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The Internet

The 20th Anniversary of the Internet 351

Ross Finlayson writes "In a message posted to the IETF general mailing list, Bob Braden reminds us that, on January 1st, 2003, 20 years will have passed since "the most logical date of origin of the Internet [...] when the ARPANET officially switched from the NCP protocol to TCP/IP". And the rest is history..."
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The 20th Anniversary of the Internet

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  • as the inventor of the internet, Al Gore is celebrating by not running for President.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 31, 2002 @09:57PM (#4992132)
      After all this time one would think that this ridiculous, ignorant, petty Republican FUD would have been laughed out of existence. For the nth time, read it and this time please try to understand:

      http://amsterdam.nettime.org/Lists-Archives/nett im e-bold-0009/msg00161.html

      Couple of significant quotes from Bob Kahn and Vint Cert:

      "VC> Bob and I believe that the vice president deserves significant credit for
      VC> his early recognition of the importance of what has become the Internet."

      "...But as the two people
      >who designed the basic architecture and the core protocols that make the
      >Internet work, we would like to acknowledge VP Gore's contributions as a
      >Congressman, Senator and as Vice President. No other elected official, to
      >our knowledge, has made a greater contribution over a longer period of
      >time."

      So yes, Al Gore did take a position of leadership in the creation of the Internet. He helped keep penny-pinching nearsighted legislators from killing it, because he was one of the few people in power who "got it". /rant

      Happy new year everyone!
      • I'll stop making that joke if you leftist radicals will stop saying Bush "stole" the election.

        By the way, if you want to see why people started making this joke, you have to give his exact quote:

        During my service in the United States Congress I took the initiative in creating the Internet.

        CREATING CREATING CREATING CREATING!

        Whatever, he MEANT to say, the numbskull said CREATING, and he sure as hell didn't have anything to do with turning it on- he showed up after it was CREATED and gave it a push. Maybe it was just a slip ... but it's out there for all you authoritarian fanboys!

        • I think we should give him credit for creating Network Solutions instead. I wonder how much Verisign stock he ended up with?
        • Creating.
          You sit at a keyboard and create a program. Right?
          You did not make the keyboard.
          You did not design the layout of the keys.
          You did not design the conventions of which pulses mean which character.
          Most everything involved in the creation of that program you did not create.
          However, you are responsible for the creative whatever that makes the difference between whether the program comes into existence or not.
          Without Al Gore's initiative you would not have the internet. You *might* have a few unused pieces gathering dust in a few university labs.
          Would you say that Eisenhower created the Interstate Highway system? Seems reasonable even if he never poured any concrete.
          • Withotu al gore's initiatives, the internet would still be here, dumbass. Gore didn't even know what the internet was when he wrote those bills. They only provided a little funding to the network. The network didn't need actual laws passed to get all of its funding, just some of it.

            Wired did an overview of his bills right after his comments, and they hardly constitute 'creation' of the internet. Indeed, they have very little to do with what we think of when we think of the 'internet'.
        • I'll stop making that joke if you leftist radicals will stop saying Bush "stole" the election.

          OK Bush didn't steal the election. Renquist, Scalia, Thomas and the other traitors on the Supreme Court stole the election for him.

          Regardless of which we now know that Bush told repeated lies for the sole purpose of getting elected. He clearly never meant to keep his repeated environment pledges. He clearly never intended to keep his repeated pledges to balance the budget. He has even continued lying after the election, remember the 'trifecta' claim?

          Al Qaeda murdered 3,000 people in New York and are still at large. North Koreat has torn up the agreed framework and is building nuclear weapons. so of course we are going to start a war with Iraq even though the UN arms inspectors have found nothing.

          Using the Presidency to persue a personal family vendetta when there are far more serious threats to national security is beneath contempt, it is certainly not 'leadership'.

          Of course because of the Internet I can say things like that and reach a very large audience. More importantly you, me and everyone else in this thread can come to our own assesment fo the merits of the failure in the Whitehouse, we don't have to simply sit back and accept the views fed us by the mainstream media and its Republican echo chamber.

          During the first gulf war people were using the Internet to find out the news that the mainstream media was not telling. That cut both ways, people in Europe and the US could see the stuff that CNN and ABC didn't broadcast, but equally people in Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq were findign out information their news services were not reporting. It will be interesting to see how the US media reports stories of the inevitable attrocities that result from war this time around. Will Bush's popularity rating survive bombing a couple of schools and hospitals when the pictures of the injured and dead children being carried out are circulating the Internet?

