The Internet was born on this day…40 years ago

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On this day, 2nd September 1969, the internet was born at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) who became the first node of what was then known as the ARPANET. Leonard Kleinrock led a team of engineers in establishing the first network connection between two computers, ushering in a new method of global communications that has forever changed the course of business, politics, entertainment, education and social interaction.

A month later a second node was added at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and on October 29 the first host-to-host message was launched from UCLA.

“When we sent that first message, there weren’t any reporters, cameras, tape recorders or scribes to document that major event,” said Kleinrock. “We knew we were creating an important new technology that we expected would be of use to a segment of the population, but we had no idea how truly momentous an event it was.”

Computer networks were still in their infancy at that time, and though Kleinrock predicted the spread of “computer utilities” servicing homes and offices across the country, even he is surprised at how pervasive the Internet has become.

“What I missed was that my 97-year old mother would be using the Internet today, and she is,” said Kleinrock.

It’s pretty amazing to think that just a few years ago we didn’t have the technology to communicate with each other so quickly but here we are today and the world is a faster, quicker place. But…is it actually any better as a result? It’s subjective I suppose but we still have wars and conflicts and for some reason, I personally don’t think Planet Earth is as safe as it was all those years ago.

I am grateful to the internet though…it was 20 years ago on this date that I got married to my wonderful wife… and if it wasn’t for the internet, we probably wouldn’t communicate with each other at all. ­čśë (She tells me she doesn’t read this blog :))

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