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The new NSFNET set a blistering pace for technical advancement, linking newer, faster, shinier supercomputers, through thicker, faster links, upgraded and expanded, again and again, in 1986, 19.And other government agencies leapt in: NASA, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, each of them maintaining their own digital kingdom in the Internet confederation.The ARPA’s original software for communication was known as NCP, “Network Control Protocol”, but as time passed and the technique advanced, NCP was superseded by a higher-level, more sophisticated standard known as TCP/IP.This software converted messages into streams of packets at the source, then reassembled them back into messages at the destination.In the summer of 1968, experts at the RAND Corporation, America’s foremost Cold War think tank, were considering a strange strategic problem.How could the US authorities successfully communicate after a nuclear war?ARPANET’s users had warped the computer-sharing network into a dedicated, high-speed, federally subsidized electronic postal service.

In the first place, they would design a network with no central authority.This excited and intrigued many, because it did sound like a theory for an indestructible network.In the autumn of 1969, the first node was installed in UCLA.By December 1969, there were four nodes on the infant network, which was named ARPANET, after its Pentagon sponsor (the Advanced Research Projects Agency).An added bonus was that scientists and researchers could share one another’s computer facilities from a great distance away.

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