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Hobbes' Internet Timeline v3.3
Robert H'obbes' Zakon
The MITRE Corporation
Hobbes' Internet Timeline Copyright (c)1993-8 by Robert H Zakon.
Permission is granted for use of this document in whole or in part for
non-commercial purposes as long as this Copyright notice and a link to
this document is included.
A copy of the material the Timeline appears in is requested.
For commercial uses, please contact the author first.
Links to this document are welcome after e-mailing the author with the
document URL where the link will appear.
The views expressed in this document are the author's and are not intended
to represent in any way The MITRE Corporation or its opinions on this subject
The author wishes to acknowledge the
Internet Society for hosting this document, and the many Net folks
who have contributed suggestions and helped with the author's
- USSR launches Sputnik, first artificial earth satellite. In response,
US forms the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) within the
Department of Defense (DoD) to establish US lead in science and
technology applicable to the military (:amk:)
- Leonard Kleinrock, MIT: "Information Flow in Large Communication Nets" (July)
- First paper on packet-switching (PS) theory
- J.C.R. Licklider & W. Clark, MIT: "On-Line Man Computer Communication" (August)
- Galactic Network concept encompassing distributed social interactions
- Paul Baran, RAND: "On Distributed Communications Networks"
- Packet-switching networks; no single outage point
- ARPA sponsors study on "cooperative network of time-sharing
- TX-2 at MIT Lincoln Lab and Q-32 at System Development Corporation
(Santa Monica, CA) are directly linked (without packet switches)
- Larry Roberts, MIT: "Towards a Cooperative Network of Time-Shared Computers"
- ACM Symposium on Operating Principles
- Plan presented for a packet-switching network
- First design paper on ARPANET published by Lawrence G. Roberts
- National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Middlesex, England develops NPL
Data Network under D. W. Davies
- PS-network presented to the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA)
- ARPANET commissioned by DoD for research into networking
- Node 1: UCLA - Univ of California at Los Angeles (September)
- Function: Network Measurements Center
- System,OS: SDS SIGMA 7, SEX
- Node 2: SRI - Stanford Research Institute (October)
- Doug Engelbart's project on "Augmentation of Human Intellect"
- Node 3: UCSB
- Culler-Fried Interactive Mathematics
- IBM 360/75, OS/MVT
- Node 4: Univ of Utah
- DEC PDP-10, Tenex
- Use of Information Message Processors (IMP) [Honeywell 516 mini
computer with 12K of memory] developed by Bolt Beranek and Newman,
- First node-to-node message sent between UCLA and SRI (October)
- First Request for Comment (RFC): "Host Software" by Steve Crocker
- Univ of Michigan, Michigan State and Wayne State Univ establish X.25-based
Merit network for students, faculty, alumni (:sw1:)
- Store-and-forward networks
- Used electronic mail technology and extended it to conferencing
- ALOHAnet developed by Norman Abrahamson, Univ of Hawaii (:sk2:)
- connected to the ARPANET in 1972
- ARPANET hosts start using Network Control Protocol (NCP).
- 15 nodes (23 hosts): UCLA, SRI, UCSB, Univ of Utah, BBN, MIT, RAND, SDC,
Harvard, Lincoln Lab, Stanford, UIU(C), CWRU, CMU, NASA/Ames
- Ray Tomlinson of BBN invents email program to send messages across a
distributed network. The original program was derived from two others:
an intra-machine email program (SNDMSG) and an experimental file
transfer program (CPYNET) (:amk:irh:)
- Ray Tomlinson (BBN) writes basic email message send and read software
- Larry Roberts writes first email utility to list, selectively read,
file, forward, and respond to messages (July)
- International Conference on Computer Communications with
demonstration of ARPANET between 40 machines and the Terminal
Interface Processor (TIP) organized by Bob Kahn. (October)
- InterNetworking Working Group (INWG) created to address need
for establishing agreed upon protocols. Chairman: Vinton Cerf.
