Kevin B. Ridgway

The Internet is 50 Today

October 29, 2019

In the third floor of Boelter Hall on the UCLA campus, in room 3420 some historical computing happened at 10:30pm, the 29th of October, 1969:

But something monumental happened there 50 years ago today. A graduate student named Charley Kline sat at an ITT Teletype terminal and sent the first digital data transmission to Bill Duvall, a scientist who was sitting at another computer at the Stanford Research Institute (now known as SRI International) on the other side of California. It was the beginning of ARPANET, the small network of academic computers that was the precursor to the internet. - via 50 years ago today, the internet was born in Room 3420

While I love the start to this piece, but why is /Internet/ not properly capitalized? Thankfully /Wired/ has got my back on this one:

According to Bob Wyman, a Google tech staffer and long-time Net expert, the “I” should be capitalized to make clear the difference in meaning between the Internet (the global network that evolved out of ARPANET, the early Pentagon network), and any generic internet, or computer network connecting a number of smaller networks. via Should You Be Capitalizing the Word ‘Internet’?

Let’s not forget that the picture of the plaque in the room, in the Forbes article talking about the historic significance of the Internet, capitalizes the word “Internet”. For shame. But hey, cool popup as I’m trying to read the article, Forbes. Cool cool cool.

I don’t think Bill Duvall or Charley Kline could have foreseen the massive effect that the Internet would have on the world. Who could have? Billions of people can communicate via all kinds of applications and devices now.


Kevin B. Ridgway
  • Hi, I'm a Senior Software Engineer living in sunny 🌨 Buffalo!
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