Imagine life today without the convenience of the Internet. People would actually have to get up out of their comfortable chairs, get in their cars, and drive to the store, the library, the mall, or wherever they wanted to go. Wouldn't that just be a shame? But the Internet has not always been used for the entertainment, in the beginning it was only used by military personnel for communication reasons. In fact, if you were not a computer expert or a genius, you could not even begin to figure out the very complex system known as the Internet. The Internet is the child of several marriages: The government to science, and the telecommunications industry to the computer and software industry.
The Internet was the result of some visionary people in the early 1960's who saw great potential value in allowing computers to share information on research and development in scientific and military fields. In, J. Licklider, proposed a global network of computers, and moved to the Defense Advanced Research Projects to develop it. One of Lickliders colleagues, Lawrence Roberts, came close to connecting the first computers in California and Massachusetts, but because the telephone's circuit switching was inadequate the connection was unable to be established. It was not until 1966 that the first Internet was actually conceived.
Originally, This project was only meant to be a small network connecting super computers amongst researchers in the United States. This network became known as the Advanced Research Project Agency(Net) or the ARPANET.
The innovators of this network wanted to see the ARPANET connect more than just super computers, they wanted people around the United States to be able to use the ARPANET. In 1967 these innovators went to the Association of Computing Machinery Symposium and presented papers to legalize their endeavors. In 1967 they were approved by the ACMS to continue their work, and in 1968 the first software and networking hardware were designed, and by 1969 the ARPANET had connected four universities in the southwestern United States. These schools included: Stanford Research Institute, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah. By 1971 fifteen more schools had been added to this network including a university in Hawaii.
Although the Internet was constructed for military purposes it was slowly moving away from those roots. The network was becoming so commercial that librarians began automating and networking their catalogs. By 1973 the ARPANET had gone international, making connections with schools in London, England and Norway. In 1974 the first commercial version of the ARPANET was opened by Telenet. With the commercialization of the ARPANET, the general public wanted to see how the Internet could be used in daily life. The ARPANET is moved to the Defense Communications Agency, where it did not have to be kept under wraps any longer. With this move the Internet was ready for the world of e-mail.
In the mid to late 1970's people began to engage in conversations over the computers, but there were still a few glitches to be worked out before It was to be opened to the public.