North American Network Operators Group

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RE: Purpose of the Internet

  • From: Borchers, Mark
  • Date: Thu Mar 14 14:03:53 2002

> This is a great book, BTW. All network engineers should read 
> it. 

Just happen to have it handy.  Both of the earlier posters were
correct.  The book cites both Bob Taylor's priority on R&E
networks and Baran's goal of a resilient communications system
that could survive a nuclear holocaust.  *Inspiration* - instead
of measuring nuclear weapon destructive power in megatons, it
would perhaps be useful to express it in megabackhoes.

I suspect
> this misunderstanding grew out of the idea that some of the 
> original papers
> on packet switching used as one of their criteria, that the 
> networks be highly survivable. 

>   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.