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Considering that the history of the Internet is perhaps better documented internally than any other technological construct, it is remarkable how shadowy its origins have been to most people, including die-hard Net-denizens!
At last, Hafner and Lyon have written a well-researched story of the origins of the Internet substantiated by extensive interviews with its creators who delve into many interesting details such as the controversy surrounding the adoption of our now beloved "@" sign as the separator of usernames and machine addresses. Essential reading for anyone interested in the past -- and the future -- of the Net specifically, and telecommunications generally.
Hafner, coauthor of Cyberpunk, and Lyon, assistant to the president of the University of Texas, here unveil the Sputnik-era beginnings of the Internet, the groundbreaking scientific work that created it and the often eccentric, brilliant scientists and engineers responsible. Originally funded during the Eisenhower administration by IPTO (Information Processing Techniques Office) within the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), ARPANET, the Internet's predecessor, was devised as a way to share far-flung U.S. computer resources at a time when computers were wildly expensive, room-sized bohemoths unable to communicate with any other. The husband-and-wife writing team profile the computer engineering firm of Bolt Baranek and Newman, which produced the original prototypes for ARPANET, and they profile the men (there were virtually no women) and an alphabet soup of agencies, universities and software that made the Internet possible. And while the book attempts to debunk the conventional notion that ARPANET was devised primarily as a communications link that could survive nuclear war (essentially it was not), pioneer developers like Paul Baran (who, along, with British Scientist Donald Davies devised the Internet's innovative packet-switching message technology) recognized the importance of an indestructible message medium in an age edgy over the prospects of global nuclear destruction. The book is excellent at enshrining little known but crucial scientist/administrators like Bob Taylor, Larry Roberts and Joseph Licklider, many of whom laid the groundwork for the computer science industry.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This was an excellent account of how the internet was created and how both ARPA and distributed networking has shaped what we use now everyday.. Read morePublished on June 7 2004 by Will Rodriguez
This book tells about how the Internet as we know it today has come into existence.
In February 1966 Bob Taylor who was employed by the Advanced Research Project Agency... Read more
Lots of information is conveyed with excellent editing making this book a very fast read. But AT&T's 6-year opposition to distributed processing is as appropriately treated --... Read morePublished on Aug. 1 2003 by G. L. Rowsey
A superb history of the Internet, dispelling many a myth, such as "The Internet was designed in order to survive nuclear war. Read morePublished on July 3 2003 by Robert Cannon
It's an OK book, but the bureaucratic jostling should have been left out and I wish they'd have included more about the early culture of the internet, as Steven Levy did in... Read morePublished on July 16 2002 by Joseph S. Grossberg
I'm a software engineer who has recently become interested in the history of computing. I thought this book was well written. Read morePublished on Oct. 23 2001
This book is a welcome respite from the technologically-oriented books on technology. The authors do a nice job of telling the story behind what has become the Internet. Read morePublished on Oct. 21 2001 by Joshua Jacobs