Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

The Internet’s 25th Birthday Today

Yes, the Internet celebrates its 25th birthday today! TCP/IP had a difficult start. It was first demonstrated between Stanford and UCL in 1975. It took quite a bit of persuasion before it was finally adopted and the ARPANET switched over to it on 1 Jan 1983. If you didn’t yet know… TCP/IP is the basic network protocol that drives the modern Internet as we know it today.

I had the fortune to attend a course in IT project management some years ago conducted by Dr Bennet Lientz. He was one of the project managers on the team that invented TCP/IP. He shared with us some of his experiences from back then. TCP/IP, like many great technology inventions, was a solution waiting for a problem to solve. They had trouble persuading the adoption of TCP/IP because of the lack of a killer application!

Guess what was the killer application they made for TCP/IP back then? Email! Yes, email was one of the first applications of the Internet. A decade later, the web became the killer application. Nowadays, we have peer to peer network, social networking, etc, etc.

The Internet has already brought us data, voice, video convergence. We’ll probably see more of mobile convergence coming up. Wonder what future the Internet holds for us?

If you’re interested, read the Internet Society’s article Brief History of the Internet | Internet Society (previously History of the Internet).

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