      • Awwwww.
        Can no one have a joke, these days with out it being all the evil mean republicans fault?
        • Perhaps if the evil mean republicans -- as you refer to them -- were not totally destroying the country and systematically undoing two hundred years of progress in expanding the scope of civil liberties and making equality for all more than just a pipe dream, then, perhaps, it would just be a joke. Or if perhaps you suffer under the illusion that the systematic erosion of our most basic civil liberties is just something to be joked about at a cocktail party, then, too, indeed it is a joke.

          If you think I'm over-reacting, then I can only say that we are as Germany was in 1936. Sure, it could, possibly, turn out okay, but things are likely to get incredibly ugly from here on out. Pretend otherwise at your own peril....

          • Hold on, I have to put on my tin-foil hat.

            If they are so bad, how do they get elected? Really, how?

            The thing that ruined this country was the New Deal. It created the whole welfare state. Now we have to live with it.
          • If you think I'm over-reacting, then I can only say that we are as Germany was in 1936.

            You lose.
      • From: http://www.snopes.com/quotes/internet.htm

        "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system."

        The problem I have with his statement was that he said he "created" the Internet. Not sponsored legistation. Not funded scientists. Not *helped* but *created*.

        His statement just came off as way too arrogant to the point of being silly. Which is why everyone makes fun of it. No one person or organization created the Internet. Heck, no one politician was responsible for its funding. Ronny was president January 1, 1983 and I believe LBJ was president during the initial ARPA funding. His statement gave no credit to anyone else whatsoever. Heck the Internet would be nothing without the WWW and that came out of Europe's CERN. His statement sounds like he sat in a back room with a computer and cooked up the Internet all by himself.

        The worst part is that this speech was obviously written and wasn't some off the cuff remark. It was deliberate and is a great example of why polticians suck. I'm reminded of the King in Dragonslayer who comes up to the remains of the dragon, sticks his sword in, and takes the credit for everything.

        Brian Ellenberger
        • learn English (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DABANSHEE ( 154661 )
          I took the initiative in creating the Internet

          That has 2 interprestations:

          1/ I took the initiative by creating the internet

          2/ The initiative I took led to the creation of the internet.

          Obviously he ment interpretation 2, as, if he meant interpretation 1 he would have just said it. The fact is the difference between in & by means alot, even though those definitions overlap.
      • a political hack who sold out the internet to the Icann cronies. I wouldn't listen to a word he says.

        Gore's bills helped the internet, true. but if you actualy read them it's pretty clear he had no idea what the internet actualy was when he wrote them. If you looked at the bills, they were mostly about building a network for trasfering data between supercomputers for scientific research, not the person-to-person, PC network that the internet became.
    • Unfortunately, I read this post too late to say the same thing.... but after reading the replies to Al Gore is celebrating... all I have to say is: lighten up guys. It was a funny statement that Gore made, not a personal attack...
  • by tbmaddux ( 145207 ) on Tuesday December 31, 2002 @09:47PM (#4992093) Homepage Journal
    The author of the original article followed up with a correction [ietf.org] in which he stated:
    In my recent message about the creation of the Internet by the conversion of the ARPAnet from NCP to TCP/IP, I incorrectly named Vint Cerf as the Responsible Parent at ARPA. Actually, the Responsible Parent at ARPA during conversion was Bob Kahn; Vint had left ARPA for MCI before that date. There are enough slightly-incorrect "facts" about the early history of the Internet floating around, without my inadvertantly creating a new non-fact!

    Bob Braden

  • T shirts (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 31, 2002 @09:51PM (#4992103)
    There may still be a few remaining T shirts that read, "I Survived the TCP/IP Transition".

    And sadder still, some of their owners are still wearing them...
  • Ask /. (Score:4, Funny)

