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10/29/09

Happy Birthday to the Internet

Forty years ago today, the first connection was made between remote computers at UCLA and Stanford Research Institute in which bits of data was transferred. This connection would lead to ARPNET, the forbearer of the Internet. The plan was unprecedented: Kleinrock, a pioneering computer science professor at UCLA, and his small group of graduate students hoped to log onto the Stanford computer and try to send it some data. They would start by typing "login," and seeing if the letters appeared on the far-off monitor. "We set up a telephone connection between us and the guys at SRI...," Kleinrock ... said in an interview: "We typed the L and we asked on the phone, "Do you see the L?" "Yes, we see the L," came the response. "We typed the O, and we asked, "Do you see the O." "Yes, we see the O." "Then we typed the G, and the system crashed"... Yet a revolution had begun"... Now, today, we not only see the L, the O or the G. We see each others thoughts and feelings. We see products that astound and deals we can't pass up. We can see a baby from miles away minutes after it is born. We can watch videos of our favorite music. We can talk for hours on instant messaging without paying long distance phone bills. We can send letters to loved ones in long detailed emails and attach photos without paying the price for stamps or printed photos. We can purchase a 99 cent item on E-Bay and have it shipped from Hong Kong with no shipping charges. We could start a new saving program. Put the cost of a stamp in a jar every time you send an email letter to someone you would normally send a letter to. Deposit the cost of a greeting card in your savings when you send out your Christmas cards as e-cards. Yes, you may pay anywhere from $10 - $30 per month for your Internet, but how much are you saving on the postage, envelopes, stationary, cards and calls. It is astounding if you stop to think about. So hats off to those brilliant minds who changed the communication of the future by asking, "Do you see the L"

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