ARPANET -- The First Internet
was in charge of the software, and we were naturally running a bit late. September
1 was Labor Day, so I knew I had a couple of extra days to debug the software.
Moreover, I had heard BBN was having some timing troubles with the software, so
I had some hope they'd miss the ship date. And I figured that first some Honeywell
people would install the hardware -- IMPs were built out of Honeywell 516s in
those days -- and then BBN people would come in a few days later to shake down
the software. An easy couple of weeks of grace.
BBN fixed their timing trouble, air shipped the IMP, and it arrived on our loading
dock on Saturday, August 30. They arrived with the IMP, wheeled it into our computer
room, plugged it in and the software restarted from where it had been when the
plug was pulled in Cambridge. Still Saturday, August 30. Panic time at UCLA.
Stephen D. Crocker, The Request
For Comments Reference Guide.
The ARPANET was the first wide area packet
switching network, the "Eve" network of what has evolved into
The ARPANET was originally created by the IPTO
under the sponsorship of DARPA, and conceived
and planned by Lick Licklider, Lawrence
Roberts, and others as described earlier in this section.
went into labor on August
30, 1969, when BBN delivered
first Interface Message Processor (IMP) to Leonard
Kleinrock's Network Measurements Center at UCLA. The IMP was built from
a Honeywell DDP 516 computer with 12K of memory, designed to handle the ARPANET
In a famous piece of Internet lore, on
a hardware designer at BBN named Ben Barker had written "Do it to it, Truett",
in tribute to the
Truett Thach who traveled with the computer to UCLA on the plane.
The UCLA team
responsible for installing the IMP and creating the first ARPANET node included
graduate students Vinton
Cerf, Steve Crocker, Bill Naylor,
Jon Postel, and Mike Wingfield. Wingfield
had built the hardware interface between the UCLA computer and the IMP,
the machines were connected, and within a couple of days
of delivery the IMP was communicating with the local NMC host, an SDS Sigma 7
computer running the SEX operating system. Messages were successfully
exchanged, and the one computer ARPANET was born. A picture of Leonard Kleinrock
with the first ARPANET IMP is shown below (click on the picture
to link to a larger image on Kleinrock's home site).
- Leonard Kleinrock with first IMP
first full ARPANET network connection was next, planned to be with Douglas
Engelbart's NLS system at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI),
running an SDS-940 computer with the Genie operating system and connected to
another IMP. At about 10:30 PM on October 29'th, 1969, the connection
was established over a 50 kbps line provided by the AT&T telephone company,
and a two node ARPANET was born. As is often the case, the first test didn't
At the UCLA
end, they typed in the 'l' and asked SRI if they received it; 'got
the l' came the voice reply. UCLA typed in the 'o',
asked if they got it, and received 'got the o'. UCLA then typed in the 'g' and
the darned system CRASHED! Quite
a beginning. On the second attempt, it worked fine!
Leonard Kleinrock, The
Birth of the Internet.
Interactive Mathematics centre at the University of California at Santa Barbara
was the third site added to the ARPANET, running on an IBM 360/75 computer
using the OS/MVT operating system. The fourth ARPANET site was added in December
at the University
of Utah Graphics Department, running on a DEC PDP-10 computer using the Tenex
operating system. These first four sites had been selected by Roberts to constitute
the initial ARPANET because
already DARPA sites, and he believed they had the technical
capability required to develop the required custom interface to the IMP.
Over the next several years the ARPANET grew rapidly. In July, 1975, DARPA
transferred management and operation of the ARPANET to the Defense Communications
Agency, now DISA.
The NSFNET then assumed management of the
non-military side of the network during its first period of very rapid growth,
the CSNET and EUnet,
and the subsequent evolution into the Internet we know today.
Some of the milestones in the early history of the ARPANET are
- East Coast. In March, 1970, the consulting
company Bolt, Beranek & Newman joined the ARPANET, becoming the first
node on the US east coast.
- Remote Access. In September,
1971, the first Terminal Interface Processor (TIP) was deployed, enabling individual
computer terminals to dial directly into the ARPANET, thereby greatly increasing
of network connections and leading to significant growth.
- 1972. By the end of 1972 there were 24 sites on the ARPANET, including
the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the Federal
- 1973. By the end of 1973 there were 37
sites on the ARPANET, including a satellite link from California to Hawaii. Also
in 1973, the University College of London in England and the Royal Radar
in Norway become the first international connections to the ARPANET.
- 1974. In June, 1974, there were 62 computers connected to
- 1977. In March, 1977, there were 111 computers on the ARPANET.
- 1983. In 1983, an unclassified military only network called MILNET
split off from the ARPANET, remaining connected only at a small number of
for exchange of electronic mail that could be easily disconnected for security
reasons if required. MILNET later become part of the DoD Defense Data Network,
- 1985. By the middle of the 80's there were ARPANET gateways
to external networks across North America, Europe, and in Australia, and
the Internet was global in scope. Marty Lyons has created a map of
the existing network gateways from 18 June 1985.
- 1990. The ARPANET was retired in 1990. Most
university computers that were connected to it were moved to networks connected
to the NSFNET, passing the torch from the
old network to the new.
Resources. The following site provides more information about the ARPANET.