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FW: Purpose of the Internet

  • From: Lixia Zhang
  • Date: Thu Mar 14 11:34:34 2002

------ Forwarded Message
From: Lixia Zhang <[email protected]>
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002 21:55:25 -0800
To: Alan Hannan <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Purpose of the Internet

On 3/13/02 9:14 PM, "Alan Hannan" <[email protected]> wrote:

> ......
> With regards to the purpose of the internet, I recall reading
> in the Prologue to _Where Wizards Stay Up Late_, by Katie Hafner
> and Matthew Lyon, a true anecdote about Bob Taylor. The authors
> quote Mr. Taylor as refuting that the purpose of the arpanet was
> to provide communications in spite of a nuclear attack.
> Rather, it is asserted, the purpose of the arpanet was to
> interconnect computers at various research/education facilities
> so as to allow researchers to share resources.
> We all heard that story too, but popular media tended to focus
> on the sensationalist nuclear story.

There might be a mixup between what's the purpose of *packet switching* vs
what was the originally intended use of ARPAnet.
For those interested: here is a paper by Paul Baran, inventor of packet
switching, "Some Perspectives on Networks-Past, Present and Future" back in
1977, recalling some of the history


If you are really interested: another paper by Paul, "On Distributed
Communications Networks", published in IEEE Trans on communications back in
1964, (predated ARPANET)

Dave Goldberg of PARC (my ex-office neighbor) helped scan in these
historical papers.

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