    by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) <teamhasnoi@nospAm.yahoo.com> on Tuesday December 31, 2002 @09:52PM (#4992109) Homepage Journal
    Al Gore asked me how to FTP over TCP/IP using PCMCIA while singing 'YMCA' in full violation of the DMCA, angering the RIAA. What was I saying again?
  • Who's old school? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mayns ( 524760 ) on Tuesday December 31, 2002 @09:53PM (#4992114)
    So how many of you were on the internet in those dark ages? just curious.
    • Re:Who's old school? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 31, 2002 @10:28PM (#4992231)
      I was hanging around Berkeley learning Unix in 1983 (4.2 BSD). I remember losing all of my illegal accounts in Jan 1984 so I think it was 1984 before UCB was putting the whole campus on the Net and consequently tightening up security that year. But losing my accounts did seem like a dark 1984ish thing. I first saw the net in 1982 and had net access in 1983. In 1982 I saw Berkeley + MIT machines on the net so it definitely existed then. Computing was seriously fun then, learning Unix from reading the 4.2 BSD tech reports, Lyons and BSD sourcecode on pdp11 and vax. I remember the laminated Unix man pages in Cory hall -- it seemed so impressive.
    • Re:Who's old school? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MrChuck ( 14227 ) on Tuesday December 31, 2002 @10:38PM (#4992265)
      Does it count that I was using whatever it was to send mail from my college to my brother's in 1983?

      Lesse, we connect to UMass/Amh who connected to UMass/Boston who connected to Harvard who connected to U/CT who connected to Wesleyan.

      You had to get the bang path just so.

      How many people had business cards with ! paths?
      Even "domain!uunet"

      Let's recall that the "Internet" was an agreggation of several nets, including Arpa-Net and that many schools were somehow attached. Bitnet gateways (@rutgers) to the Arpanet basically counted. Telnet over, login as guest/guest and go to the next stop.

    • by Gorobei ( 127755 ) on Tuesday December 31, 2002 @10:44PM (#4992288)
      My first Usenet post was over 20 years ago: 1982-04-24.

      In the snow. Uphill. Both ways.
    • Walking down to the terminal "vault" to check for messages, watching the spastic golfball pound them out and then trying to read them after I realize I've left the APL ball on the machine.

      I'm not sure about this ARPAnet thingy my professor who does his research projects at MIT keeps talking about though. It's seems interesting to poke at I guess, but it's not like it's going to be of any *real* interest or anything.

      Ah well, back to important stuff, like playing "Star Trek" at 20 "frames" per hour.

      KFG
    • I've been searching through old USENET postings recently, taking a trip down memory lane. The earliest mention I can find of myself is the UUCP Mapping Project's UUCP map for u.usa.ca.2, found in comp.mail.maps dated 31 August 1988. It's from a time when I took over some of the technical UNIX work at Cullinet (before it was bought out and eviscerated by Computer Associates). Here's the relevant fragment from the posting:


      #N cullsj
      #S DEC VAX/8530; Ultrix 2.0
      #O Cullinet Software, Inc. - San Jose Development
      #C Roy Ho, Michael Sattler
      #E cullsj!usenet
      #T 1 408 434 6636
      #P 2860 Zanker Road #206, San Jose, CA 95134
      #L 37 23 N / 121 55 W
      #W cullsj!roy (Roy Ho); Thu Jan 7 19:47:36 PST 1988
      #U voder
      #
      cullsj ames(HOURLY), voder(HOURLY), culdev1(HOURLY)


      Damn, that brought back memories! There were lots of things I'd forgotten about my early days on the 'net, including being included in the "The Blacklist of Net.Nazis and Sandlot Bullies" for my work as a USENET Volunteer Votetaker. Kent Paul Dolan summed up the honor (and the wierdness) of being targeted (albeit half-heartedly) by the kooks:

      Kookhood has declined a great deal in the past few years. It used to be that there were people widely seen as kooks who actually were worth reading, even worth conversing with. Kooks with mostly-working minds and personal integrity.

      This pretty much died out with Grubor & Co., when kookhood turned seriously ugly. The various enemies lists created and posted by Grubor and his copycats were pretty much the last great works of news kooks. They marked the transition of kookdoom from eccentrics to psychotics, and psychotics are simply not interesting for any extended period, except maybe to a few eccentrics (who no longer even seem kooky...)


      So that's how old school I am. Older than many, younger than some. All in all, a great ride it's been.
  • Wow! (Score:5, Funny)

    by JayBlalock ( 635935 ) on Tuesday December 31, 2002 @09:56PM (#4992123)
    Just one more year, and the Internet can drink! Think of the fun we'll have then!
  • Cool! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Tuesday December 31, 2002 @09:56PM (#4992124) Journal
    Let's celebrate by slashdotting something really big!
    • Re:Cool! (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      RIAA or MPAA anyone?
  • by reaper20 ( 23396 ) on Tuesday December 31, 2002 @10:08PM (#4992172) Homepage
    Too bad that the last five years have seen the decline of the original intent of the internet to degrade to a cesspool of spam, RIAA/MPAA crap, popups, overmarketization, the ZD "stupidity factor" and other pure bullshit that we put up with every day.

