September 2, 1969: Forty years ago today, in Leonard Kleinrock's UCLA lab, a group of computer scientists managed to pass bits of data from one computer to another over some some gray cable. In doing so, they created the first node of what we now call (long dramatic pause)… the Internet.
Kleinrock and colleagues were working with the government-backed Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), without which I would not be blogging these words today.
Now, some folks believe the actual "birthday" was October 29, 1969 – when Kleinrock sent the first message between two nodes, UCLA to Stanford. The message? "LO." As in "LO AND BEHOLD, THE INTERNET." Well, okay, not really. It was supposed to be "LOGIN" but the system crashed after Kleinrock typed "L" and "O."
Video above: Kleinrock talks about that first connection. Here's an AP item. I was a guest for a discussion about this anniversary on the NPR show "Tell Me More" today (segment link).
BB readers: share your birthday greetings or early webternet memories in the comments. If any of you ARPANET O.G.'s are in the house, do fire up the old Interface Message Processor and give us a packet-switched shout. (TCP/IP first-bump)