Thursday, 3 January 2013

Happy Birthday TCP/IP

Is this week the Internet's birthday?

True, by 1st January 1983 every computer on the ARPANET (all 400 of them) had to have switched over the that new-fangled packet-switching (finger-licking) protocol TCP/IP: you know, the one where all the computer networks can talk to each other and it becomes an interconnected network? With one bound communications are freed and the Internet is born ... or at least it's operational. So it's 30 years old today and there's more on the story at The Register.

Of course, there are claims to be 'the birth of the Internet' that predate 1983: 1969 for example. That's when the first node on ARPANET (the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the US Department of Defense ... Network) was set up. If such historical things appeal then I recommend you check out the second-best book I ever read involving computer networks, Where Wizards Stay up Late by Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon. (The best book? That would be The Cuckoo's Egg by Cliff Stoll. Moonlighting astronomy professor tracks hacker through the jungle of 1980s computer networking ... all for the sake of 75 cents.)

The 1969 date makes sense of the cartoon you'll find on this page of the ex delicto blog but you should check out the rest of the blog as well. It's a webcomic of law and nonsense and  the nonsense bits remind us all that the legendary (but fictional)  Mr Justice Cocklecarrot is actually alive and well.

A Happy New Year to one and all on the network.