Friday, May 20, 2011
The Internet Was Invented At State Annex 14
Strange but true. Arlington County placed a historical marker outside SA-14 yesterday, commemorating the fact that DOD's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) was located in that building from 1970 to 1975, the period during which ARPANET was created and the first e-mails were sent.
The concepts and technologies behind the internet - file transfer protocols, packet switching, Interface Message Processors, etc. - were worked out at many different places from MIT to UCLA. But it was the ARPA guys at humble 1400 Wilson Boulevard who had the seed money for that work, and the Cold War national defense mission of exploiting new technologies for military command and control networks that could survive a nuclear war. See this history of how and why ARPANET was built.
Beneath the main marker is this bit of authentic technological frontier gibberish:
Which is "ARPANET" spelled out in binary code.