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THE NETWORK FALLS INTO PLACE

The ARPANET experiment was a complete novelty on the computer science scene. Most of the people involved in the day-to-day work with implementing hardware and software were graduate students, and the personal accounts provided by participants suggested a true spirit of invention, but also of confusion: "No one had clear answers, but the prospects seemed exciting. We found ourselves imagining all kinds of possibilities: interactive graphics, cooperating processes, automatic data base query, electronic mail, but no one knew where to begin". The most important task for the participants in this fledgling network was to ensure the stability of the communication protocol. During the following years the group's participants succeeded in creating a protocol scheme.

The idea was to have an underlying protocol taking care of establishing and maintaining communication between the computers on the network and a set of

protocols which performed a number of particular tasks. This scheme was successfully tested (only one of the 15 sites involved failed to establish a connection).

During the 1970s the ARPANET was constantly evolving in size and stability, and was a subject of a number of seminal developments, among which the most noteworthy was electronic mail and the establishment of a transatlantic connection. In addition, work was undertaken to improve the basic communication protocols and modernize them according to the constant growth of the ARPANET.

The military use of the Internet did not have any direct impact on the civilian use of the research network as such, but highlights the fact that the Internet of today was conceived as a military communications tool.

The following years witnessed the birth of the Usenet. Developed by university students Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis, the Usenet turned out to be the ultimate exponent for the physical anarchy of the ARPANET (no central command control, all connected computers being completely equal in their ability to transmit and receive packets). Truscott and Ellis created a hierarchy of computer users groups which were distributed between a growing number of academic institutions via modems and phone lines. This hierarchy soon turned out to accommodate a wide number of interests, from computer programming to car maintenance, and enabled the participants to read and post information and opinions in what became known as the Usenet Newsgroups. Newsgroups may be determined as discussion groups. Each of these groups is devoted to a particular topic.

At first the Usenet was a practically unofficial activity involving a number of graduate students, but soon it proved to be the network service which heavily contributed to the international growth of the internetworking principle. The Usenet connections were established between several European countries and Australia.

The creation of the ARPANET was followed by the creation of the NSFNET. This fact signalled that universities had begun to consider networking as an essential tool for researches. A high-speed network connection, referred to as the "backbone", was established between the five super-computing centers and they in turn made their facilities available to universities in their region, effectively making the network completely decentralized.


Date: 2015-12-11; view: 817


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