    Anyone else harking for the days of gopher and html 3.2? Sure, the "market capitilization" was horrible, but you know what, NNTP was actually useful back then. No google? Some industrous person on would point you to the right place, as a common courtesy. Sharing of knowledge. Ahhhh ... the good old days.

    Now we're deluged with a flash-crippled web with no regards to any kind of standards, where any moron can masquerade as a "developer" and make a ton of money for being an idiot. yeah, I may sound stupid in today's context, but someone like Alan Ralsky was impossible back in the day.

    Bring back the meritocracy of the internet - you remember? The place where you were entitled to an opinion if you were intelligent enough to actually learn and connect.

    Discriminatory? Hell yes, mod me down. Being more intelligent than the average Joe never hurt anyone....

    • Ah...

      The days of using a 2400 baud modem on my 486 to dial in to the local high school. You had shell on a VAX, you used lynx and kermit.

      All for $10 a year! This was when ISPs where still hourly!

      Ah... I remember upgrading to 9600 baud, and 14400 (PPP!). Those were the days...
      -----
    • Forums, irc channels and newsgroups still exist where knowledge is shared and people learn. Yes, in general there is a lot of noise, but there are still places where the majority are intelligent and courteous.

      An interesting thing I noticed was that when I started using Linux, setting up web bookmarks for FAQs, HOWTOs, etc, the web seems less and less commercial. I guess it looks like whatever you are looking for (if that makes any sense).

      btw, it's the early hours of New Year's day, so no apologies for rambling on :)
    • Funny. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mindstrm ( 20013 ) on Tuesday December 31, 2002 @10:43PM (#4992284)
      If you mean the web.. fine.

      Nowadays though..
      you can route your PBX through a VOIP provider and get really cool phone service, and rates, from anywhere you can get bandwidth.
      We trade entire movies online like it ain't no big thing.
      Same for music.

      Videoconferencing. You may not have seen high quality video conferencing via the internet.. but I sure have.. and it is indeed impressive.

      Education. It's easier than ever to look up any kind of information now than ever before.. increased advertising yes.. but also increased information. Howstuffworks.com and it's type are awesome learning tools, for all ages.

      Open forums, debates, person info like blogs, are huge now. Don't care? Maybe not.. but it's fairly easy to see what othe rpeople really think. Go back to reading magazines if you want... think some guy who failed highschool, has an iq of 40.. you don't want his opinion on something? Don't want to know what he thinks? You should, because he votes.

      Etc.

      • route your PBX through a VOIP provider and get really cool phone service... We trade entire movies online like it ain't no big thing... You may not have seen high quality video conferencing via the internet

        Somehow I'm guessing you're not using a dialup like the majority of users still are. Heck, you're not even using DSL or cable.
        • While videoconferencing isn't so easy on Cablemodem/DSL because of the upload cap (damn you Comcast and your 16 KB/s upload cap!) trading movies online is extremely feasable these days. Just look at the usenet. It's time for you to dump that old crappy modem and upgrade to something with real bandwidth.
      • think some guy who failed highschool, has an iq of 40.. you don't want his opinion on something? Don't want to know what he thinks? You should, because he votes.

        And buys things.

        Dave
    • Anyone else harking for the days of gopher and html 3.2? Sure, the "market capitilization" was horrible, but you know what, NNTP was actually useful back then. No google? Some industrous person on would point you to the right place, as a common courtesy. Sharing of knowledge. Ahhhh ... the good old days.

      And you could talk to very cool people on Usenet or though email: Vinge, Effinger, Abrash, and Hawking.

      Microsoft had never even thought about the Internet, Spamford and his ilk were not yet at work, AOL was in it's own little ghetto, no javascript, no P2P, and no one was around to interupt our own little elitist world. I do miss some of the things about the weird old days.

    • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Tuesday December 31, 2002 @10:58PM (#4992322) Journal
      Now we're deluged with a flash-crippled web with no regards to any kind of standards

      I'm not! If I come across a 'crippled' web-site, I won't use it, nor will I go there again.

      YOU make the web. So, next time you feel like complaining about how terrible flash is, uninstall it from your computer instead. Next time you get annoyed by a pop-up, (of if you, like myself, have the slightest concern for privacy and security) disable javascript and be done with it.

      If you don't like distracting animations, disable GIF animations, and you won't be bothered again.

