Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Evolution of the Internet :: essays research papers

The Evolution of the Internet   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   So you believe Al Gore created the Internet? Well that’s not possible, because I did. Yes, it’s true, a few years ago I was sitting in my basement with nothing to do and suddenly the idea came to me: why not create an inter-connected network of networks that will allow users to send mail instantly, download copyrighted songs, and order pizza, all from the comfort of their own living room? OK, so maybe I didn’t exactly invent the Internet, but neither did Al Gore.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  So who was the genius behind the information superhighway, you ask? Well let’s take a step back to the sixties, a decade when Cold War tension caused nationwide fear of nuclear warfare. Early in the decade, two groups of researchers, privately owned RAND Corporation (America’s leading nuclear war think-tank) and federal agency ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency), grappled with a bizarre strategic mystery: in the event of nuclear war, how could political and military officials communicate successfully? It was obvious that a network, linking cities and military bases, would be necessary. But the advent of the atomic bomb made switches, wiring, and command posts for this network highly vulnerable. A â€Å"nuclear-safe† network would need to operate with missing links and without central authority. In 1964, RAND Corporation’s Paul Barran made public his solution to the problem. Essentially, the concept was simple. Barran’s network would be assumed to be unreliable at all times. Information would be broken into many small pieces called â€Å"packets† and then sent to various points, or nodes, in the network until they reached their destination. ARPA embraced Barran’s idea for three reasons. First, if nuclear bombs blew away large components of the network, data would still reach its destination. Second, it would be relatively secure from espionage, since spies tapping into parts of the network would be able to intercept only portions of transmissions. Lastly, it would be much more efficient because files and transmissions couldn’t clog portions of the network. Only five years after Barran proposed his version of a computer network, ARPANET went online. Named after its federal sponsor, ARPANET initially linked four high-speed supercomputers and was intended to allow scientists and researchers to share computing facilities by long-distance. By 1971, ARPANET had grown to fifteen nodes, and by 1972, thirty-seven. ARPA’s original standard for communication was known as â€Å"Network Control Protocol† or NCP. As time passed, however, NCP grew obsolete and was replaced by a new, higher-level standard known as TCP-IP, which is still in use today.

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