Tue. Oct 22nd, 2019

«Login», so the first message was sent over the internet 50 years ago

If Leonard Kleinrock had been a poet that morning, he would have typed some verses on his computer, who knows if Walt Whitman. If he had been a musician, he would have stayed with the lyrics of "Sugar Sugar" by the Archies, which was the single most listened to on October 29, 1969. But Leonard was a computer engineer. So he sat in his office at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), connected the rudimentary computer and wrote "LOGIN" ("log in session"). It was the first thing that occurred to him without thinking, perhaps, that this text was going to go down in history as the first message ever sent on the Internet. Actually, the word internet did not exist yet. What Kleinrock was "logging in" was the first session of Arpanet, the first communication network between computers, the embryo of the current Internet, the origin of the digital world as we understand it today.

The first computer networks had emerged, to be exact, something earlier, in the mid-60s. But they were star networks, centered on a computer that served as a distribution node to nearby ones. Arpanet (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) was a project of the army and the United States government to generate networks of decentralized computers, communicated remotely and compatible.

Since 1960 he had been incorporating to his ranks different experts from all over the planet with very different interests and capacities. There coexisted the author of the first idea of ​​«galactic network», Professor Licklider; Paul Baran, who tried to get a communications system capable of surviving a nuclear attack, and Kleinrock himself, obsessed with creating a network of contacts between university professors to be able to transmit their work quickly and safely. All these crazy ideas were connected in a single concept by Donald Davies, of the National Physical Laboratory, in 1965 to create the first embryo of a complex network of remote computer data transmission.

Four years passed until finally the Arpanet project had its first published fruit. On October 29, the California node of the network sent a message. For the first time, the so-called "first section" of what is now the Internet was operating: two computers located several kilometers away, at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and at the laboratory run by Douglas Engelbart of the Stanford Research Institute ( SRI), and connected by a network of 50 Kilobytes per second. That was the highest data speed possible at that time.


The first "host-to-host" message was sent in the history of the network. To access the SRI host from the UCLA host, Kleinrock typed "log" and the system in SRI had been prepared to complete the rest of the command, adding "in", which would complete the word "login". In order to ensure that the message was received, a point-to-point vocal line had been installed between the programmers. At the end of UCLA, "l" was typed and SRI asked if they had received it. The response was positive. Then UCLA wrote "o" and also from SRI confirmed its reception. UCLA typed "g" and the system hung up. It was tried again and this time the "g" arrived at SRI. With the answer the word "LOGIN" could be completed. It is not a verse by Whitman, but it served to start the digital era.

Ghost Networks

In 2020, the global cybersecurity industry claimed "barely" 4 million jobs globally. The arrival of the cerebral implant of Paradromics and others that followed its wake has multiplied that number by 20. And this is because it has become a habit to discover that we have hacked the brain, either with advertising in the form of malware, either in the form of political propaganda, as was customary with social networks. Today, in 2029, hacking the brain is relatively simple, especially for the youngest, who inadvertently connect to ghost networks that offer them virtual worlds. Doctors have already begun formalizing the term of digital kidnapping for those who spend their lives connected. The great hope is the recent WHO vaccine that proposes, at the slightest sign of attack, to disconnect our brain from the network.

(tagsToTranslate) memories of 69

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