      For all your complaining, you haven't accomplished anything. I was annoyed like you by many MANY things on the web... but instead of complaining on slashdot, I installed Privoxy (before it was even under that name) and wrote up a few regex filters that eliminate almost every annoyance I've ever come across. CmdrTaco (and most other webmasters) may not be smart enough to dump the white backgrounds (in favor of any other color that you can look at without feeling like your eyes are being crushed) but that doesn't mean I have to be forced to look look at it that way.
      • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Wednesday January 01, 2003 @12:13AM (#4992467)
        and thinking, " You know, someday this will be in color, and text will be WYSIWYG and the screen will look like *paper*, with black text."

        I was a visionary in my 30's. And I was right. We got it, and it was good, in fact it was awsome.

        I was also a naive twit in my 30's. Nowadays I've "devolved" into reading mail in text mode using mutt. Dark background, white 80 column text you can read from halfway across a thirty foot room, and it's good. In fact, it's awsome.

        A CRT isn't paper. Different rules apply. Your eyes, and the eyes of your readers, will thank you for realizing this.

        Ah well, at least it's better than those websites that print black text on a textured navy blue background.

        KFG
        • Dark background, white 80 column text you can read from halfway across a thirty foot room, and it's good. In fact, it's awsome.

          I `inherited' an old qvt-109 terminal (new, in box)... It's been so long, I didn't remember how much nicer amber was on the eyes. It's a damn shame modern monitors (anything with more than 16 colors) don't have the good ol' monochrome button in the back. If something like that was released today, it would be considered a revolution in ergonomics.

          But still, nobody figures it out.

          A CRT isn't paper. Different rules apply. Your eyes, and the eyes of your readers, will thank you for realizing this.

          I always explain to people that reading black text from a white page on a computer screen is like reading the label of a flourscent lightbulb. In fact, the only difference between the two is the refresh rate.

          The difference between paper and screen is quite simple... Books aren't backlit, so the light you see when reading, is polarized.

          I'm leading up to something here

          What that means, is that we need monitors that are NOT backlit. I've heard that the color gameboy screens do exactly this, and are very low-power to boot. So, I can't help but wonder why no one has come forward with a `front-lit' monitor, and sold each for several times what they are worth. That, in fact, is the only barrier left to the paperless office/home. Hey, if everyone's eyes weren't getting burned by looking at a computer screen, they just might read an e-book, rather than printing everything out, just so they can read it once and throw it away.

          Meanwhile, millions is spent on ergonomics, electronic paper, tablets, etc. Just manufacture one new monitor, and you too can change the world.

          Hey, at this point, I'd be happy with a 10 inch, Black & White, LCD display. It's ironic that the high-end handheld do away with the much easier to read greyscale LCDs.

          Ah well, at least it's better than those websites that print black text on a textured navy blue background.

          Actually, I don't mind that very much. Hit CTRL+A and all the text will be highlighted, giving the text the contrast it needs.

          Dark pictures on dark backgrouds are another story.

          But... White backgrounds are everywhere... I don't run into any other terrible design decisions even 1/10o0th as much.

          And yet, nobody ever learns. I still don't know why. It's a monkey-see-monkey-do mentality, I suppose.
        • I remember when HTML email first came out, I was thrilled... for about two weeks. Now I use Moz in text-only/images-disabled mode and bitch at friends who insist on sending me anything but ASCII.

          My first contact with the Net (or anything like) came in 1980 or '81 when I had an account on the DELPHI sytem. Then I did other stuff for about 15 years, and by the time I came back to computing, the WWW was there.
    • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Tuesday December 31, 2002 @11:49PM (#4992425) Journal
      "Anyone else harking for the days of gopher and html?"

      The Internet of those days to me is more or less the same as today's Internet: a means of data transport. For what it's worth, that transport now reaches much more people than it did way back when, and at greater speeds also. Don't fall into that delusion that many ISP's suffer from: that they somehow have to offer content as well as transport.

      "Bring back the meritocracy of the internet - you remember? The place where you were entitled to an opinion if you were intelligent enough to actually learn and connect."

      The great achievement of the Internet is that it has given a voice (or medium or whatever) to whomever needs one. Sure, that includes the crackpots, spammers, lousy web designers, Flash users, and so on and so forth. Internet is no longer the plaything of the elite at universities and defense organisations, as it was 10 years ago. As a result, there is more worthwhile stuff on the Internet than ever there was in the past, but there is a corresponding increase in crap, which one has to sort through to get to the meat. But the crap goes hand in hand with the good stuff... culling the crap would probably mean curtailing essential freedoms that leads to the good stuff.
      • For my first message post of the year, I'll have to say I'm in agreement with you. Despite all the nostalgia for the days of Veronica, Gopher, etc. - those were the tools used because they made the most of the commonly available hardware of the day.

