Fifty years ago, on October 29th, a graduate student at UCLA, Charley Kline, sat in front of an ITT Teletype terminal in room 3420 and transmitted the first digital data to Bill Duvall, a scientist at the Stanford Institute. This is the beginning of arpaneT, the internet’s predecessor.
At that time, this digital data transfer was nothing like the first shot in the world. Even Kline and Duvall didn’t fully realize that what they were doing was of special significance.
Kline recalls that he had no idea what was particularly memorable that night, or that what was happening at the time was special. The network nodes that make up the Internet today are derived from the nodes that Kline and Duvall tested.
UCLA professor Leonard Kleinrock says that The Arpa network is in a sense the son of the Cold War, and that the first satellite launched by the Soviet Union in 1957 had a huge impact on American academia and politics. In 1958, the United States established the Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) to support research at American universities.
ARPA funds university researchers to create computers that cannot communicate with each other. One of its officials, Bob Taylor, hated the phenomenon so much that the idea of Arpanet came into being.