In 1969, Internet Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Howard Frank co-wrote a proposal to design the network structure for the ARPAnet. He didn’t know it at the time, but this work would cement his role in Internet history. Dr. Frank spoke recently with the Internet Hall of Fame about that project, his work in applying the technology more broadly, consulting for the White House, and what he thinks of the Internet today.
IHoF: What was your role in the development of the Internet?
HF: I formed my first company, Network Analysis Corporation (NAC), in 1969. One of our first contracts was with DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). The topological design of the ARPAnet was, at that point, for four nodes, and they were all on the West Coast. Additional nodes had been ordered, but there was no scientific design. We were hired to do that because we were experts in design.
IHoF: How did you become involved?
Up until 1968,...
One thing is clear. The Internet has improved because smartphones are able to provide access from almost anywhere, and this technology is likely to fuel a new class of Internet Hall of Fame inductees at some point in the future, according to inductee and TCP/IP co-inventor Vint Cerf.
“This is just the beginning of what I will call a ‘portable, Internet-of-Things environment,’” Cerf told the Internet Hall of Fame in an interview at a global summit entitled, “The Internet Age: Founders to Future,” hosted by the Internet Society and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington D. C. last June.
Cerf predicted that household appliances would soon become part of this portable, wireless environment. “We’re expecting lots and lots of appliances, not just smartphones, to become part of the Internet environment,” he said, including every-day appliances.
“It will be things that you have around the house, like your refrigerator and your ovens,...
Ever wonder about the volume of communication the Internet enables? One designer, Steven Lewis, decided to bring this volume to life in a representative graphic that shows you that volume in 'One Second on the Internet.'
Lewis contrasts this real-time perspective with that of the Internet's history, writing: "10 years ago Skype, Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, Tumblr, Dropbox and Instagram didn't exist. 20 years ago there were only 130 websites total, Google wasn't even around yet, and you had to pay for an email account through an ISP. 30 years ago there was no Internet."
Many thanks to the Internet pioneers who have enabled this growth and innovation!
What websites or mobile applications are favored by the people who have helped build and shape the Internet? Turns out, the answer ranges from the extremely technical to the surprisingly common (because even Internet pioneers contend with the mundane challenges of modern life).
Craig Newmark, who was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame in the inaugural 2012 class, is perhaps best known as the founder of the classifieds advertisement behemoth Craiglist.com, but anyone who follows him on Twitter knows he’s also an avid news consumer and advocate for quality journalism. So it’s no surprise that his favorite website is feedly.com, an app that allows you to compile, organize and share content from your favorite sites, including news sites and blogs. Says Craig: “I use feedly pretty compulsively. It's a great way to track and follow my favorite news and related feeds. For example, I use it to follow Political Wire, which summarizes political news really well, and also Dilbert and Doonesbury.”
He’s pretty serious about following Dilbert, which—as he wrote...
As news of Ray Tomlinson’s untimely passing reverberates across an Internet that he helped to create, the Internet Hall of Fame wanted to take some time to share its memories of Ray and his groundbreaking contributions to the way we communicate.
In 2012, when Ray was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame’s inaugural class, he shared in his acceptance speech the moment he realized the full impact of his work.
It came in 1996, over 20 years after he’d developed the first network application for email, but it truly exemplified how he—and many other Internet Hall of Fame inductees—viewed the importance of their work: it was always about people.
Ray told the story of a reference librarian from the Institute of Standards and Technology, who had interviewed him for a monthly organizational newsletter. After learning about his email contributions in her interview, she outreached to him a few months later in a follow-up email with the subject line, “Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!”
But this email wasn’t about work. It was another matter entirely.
She explained that she had a relative who was sick with a...