        When graphics cards and processor speeds started making multimedia viable - it just made sense things would evolve beyond plain text-based tools.

        "A picture's worth a thousand words." has much truth to it. By extension, a well-done animation/movie has the power of 1,000 still pictures.
    • Yea, I liked those days when my professor gave me his username and password so I could surf gopher space on my 1200 baud modem...when the web consisted of a couple of hundred pages of esoteric text put up by quantum mechanics reaserchers.

      The net has changed and mostly for the better. Sure there's plenty of crapola on the net these days but there's also lots of interesting, educational, and enlightening pages out there for everyone.

      Its better now than it was and the good stuff will still increase with the caca. Its more democratic, its widely available. The simple minded user is not stuck on prodigy, he's mixing it up with the uber webbies (via AOL) and that cant be all bad.

      Happy b-day to the net....it's survived through infancy and is becoming an adult (hence all the p*o*r*n spam?).

    • Gopher? Luxury!! Aye, when I was a lad we used to dream of the day we'd 'ave gopher. I'd 'ave to get oop at 4am, stick an ethernet cable oop me nose and sniff in binary just to get me email.
      • You had Ethernet cables? Luxury! We had damp strings between the phones! We didn't have modems, we had to make the noise ourselves! A terrible racket it was, but we were happy with it!
    • Anyone else harking for the days of gopher and html 3.2?

      Let me tell you about two services which no longer exist: DEC ftpmail, and anon.penet.fi.

      I got on the Net when it was about half its current age, by this measure. Well, I wasn't on the Internet -- "the Net" meant Usenet much of the time then, and I had a dial-up shell account on a hobbyist system which had a UUCP news and mail feed from an Internet host. Mail and news came in once a day. The site I was on moved from bang paths to domainist email addressing that year.

      (Bang paths were a style of email address which didn't rely on Internet DNS and MX records. You specified the path from machine to machine that the mail should take -- yes, those were open relays! -- separated by a ! character, like so: bigvax!smallhost!mybox!myname, where bigvax was a machine that "everyone" knew how to reach. Addressing got more complicated still if you wanted to email someone on BITNET, FidoNet, CompuServe, or another email network that gatewayed to the Internet somewhere.)

      Since we didn't have a "real" Internet feed, and the sysop didn't let ordinary users request files by UUCP, we used a public service run by DEC. (Yes, they'd started calling themselves d|i|g|i|t|a|l, but nobody listened.) This was called "ftpmail", and the way it worked was that you sent email to a daemon on decwrl.dec.com, with the name of an FTP site to connect to, and a sequence of commands to issue. If you sent an ls, you'd get back a file listing ... and if you sent a get, the daemon would email you back the file, chunked up and uuencoded.

      There are very few ftpmail services still in existence. Gee, I wonder why.

      Soon after I got on the Net, I discovered that it wasn't always a great idea to post things to Usenet in one's own name. Some people had better reason for anonymity than I, of course -- people posting about their experiences surviving sexual abuse, or how to grow marijuana, or things their employers might not want traced back to the office VAX. So someone invented the anonymous remailer.

      The first anonymous remailer was anon.penet.fi, run by Julf Helsingius. It was a rather clever system, really -- send email to alt.sex@anon.penet.fi and your message would be posted to alt.sex under an obvious pseudonym -- an12345@anon.penet.fi or some such. But the server retained a hash that allowed it to process responses -- if someone replied by mail to your post, it would come back to your real address, anonymized as well, and with Reply-to: set properly.

      Once the spammers and the Scientologists got hold of it, the service was not long for this world. Even the next two generations of remailers -- the Cypherpunk "Type I" remailer and the Mixmaster -- seem to have vanished, under the profligacy of email accounts that people maintain these days, and the threat of spamming.

      Sigh.

    • > Anyone else harking for the days of gopher and html 3.2?

      You. Feel free to use them. Anyone who cares will join you. You don't need to ask anyone's permission, and the protocols are quite well documented with RFC's. When/if IPv6 becomes the standard, you can go tunnel IP4.

      HTML 3.2 was the "good old days", eh? They sure get their grey hairs early, this crowd.

