A Revolution 40 Years in the Making

Leonard KleinrockThis year marks the 40th anniversary of the Internet. In the fall of 1969, a research team led by UCLA faculty member Leonard Kleinrock connected the first host computer to the first switch (then called an interface message processor) on the Arpanet, the Internet's forerunner.

In the first Arpanet transmission, the UCLA node spoke with a node in researcher Douglas Engelbart's laboratory at the Stanford Research Institute, now called SRI International. At the time, the network's other two nodes were at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah.

This four-node network has since become the nearly ubiquitous Internet.

IEEE Computer Society publications have covered the Internet since its early days. With the technology becoming increasingly important, the Computer Society started IEEE Internet Computing in 1997.

To mark the Internet's 40th anniversary, we bring you two articles from IEEE Internet Computing. One article, from the March/April 1997 issue, was based on a detailed interview with Kleinrock about the Internet's origins. He contributed the other piece to the January/February 2000 issue, looking at the Internet's future.

The articles were important pieces because Kleinrock is one of the Internet's seminal figures. In addition to being involved in the Internet's first transmission, he developed many key aspects of packet-switching technology, the Internet's communications approach, and designed some of the Arpanet's key functional specifications.

The IEEE Computer Society will participate in the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science’s 40th anniversary of the Internet on 29 October. Read more about the event.

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Nomadic Computing
and Smart Spaces

Looking back to the eve of Y2K, it's interesting to see Kleinrock's predictions about where Internet technologies would lead us over the ensuing decade — the one that is now heading toward a close.   More »

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