back to article Internet pops champagne on (second) 40th birthday

Today, the Internet celebrates its second 40th birthday. Some date the dawn of the net to September 12, 1969, when a team of engineers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) connected the first two machines on the first node of ARPAnet, the US Department of Defense–funded network that eventually morphed into the …


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  1. Rob Beard
    Thumb Up

    I'll be raising a glass...

    ... to the internet this evening. It's enabled me to download the latest Ubuntu 9.10 and Windows 7 Home Edition (bloody student upgrade which I paid for then found out I have to mess about installing a fresh copy of Windows before I can install Windows 7 on top!) without having to wait for the posties to sort themselves out.


  2. Anonymous Coward

    Well, duh!

    Everybody knows that you're born and *then* U learn to speak. It's not a second birthday. Kleinrock fails for thinking birth and speaking should happen simultaneously. Otherwise all of us should take 6-24 months off our age (the normal range for humans to learn to speak).

  3. Serenity
    Thumb Up

    Great Article

    Thanks for the article, it's a cool bit of history, especially for those of us who weren't born for another 10 years. I know there's the inevitable crowd of whiners, but I love it when El Reg does the occasional historical or anniversary peace.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    anybody know when

    ...the first spam was sent? We need to go back in time and shoot this person. I think I left my time machine parked next to my flying car.

  5. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Sobering thought

    I was 20 at the time, and about my peak of geekiness/nerdiness, yet I had not the remotest clue any of this was going on and only developed a vague awareness in the early 1980s

  6. Jason Togneri

    We'll be having a nerdy celebration...

    ...since my wife shares the same birthday!

  7. Homard

    @AC Fail :-)

    Consider a computer the analogue of a single human. Not much use on their own, and no need for communication. No language is available.

    The internet is the computer analogy of human communication by speech. Baby is born but takes a while to speak. Same with computers, so I'm with the date the language was born being the birth of the internet.

    Must be the reason why I've had a good day at work for a change. So I'm celebrating both by getting slightly sloshed ! Well more than slightly.

    Please excuse the beaming smiley face icon (without the rosy cheeks !). Back to normal tomorrow - honest.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    So let me get this straight...

    ...within minutes of being connected to the 'Internet' the machine crashed.

  9. Anonymous Coward


    Happy Birthday to a military network designed to ensure that it was still possible to complete the thermonuclear destruction of our planet in the event that only half of it was already completed?

    I think I'll wait for the 40th anniversary of the world wide web, i.e. the anniversary of somebody realising that this thing could be used to benefit mankind, not incinerate it in blinding white-hot agony.

    It's like celebrating the 40th anniversary of the V2 bomb, rather than the 40th anniversary of space flight.

    Troll, because I'm sure some moron will suggest that I am.

  10. Quirkafleeg

    Re: Well, duh!

    Actually, these things are two birthdays of two different things.

    1. The creation of the first local area network.

    2. The creation of the Internet, that being the first connection and communication between two LANs.

    So *you* fail, AC.

    And you too, Homard: the Internet is the medium over which (non-local) communication happens, not the communication itself; it is a network of networks.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    @Seth Galitzer

    I am not sure when the first spam was sent - but I have a good idea when pictures were first embedded in email. I was -working- at Princeton and got an email with a beaver in it (1995). I was stunned and looked around to see if anyone was standing near me and had happened to see the computer screen. Boy did I delete it fast. (No desire to get fired!)

  12. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    Re: So let me get this straight...

    Couldn't get the latest security patches in time...

  13. jake Silver badge

    @Seth Galitzer

    The first "spam" was sent on ARPANET, mid 1978, metacrawl for "Gary Thuerk". I didn't get my copy of the email, alas, or I would copy & paste it here. Gary got yelled at, none of the rest of us ever tried anything as daft.

    I remember a student at Stanford sending every email account on campus a "wanna buy my bike?" email back when I was stanford!sail!vax!jake (name changed to protect the guilty; I'm archived at DejaGoo under the real name) ... Probably 1982 or thereabouts. He got yelled at, loudly, and had computer privileges revoked for the rest of the year.

    After that? Probably the first real spam was on Usenet in late 1993 or early 1994. (Religious crap, and a bot kibozing on the word "Turkey"). Followed, of course, by the infamous "Green Card Lottery" spam.

    For modern email? Soon after Usenet ... I'm guessing late 1994 or early 1995.

  14. jake Silver badge

    @AC 00:39

    "Happy Birthday to a military network designed to ensure that it was still possible to complete the thermonuclear destruction of our planet in the event that only half of it was already completed?"


    No, AC, that's not what we were building. It was a research network, designed to research networking. No more, no less. Please, do a little research of your own before flapping your yap, and then join us in the real world ... or you can continue to hide behind the AC label, if you prefer.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    "Some date the dawn of the net to September 12, 1969, when ... connected the first two machines"

    "others ... peg the birthday to October 29, when the first message was sent between the remote nodes"

    Personally, I don't recognise either of these as noteworthy events.

    The birth of the internet should be commemorated as the day the first porn appeared on it.

  16. Sir Runcible Spoon
    Thumb Up


    "As in Lo and Behold"

    Surely they were just ahead of the curve on texting?



  17. Andrew Miller

    First Spam

    Article about first spam is here - spam celebrated it's 30th anniversary last year

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    "We're all going to get laid"

    Internet Pr0N !!


  19. James Butler

    @AC 00:39 and Metz

    The "D" part of the DARPANET did not become involved until AFTER the network was proven to work. As "jake" said, the experiment, like Berners-Lee's work at CERN 20 years later, was academic. The Defense Department was peeking, but did not commit funds until later on, when they figured out that a network of computers would be more resilient to attack than a single machine. So, like almost everything military, this was an idea first developed to help humans, not to kill them.

  20. Homard


    Let us consider the abstraction a moment. It is a beautiful spring morning, the birds are singing and tweeting at each other. The birds are communicating by tweeting and sound in air is the conducting medium.

    Oh heck another good day at work, more beer and I'm really too fuddled to care.

    Other than to say that I was trying to distinguish between sound/electricty as the medium and language/protocol the real communication method. If we take your 'routing' argument further we surely arrive at 'Chinese whispers'. And we all know how accurate that can be :-).

    So we must conclude that netbios which is non-routeable must be better than TCP/IP which is. Maybe my analogy leaves room for improvement !

    Still got my rosy-cheeked smile. Ah well - cheers !

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