      BTW, if I had mod points, I would mod you down just for whining about maybe being modded. Put your point out there or don't.
  • by KC7GR ( 473279 ) on Tuesday December 31, 2002 @10:11PM (#4992188) Homepage Journal
    I just can't resist. Remember what you all need to sing at midnight in your respective time zone...

    Should older packets become dumped
    and never brought online,
    Let newer packets take their place
    on all our T-1 lines!

    (I wonder if my older karma will be forgotten?)

  • We will look back at the birth of the Internet as the beginnings of the death of privacy, for better or worse. My friends, we have entered the Transparent Age.

    We are quickly headed toward a time where economic advantage will be directly proportional to how much privacy is given up. Those who will work the hardest to keep everything in their lives private will become the new underclass.

  • Rather conveniently, only those geeky enough to celebrate this anniversary get to learn this news, since everyone else is out on the biggest party night of the year.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY INTERNET!!
  • January 2nd (Score:2, Funny)

    by E-Rock-23 ( 470500 )
    The day after the Internet was born is also a red letter date in the online world. It brought with it the following historical firsts:

    The First Blog.
    The First Troll
    The Basic Concept of goatse.cx was allowed to begin forming.
    A Synapse in Rob Malda's head fired, marking the beginnings of what would become Slashdot.
    The First Pirate dipped his toe into brave new waters.
    The First Internet Download Queen, Billie Jean King, was crowned.
    The Fires of Mount St. Helens rumbled in faraway Washington, signaling the rise of the Dark Lord Gates and the writing of the One OS
    Al Gore said that the second day of his greatest invention was going very well.
    The birth of the first newsgroup, alt.news.cultureclub (hey, it was the 80's!)
    The First "Stephen King, Dead at 35" Post
    One year later, George Orwell, You Do The Math

    Happy New Year, everyone. May your night be moderated +1(Kickass)
    • > The birth of the first newsgroup,
      > alt.news.cultureclub (hey, it was the 80's!)

      Usenet was well established in 1983. It can and did operate independently of the Internet.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 01, 2003 @12:51AM (#4992529)
      A Synapse in Rob Malda's head fired, marking the beginnings of what would become Slashdot.

      Jan 1, 2003: The second synpapse in Rob Malda's head fired, resulting in a duplicate article.
  • NCP eh (Score:3, Funny)

    by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Tuesday December 31, 2002 @10:37PM (#4992260) Journal
    So, the internet left NCP 20 years ago... How long until Novell figures it out?

    Repeat after me... It's a Joke, It's a Joke, It's a Joke. And when you tell me about factual inaccuracies, guess what I'm going to tell you?
  • IETF info (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ScubaS ( 600042 )
    Bob is a great member for the IETF's mailing list. It is not everyday that people are actually watching out for special occassions such as the 20th aniversary of the Internet using the TCP/IP protocol. The NCP protocol is so old that it is basically unheard of today. I know that there will be more than one New Years Eve for us this week! Nobody can predict what the internet would be like if ARPANET was still using the NCP protocol for internet communications. All I can say about that is, maybe it is time for the Internet's Rebirth and phase out TCP/IP for something that is easier on the internet's precious bandwidth and high latency.
  • The next 20 years (Score:2, Insightful)

    by buttahead ( 266220 )
    So who can guess where we will be 20 years from now? Wide scale broadband using IPv6? Small scale super broadband using an IP replacement?

    What's going on with the Internet v2.0? Will it also be spun into a commercial media frenzy?

    Anyone care to venture some guesses? Now taking bets; I'm sure you will be able to track me down 2 decades from now.
  • The last major net revolution was probably in the mid nineties. By then we had animated .gifs, jpegs, database-driven web pages, Flash, Java and Javascript.

    Has there really been anything new since then? I mean, since the WWW was born, the internet hasn't really advanced much. Sure, we've seen gradual improvements in bandwidth, HTML, CSS, scripting languages and so on, but there hasn't really been anything NEW.

    • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Wednesday January 01, 2003 @12:27AM (#4992489)
      that's generally a sign of maturation of any technology. It happens. There's only so much "new" to go around, and then you've used it up.

      You can see signs of it throughtout the entire computer industry too. They're starting to sell chrome like it's a technological feature. They only have to do that when they've run out of *actual* new technological features to sell. "Buy our OS, it's got prettier widgets and shit."

      There was that "smell-O-vision" thingy that someone said they were working on a while ago. Man, just wait to you get hit with a "popup" perfume ad with that sucker. Maybe nothing new is a Good Thing?

