The fifth was delivered to BBN, a Massachusetts consulting firm, late in 1970…”
That must have been a short delivery, considering that BBN was where IMPs were made.

I don’t hold it against ALB that he didn’t know that; when those things were happening, he was in Hungary, which at the time had certain difficulties communicating with the rest of the world. But how many of you, dear readers, have heard of BBN?

Meanwhile, over on Dave Farber’s Interesting People list, history came up. I mentioned my upcoming talk about Internet history at Linucon to some of the posters, which drew Farber to ask “What happened to CSNet!!!!!!!!!!” Nothing, so far as I know; I didn’t try to mention every historical network, but you can be sure I will mention CSNet. Especially considering that Peter Denning has provided a nice writeup about it, in addition to the one in my book, The Matrix.

If you’re in Austin, my history talk is tonight. Y’all come.