This day in tech history, ARPANET is completed

A map of where ARPANET was connected to in 1974

47 years ago, ARPANET became fully operational, connecting 4 massive supercomputers to one another. The supercomputers it connected were located at UCLA, SRI International, UCSB, and The University of Utah. Just connecting four computers wasn’t that remarkable of a feat on it’s own, but ARPANET’s case was different. This is because ARPANET established two of the key cornerstones of the internet as we know it today.

ARPANET was created back when America was living in constant fear of nuclear war. The government feared that if one of the computers that were connected in the line was destroyed, they wouldn’t be able to communicate as fast as necessary and the country would be left defenseless until someone could manually set up a new path in the line. When hours, and even minutes matter, having to wait for someone to set up a new connection is detrimental. What the DOD wanted to fund was the creation of a system that was capable of repairing itself in case one of the computers were to fail. It did this by something that’s now dubbed auto-routing. Auto-routing in the internet means that instead of having to connect to two other computers at a max, and then if one breaks having to manually fix it, it would repair on it’s own. ARPANET would later expand into a whole network of computers that connected the entire country. (As seen by the picture at the top of the page.)


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