- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Paperback Edition edition (January 21, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0684832674
- ISBN-13: 978-0684832678
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 123 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet First Paperback Edition Edition
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Considering that the history of the Internet is perhaps better documented internally than any other technological construct, it is remarkable how shadowy its origins have been to most people, including die-hard Net-denizens!
At last, Hafner and Lyon have written a well-researched story of the origins of the Internet substantiated by extensive interviews with its creators who delve into many interesting details such as the controversy surrounding the adoption of our now beloved "@" sign as the separator of usernames and machine addresses. Essential reading for anyone interested in the past -- and the future -- of the Net specifically, and telecommunications generally. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Hafner, coauthor of Cyberpunk, and Lyon, assistant to the president of the University of Texas, here unveil the Sputnik-era beginnings of the Internet, the groundbreaking scientific work that created it and the often eccentric, brilliant scientists and engineers responsible. Originally funded during the Eisenhower administration by IPTO (Information Processing Techniques Office) within the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), ARPANET, the Internet's predecessor, was devised as a way to share far-flung U.S. computer resources at a time when computers were wildly expensive, room-sized bohemoths unable to communicate with any other. The husband-and-wife writing team profile the computer engineering firm of Bolt Baranek and Newman, which produced the original prototypes for ARPANET, and they profile the men (there were virtually no women) and an alphabet soup of agencies, universities and software that made the Internet possible. And while the book attempts to debunk the conventional notion that ARPANET was devised primarily as a communications link that could survive nuclear war (essentially it was not), pioneer developers like Paul Baran (who, along, with British Scientist Donald Davies devised the Internet's innovative packet-switching message technology) recognized the importance of an indestructible message medium in an age edgy over the prospects of global nuclear destruction. The book is excellent at enshrining little known but crucial scientist/administrators like Bob Taylor, Larry Roberts and Joseph Licklider, many of whom laid the groundwork for the computer science industry.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
my father was an engineer at AT&T; we had a teletype in the basement, then a bare chip 'computer' that played daisy and one that was a rocket war game. that one we hacked to cheat so the rocket planes would sail off one end of the tiny screen and come back on the other, to sneak up on the enemy.
dad brought home a 'luggable' computer w an amber monitor, used for trouble shooting telephone systems, but it wasn't until I was married in 84 that my husband and I got an XT. it was marvelous, even tho it did very little. we played adventure on it, and then our own d & d game. before quicken came out, we had a little checking account program. by 1992 we had 2 computers and the fastest modem money could buy, accounts on compuserve and prodigy and our own little geekworld.
now I own more computing power ( and individual machines ) than the first arpanet; not difficult. it's been a grand ride and I can't wait to see what come next!
The book consists of eight chapters about the creation of the ArpaNet, the predecessor of the Internet. It starts with describing the creation of the ARPA research organization in the US government, the people influencal to that creation and the description of Licklider, the early head of the agency which was so influencal to the creation on the net.
The second chapter discusses the creation of the concept of packet-switching by Paul Baran and Donald Davies and how this was, early on, ignored by most of the rest of the world. Especially the attitude of AT&T is, in retrospective, of course quite amusing. The third chapter talks about the history of BBN, which was the company that build the first 'routers' (called IMPs) for the first network. And how this small company won the contract for building the ARPANET.
The book continues with the creation of the first IMP for the UCLA and how the company had trouble with the early Honeywell computers that were used as a basis. The early computers had a bug in their synchronization which caused the machine to be much less reliable than needed. Honeywell couldn't believe how reliable BBN wanted the machine to be. Quite amusing. The following chapter covers the history of Steve Crocker and Vint Cerf. Vint created (with Kahn) later the TCP and IP protocols, Steve was the author of the first RFC--the way internet standards are described and how they have been evolved.
The sixth chapter describes the creation of more IMPs and how the ARPANET gradually grew... and the problems that caused. How the FTP protocol was created (and the mail protocol hacked in the FTP protocol) and how they showed off the ARPANET during a small conference (and AT&T still not believing in the concept). The next chapter covers Email. The creation of Email and how it became the major usage of the network early on. Especially interesting are the discussions about mail headers and inconsistency. At least it demonstrations that easy agreement in creating the internet protocols is an illusion, it took a lot of discussion and a long time.
The final chapter goes in a faster pace and explains how Cerf/Kahn created the IP protocol and implemented that on other networks and how the NFS created a new network gradually linking more and more networks together and creating the Internet. Amusing to read was how the ARPANET actually became more and more a government DOD network and that it, in a sense, was NOT the 'father' network of the internet (depending on how you define father... it wasn't the first network to be linked up). Also the story of the creating of Ethernet and the fight between OSI and TCP/IP are amusing. The book ends with a small epilogue describing the 25th anniversary of BBN for the creating of the first IMP.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is exceptionally well written and researched. The history its sharing is amusing and especially considering the impact of the decisions made back then in the world today. This book is definitely worth reading for anyone interested in computer science, networking and its history. A must read.
Overall, though, extremely interesting if you want to know the origins of the ARPANET.