      KFG
    • P2P and, with increasing bandwidth, the increased development of the whole pirate information (mp3, warez, books, movies, porn) underground.

      Tim
    • What we need now is good multicast support.

      A speaker/writer/performer ought to be able to pay for just enough bandwidth to deliver one copy of his msg up to the backbone and have the rest of the distribution costs payed by the individuals who choose to receive it.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday December 31, 2002 @11:19PM (#4992364) Homepage
    The Internet was up well before 1 JAN 1983. That was just the date that the old ARPANET NCP people had to switch over. I had machines on the Internet more than 20 years ago, and so did others.

    Here's an Internet host list from 1981:

    • Date: 5 Oct 1981 1358-PDT

    • From: POSTEL at USC-ISIF
      To: mike.bmd70 at BRL

      27-May-81 16:52 JBP

      GATEWAYS

      • DCEC-EDN/ARPA
      • MIT-LCS/ARPA
      • BBN-RCC/ARPA
      • BBN-SAT/ARPA
      • NDRE-SAT/ARPA
      • COMSAT-SAT/COMSAT
      • UCL-SAT/UCL
      • UCL-SAT/NULL
      • UCL-UCL/RSRE
      • RSRE-NULL/PPSN
      • RSRE-NULL/PPSN
      • SRI-PR1/ARPA
      • SRI-PR2/ARPA
      • BBN-BBNPR/ARPA
      • Bragg-BraggPR/ARPA

      COMPUTERS

      • ALTA-COMA
      • BBN-UNIX
      • BBN-VAX
      • BBNA
      • BBNB
      • BBNC
      • BBND
      • BBNE
      • BBNF
      • BBNG
      • EDN-HOST1
      • EDN-HOST3
      • EDN-UNIX
      • ISIB
      • ISIC
      • ISID
      • ISIE
      • ISIF
      • MIT-DevMultics
      • MIT-Multics
      • UCLA-CCN 3033
  • Reminising (Score:3, Interesting)

    by peterdaly ( 123554 ) <petedaly@ix.net3.14159com.com minus pi> on Tuesday December 31, 2002 @11:41PM (#4992409)
    My first collection of bookmarks was scrawled on paper, and titled "Servers", since none of us had heard of "Bookmarks" yet.

    Anyone have an old copy of the Internet Yellowpages sitting in their shelf? (Or in their basement...)

    I remember how cool we though it was to download gif images of weather maps from University of Michigan. We didn't have to wait for the news to see an up to date weather map! Think of how commonplace that is today.

    -Pete
    • Re:Reminising (Score:4, Interesting)

      by zaren ( 204877 ) <holdthis@mail.com> on Tuesday December 31, 2002 @11:53PM (#4992432) Homepage Journal
      My first collection of bookmarks was scrawled on paper, and titled "Servers", since none of us had heard of "Bookmarks" yet.

      My collection was scrawled on the labels of various 1.4 meg floppies. This was back when archie was still popular, and my primary method of Internet access was dialing into my college's Prime mainframe (before most people knew they could get Internet access through their Fortran programming account) with a 2400 bps modem. I still like the sound of a 2400 connecting the best :)
  • *toasts* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kien ( 571074 ) <kien@ m e m b e r . fsf.org> on Wednesday January 01, 2003 @12:00AM (#4992444) Journal
    Here's to free-thinkers...may they continue to retain the right to question things.

    Here's to academics...may they continue their research.

    Here's to the hacker ethic which played a large part in the creation of the Net.

    And here's to all of you /. people, whether friend, foe, or freak; you make me think.

    Happy New Year!

    --K.
  • by ThresholdRPG ( 310239 ) on Wednesday January 01, 2003 @12:14AM (#4992471) Homepage Journal
    ... until you're old enough to drink, Internet!

    Until then, I guess you have to stick to what you're best at: porn and gambling.

    Happy Birthday Internet!
  • by mtec ( 572168 ) on Wednesday January 01, 2003 @01:30AM (#4992661)
    In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    And the earth was without form, and void; and there was no Spam.
    And the Spirit of God moved slowly through modems.
    And God said, Let there be speed: and there was speed.
    And God saw the speed, that it was good: and God divided the slow from the fast.
    And God called the speed true Broadband Internet, and the slow he called AOL.
    And the evening and the morning were the first day.

    (apologies)

In every hierarchy the cream rises until it sours. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter

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