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Nerds 2.0.1
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Internet Timeline
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dot 1990

ARPANET ceases to exist

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is founded by Mitch Kapor and Stewart Brand

Archie released by Peter Deutsch, Alan Emtage, and Bill Heelan at McGill

Hytelnet released by Peter Scott (Univ of Saskatchewan)

The World comes on-line (, becoming the first commercial provider of Internet dial-up access

ISO Development Environment (ISODE) developed to provide an approach for OSI migration for the DoD. ISODE software allows OSI application to operate over TCP/IP

Countries connecting to NSFNET: Argentina (AR), Austria (AT), Belgium (BE), Brazil (BR), Chile (CL), Greece (GR), India (IN), Ireland (IE), Korea (KR), Spain (ES), Switzerland (CH)

dot 1991

Gopher released by Paul Lindner and Mark P. McCahill from the Univ of Minnessota

World-Wide Web (WWW) released by CERN; Tim Berners-Lee developer

PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) released by Philip Zimmerman

NSFNET backbone upgraded to T3 (44.736Mbps)

NSFNET traffic passes 1 trillion bytes/month and 10 billion packets/month

Defense Data Network NIC contract awarded by DISA to Government Systems Inc. who takes over from SRI in May

dot 1992

Internet Society (ISOC) is chartered

Number of hosts breaks 1,000,000

Veronica, a gopherspace search tool, is released by Univ of Nevada

The term "Surfing the Internet" is coined by Jean Armour Polly

dot 1993

InterNIC created by NSF to provide specific Internet services:

  • directory and database services (AT&T)
  • registration services (Network Solutions Inc.)
  • information services (General Atomics/CERFnet)

US National Information Infrastructure Act

Mosaic takes the Internet by storm; WWW proliferates at a 341,634% annual growth rate of service traffic.

Gopher's growth is 997%.

dot 1994

ARPANET/Internet celebrates 25th anniversary

NSFNET traffic passes 10 trillion bytes/month

WWW edges out telnet to become 2nd most popular service on the Net (behind ftp-data) based on % of packets and bytes traffic distribution on NSFNET

dot 1995

NSFNET reverts back to a research network. Main US backbone traffic now routed through interconnected network providers

The new NSFNET is born as NSF establishes the very high speed Backbone Network Service (vBNS) linking super-computing centers: NCAR, NCSA, SDSC, CTC, PSC

RealAudio, an audio streaming technology, lets the Net hear in near real-time

WWW surpasses ftp-data in March as the service with greatest traffic on NSFNet based on packet count, and in April based on byte count

Traditional online dial-up systems (Compuserve, America Online, Prodigy) begin to provide Internet access

A number of Net related companies go public, with Netscape leading the pack with the 3rd largest ever NASDAQ IPO share value (9 August)

Registration of domain names is no longer free. Beginning 14 September, a $50 annual fee has been imposed, which up until now was subsidized by NSF. NSF continues to pay for .edu registration, and on an interim basis for .gov

dot 1996

Internet phones catch the attention of US telecommunication companies who ask the US Congress to ban the technology (which has been around for years)

MCI upgrades Internet backbone adding ~13,000 ports, bringing the effective speed from 155Mbps to 622Mbps.

The Internet Ad Hoc Committee announces plans to add 7 new generic Top Level Domains (gTLD): .firm, .store, .web, .arts, .rec, .info, .nom. The IAHC plan also calls for a competing group of domain registrars worldwide.

The WWW browser war, fought primarily between Netscape and Microsoft, has rushed in a new age in software development, whereby new releases are made quarterly with the help of Internet users eager to test upcoming (beta) versions.

dot 1997

2000th RFC: "Internet Official Protocol Standards"

71,618 mailing lists registered at Liszt, a mailing list directory

The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) is established to handle administration and registration of IP numbers to the geographical areas currently handled by Network Solutions (InterNIC), starting March 1998.

101,803 Name Servers in whois database

dot 1998

Netscape releases the source code for its Netscape Navigator browswer to the public domain.

Microsoft releases Windows 98. Months later the government orders Microsoft to change its Java virtual machine to pass Sun's Java compatibility test.

Microsoft is taken to court for allegations of anti-trust violations.

Source: Hobbes' Internet Timeline

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