Where Wizards Stay Up Late

Posted on 06/16/2003 in misc

The subtitle is The Origins of the Internet, and that is a perfect description. It's a history book, starting with the first experiments in computer networking in the early 60's, driven by research contracts handed out by APRA, and ending in 1994 at a reunion party thrown by BBN. This is a geek book. If routing protocols get you excited, or your really dying to know how @ became the email address symbol, you will greatly enjoy this book.

And really, who doesn't get excited by routing protocols?

A few of interesting facts from the book:

  • The government tried to give the Internet to AT&T. They didn't see the value and refused.
  • XEROX could of owned Ethernet. They missed the boat.
  • Vint Cerf, while sitting in a hotel lobby waiting for a conference to start, doodled a sketch which became TCP, later modified to TCP/IP.

Like all great, life changing ideas, when you get under the hood and learn the details, you really wonder how they ever pulled it off. Luck played a major part.

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