An online seminar with Vint Cerf
Thursday 6 Jan at 15.00 – 15.50 UK time
By Zoom with the kind support of the BCS Computer Conservation Society
“Father of the Internet” Vint Cerf will review the key steps and contributions on both sides of the Atlantic that led from Arpanet in 1969 through early operational Internet to meteoric growth, terrestrial ubiquity and growing interplanetary scale.
The seminar will be chaired by Prof. M. J. (Jim) Norton, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, who worked on the early UK Experimental and Public Packet Switched Services.
After a brief introduction from the Chair, Dr Cerf will review the key developments and contributors to the evolution of the Internet from research network to the ubiquitous infrastructure of modern society.
The talk will be followed by a discussion with audience participation, moderated by the Chair.
Bookings online only via the Computer Conservation Society website – Click here
The National Physical Laboratory played an important role in the original Arpanet project when Roger Scantlebury representing NPL participated in a 1967 ACM conference in Gatlinburg, TN. There he met Larry Roberts, the lead for Arpanet at ARPA and convinced him to use higher speed (50 Kb/s) links vs lower speed 2.4 Kb/s planned inter-node connections. The term “packet” is attributed to Donald W. Davies, then superintendent of NPL’s information technology group and a major proponent of packet switching in the mid/late 1960s.
Arpanet was turned on in late 1969.
Peter Kirstein’s team at UCL was involved in the International Network Working Group that was organized in late 1972 at a public demonstration of the Arpanet in Washington, DC. By 1973, Arpanet had been extended by satellite to Norway and by land line to UCL. In 1974, the first complete spec for the TCP protocol was developed and Kirstein’s group started implementation in early 1975 on their PDP-9, together with Bolt Beranek and Newman (PDP-10/TENEX) and Stanford University (PDP-11/40). A major demonstration of the Internet took place in November 1977. Kirstein’s group was also involved in the Colored Book Protocols being developed by the UK academic research community. UCL also became involved in the Open Systems Interconnection protocol development, especially X.400 (ermail) and X.500 (directory services). Kirstein was also the go-between for MOD and BT since DARPA was funding Kirstein cooperatively with MOD while the packet satellite system was provided through commercial contracts with Western Union International (later acquired by MCI). Kirstein led the International Connections Board that advised the packet satellite program for many years.
Internet was operationally turned on in January, 1983. Heavy investment by DARPA, NSF, DOE and NASA propelled the US Internet to substantial scale and led to international connections to other academic networks. By 1989, commercial services were available in the US (UUNET, PSINET, CERFNET) and in December 1991, Sir Tim Berners-Lee and his colleagues at CERN released the WWW. By 1993, the MOSAIC browser was released by NCSA and commercialized via Netscape Communications. The dot-boom was on! The dot-bust hit in April 2000 but Internet continued to grow domestically in the US and internationally. In 2007, the iPhone linked two systems that had evolved independently but in parallel. The handheld mobile phone was first operational in 1983, developed by Marty Cooper at Motorola. The iPhone connected the Internet and handheld telephony in a mutually-reinforcing marriage that continues to drive access to and use of the Internet today.
The Internet of Things is upon us, and the Interplanetary version of the Internet is already running on the International Space Station, in prototype form on Mars and will be implemented in support of the Moon missions Artemis and Gateway.
Vint Cerf - Short Biography
Vinton G. Cerf
Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist
At Google, Vint Cerf contributes to global policy and business development and continued spread of the Internet. Widely known as
one of the “Fathers of the Internet,” Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. He has served
in executive positions at the Internet Society, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the American Registry for
Internet Numbers, MCI, the Corporation for National Research Initiatives and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and
on the faculty of Stanford University. Vint Cerf sat on the US National Science Board and is a Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory. Cerf is a Foreign Member of the Royal Society and Swedish Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the IEEE, ACM,
American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, British Computer Society,
Worshipful Companies of Information Technologists and Stationers and is a member of the National Academies of Engineering and
Science. Cerf is a recipient of numerous awards and commendations in connection with his work on the Internet, including the US
Presidential Medal of Freedom, US National Medal of Technology, the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, the Prince of Asturias
Award, the Japan Prize, the Charles Stark Draper award, the ACM Turing Award, the Legion d’Honneur and 29 honorary degrees.