Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet

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Simon & Schuster, 1996 - Computers - 304 pages
22 Reviews
A little more than twenty-five years ago, computer networks did not exist anywhere - except in the minds of a handful of computer scientists. In the late 1960s, the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency funded a project to create computer communication among its university-based researchers. The experiment was inspired by J. C. R. Licklider, a brilliant scientist from MIT. At a time when computers were generally regarded as nothing more than giant calculators, Licklider saw their potential as communications devices.
Where Wizards Stay Up Late is the story of the small group of researchers and engineers whose invention, daring in its day, became the foundation for the Internet. With ARPA's backing, Licklider and others began the quest for a way to connect computers across the country.
In 1969, ARPA awarded the contract to build the most integral piece of this network - a computerized switch called the Interface Message Processor, or IMP - to Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN), a small Cambridge, Massachusetts, company. A half-dozen engineers at BBN, who called themselves the IMP Guys, knew it was possible to do what larger companies - including AT&T and IBM - had dismissed as impossible. But making computer networking possible required inventing new technologies. Working around the clock, the IMP Guys met a tight deadline, and the first IMP was installed at UCLA nine months after the contract award.
A nationwide network called the ARPANET grew from four initial sites. Protocols were developed, and along the way a series of accidental discoveries were made, not the least of which was e-mail. Almost immediately, e-mail became the most popular feature of the Net and the "@" sign became lodged in the iconography of our times. The ARPANET continued to grow, then merged with other computer networks to become today's Internet. In 1990, the ARPANET itself was shut down, fully merged by then with the Internet it had spawned.

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Review: Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet

User Review  - Jim Clearman - Goodreads

Clear, factual, and still entertaining, this work covers the genius, brutal hard work, and near insane series of mishaps that were the origins of our global digital network. Read full review

Review: Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet

User Review  - Roberto Rigolin Ferreira Lopes - Goodreads

So that is how internet was created! How many genius took to build the first prototype? A bunch! And with a wide range of skills. Was quite entertaining read about all these people and the historical context around ARPANET. Read full review

Contents

Prologue
9
A Block Here Some Stones There
43
The Third University
82
Copyright

5 other sections not shown

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About the author (1996)

Katie Hafner has been writing about technology since 1983. She was the news editor of Data Communications Magazine, a reporter for the San Diego Union, a technology correspondent for Business Week and a contributing editor at Newsweek, covering technology and computers. In addition, she has contributed articles to journals such as Wired, The New Republic, Esquire and Working Woman. Hafner is co-author of Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier (1991, with John Markoff), and Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet (1996, with husband Matthew Lyon). In 1995, she wrote The House at the Bridge: A Story of Modern Germany, which grew out of an interest she developed in college while studying with novelist and playwright Rheinhard Lettau.

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