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[ih] Baran and arbitrary reliability from arbitrarily unreliable components

Larry Press wrote:
> I have a teaching note page on Internet history has a broader focus than 
> just packet 
> switching(http://bpastudio.csudh.edu/fac/lpress/471/hout/netHistory/)

Nice list.

I've found it useful to distinguish 3 major paradigm increments in the history 
of the Internet's data-handling basics (separate from the history of its apps):

      Packet network -
         Heterogeneous machines form a single network;
         Common canonical formats and basic handling;
         Arpanet, Irvine ring, Alohanet, Cyclades, et al.

      Interconnected networks
         Heterogeneous networks;
         Meta-formats and independent administrations;
         Arpa Internet

      Interconnected services
         Multiple backbones & regional operations - NSFnet Internet

Paul and the suite of early contributors gave us that first insight.  My 
understanding from my brother is that the mid-60s had a number of focused, 
experimental efforts to explore this space, before the Arpanet contract was 
finally let.

(I tend to view that NSFNet step as having core technical impact that is 
generally under-appreciated, since it sowed the seeds for the richly competitive 
infrastructure, without which we might have a single-operator backbone...)

Noel Chiappa wrote:
 > In addition to the books I already mentioned, one of the best sources I know
 > of for detail about the creation of the ARPANet is probably Katie Hafner's
 > book, "Where Wizards Stay up Late". I know she went to an enormous amount of
 > trouble to research it, including many, many interviews.

What we are missing is Volume 2, about the creation of the Internet.  It only 
sits around in isolated pieces, as anecdotes, personal files, and fading 
memories. What we need is something with the richness of Katie's book, that 
covers the remarkable history that moved a relatively obscure technical 
mechanism into a global infrastructure.  This was as much an innovation in 
collaborative culture as it was computer technology.

In 1997, a police sergeant who was chatting with me, on the eastern side of the 
the Malaysian peninsula, said that he knew that we had the Internet in the U.S., 
but wasn't sure whether it had been invented in the U.S. or in Malaysia.  It's 
difficult to think of a better indication of successful diffusion of innovation.

Both the formal, historical steps and the rich array of anecdotes really ought 
to be recorded.

(BTW, Katie said that sales of Wizards wasn't great and Wired wouldn't even do 
an article about it:  It was only about the past...)


   Dave Crocker
   Brandenburg InternetWorking