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TUCoPS :: Networks :: arpanet.txt

ArpaNet Hacking

     ARPANET. The ARPANET, which is a major component of the NSFnet [National
Science Foundation Network], began in 1969 as an R&D project managed by DARPA
[Dept. of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency]. ARPANET was an experiment
in resource sharing, and provided survivable (multiply connected), high
bandwidth (56 Kilobits per second) communications links between major existing
computational resources and computer users in academic, industrial, and
government research laboratories.  ARPANET is managed and funded by by the DCA
[Defense Communications Agency] with user services provided by a network
information center at SRI International.
     ARPANET served as a test for the development of advanced network protocols
including the TCP-IP protocol suite introduced in 1981.  TCP-IP and
particularly IP, the internet protocol, introduced the idea of inter-
networking -- allowing networks of different technologies and connection
protocols to be linked together while providing a unified internetwork
addressing scheme and a common set of transport of application protocols. This
development allowed networks of computers and workstations to be connected to
the ARPANET, rather than just single-host computers.  TCP-IP remain the most
available and advanced, non-vendor-specific, networking protocols and have
strongly influenced the current international standards of activity.  TCP-IP
provide a variety of application services, including remote logon (Telnet),
file transfer (FTP), and electronic mail (SMTP and RFC822).
     ARPANET technology was so successful that in 1982, the Dept. of Defense
(DOD) abandoned their AUTODIN II network project and adopted ARPANET technology
for the Dept. of Defense Data Network (DDN).  The current MILNET, which was
split form the original ARPANET in 1983, is the operational, unclassified
network component of the DDN, while ARPANET remains an advanced network R&D
tested for DARPA.  In practice, ARPANET has also been an operational network
supporting DOD, DOE [Dept. of Energy], and some NSF-sponsored computer science
researchers.  This community has come to depend on the availability of the
network.  Until the advent of NSFnet, access to ARPANET was restricted to this
     As an operational network in the scientific and engineering research
community, and with the increasing availability of affordable super-
minicomputers, ARPANET was used less as a tool for sharing remote computational
resources than it was for sharing information.  The major lesson from the
ARPANET experience is that information sharing is a key benefit of computer
networking.  Indeed it may be argued that many major advances in computer
systems and artificial intelligence are the direct result of the enhanced
collaboration made possible by ARPANET.
     However, ARPANET also had the negative effect of creating a have--have not
situation in experimental computer research.  Scientists and engineers carrying
out such research at institutions other than the twenty or so ARPANET sites
were at a clear disadvantage in accessing pertinent technical information and
in attracting faculty and students.
     In October 1985, NSF and DARPA, with DOD support, signed a memorandum of
agreement to expand the ARPANET to allow NSF supercomputer users to use ARPANET
to access the NSF supercomputer centers and to communicate with each other.
The immediate effect of this agreement was to allow all NSF supercomputer users
on campuses with an existing ARPANET connection to use ARPANET.  In addition,
the NSF supercomputer resource centers at the University of Illinois and
Cornell University are connected to ARPANET. In general, the existing ARPANET
connections are in departments of computer science or electrical engineering
and are not readily accessible by other researchers.  However, DARPA has
requested that the campus ARPANET coordinators facilitate access by relevant
NSF researchers.
     As part of the NSFnet initiative, a number of universities have requested
connection to ARPANET.  Each of these campuses has undertaken to establish a
campus network gateway accessible to all due course, be able to use the ARPANET
to access the NSF supercomputer centers, from within their own local computing
environment.  Additional requests for connection to the ARPANET are being
considered by NSF.

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