- Telnet specification (RFC 318)
- First international connections to the ARPANET: University College of
London (England) and Royal Radar Establishment (Norway)
- Bob Metcalfe's Harvard PhD Thesis outlines idea for Ethernet (:amk:)
- Bob Kahn poses Internet problem, starts internetting research program
at ARPA. Vinton Cerf sketches gateway architecture in March on back
of envelope in hotel lobby in San Francisco (:vgc:)
- Cerf and Kahn present basic Internet ideas at INWG in September at Univ of Sussex,
Brighton, UK (:vgc:)
- File Transfer specification (RFC 454)
- Network Voice Protocol (NVP) specification (RFC 741) and implementation enabling
conference calls over ARPAnet. (:bb1:)
- Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn publish "A Protocol for Packet Network
Intercommunication" which specified in detail the design of a
Transmission Control Program (TCP). [IEEE Trans Comm] (:amk:)
- BBN opens Telenet, the first public packet data service (a commercial
version of ARPANET) (:sk2:)
- Operational management of Internet transferred to DCA (now DISA)
- "Jargon File", by Raphael Finkel at SAIL, first released (:esr:)
- Shockwave Rider by John Brunner (:pds:)
- Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom sends out an e-mail
(various Net folks have e-mailed dates ranging from 1971 to 1978;
1976 was the most submitted and the only found in print)
- UUCP (Unix-to-Unix CoPy) developed at AT&T; Bell Labs and distributed
with UNIX one year later.
- THEORYNET created by Larry Landweber at Univ of Wisconsin providing
electronic mail to over 100 researchers in computer science
(using a locally developed email system and TELENET for access to
- Mail specification (RFC 733)
- Tymshare launches Tymnet
- First demonstration of ARPANET/Packet Radio Net/SATNET operation of
Internet protocols with BBN-supplied gateways in July (:vgc:)
- Meeting between Univ of Wisconsin, DARPA, NSF, and computer
scientists from many universities to establish a Computer Science
Department research computer network (organized by Larry Landweber).
- USENET established using UUCP between Duke and UNC by Tom Truscott,
Jim Ellis, and Steve Bellovin. All original groups were under
- First MUD, MUD1, by Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw at U of Essex
- ARPA establishes the Internet Configuration Control Board (ICCB)
- Packet Radio Network (PRNET) experiment starts with DARPA funding.
Most communications take place between mobile vans. ARPANET
connection via SRI.
- BITNET, the "Because It's Time NETwork"
- Started as a cooperative network at the City University of New York,
with the first connection to Yale (:feg:)
- Original acronym stood for 'There' instead of 'Time' in reference to
the free NJE protocols provided with the IBM systems
- Provides electronic mail and listserv servers to distribute
information, as well as file transfers
- CSNET (Computer Science NETwork) built by a collaboration of
computer scientists and Univ of Delaware, Purdue Univ, Univ of Wisconsin,
RAND Corporation and BBN through seed money granted by NSF to
provide networking services (especially email) to university
scientists with no access to ARPANET. CSNET later becomes known
as the Computer and Science Network. (:amk,lhl:)
- Minitel (Teletel) is deployed across France by France Telecom.
- True Names by Vernor Vinge (:pds:)
- DCA and ARPA establish the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and
Internet Protocol (IP), as the protocol suite, commonly known as TCP/IP,
for ARPANET. (:vgc:)
- This leads to one of the first definitions of an "internet"
as a connected set of networks, specifically those using TCP/IP,
and "Internet" as connected TCP/IP internets.
- DoD declares TCP/IP suite to be standard for DoD (:vgc:)
- EUnet (European UNIX Network) is created by EUUG to provide email and
USENET services. (:glg:)
- original connections between the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and UK
- External Gateway Protocol (RFC 827) specification. EGP is used for
gateways between networks.
- Name server developed at Univ of Wisconsin, no longer requiring users
to know the exact path to other systems.
- Cutover from NCP to TCP/IP (1 January)
- CSNET / ARPANET gateway put in place
- ARPANET split into ARPANET and MILNET; the latter became integrated
with the Defense Data Network created the previous year.
- Desktop workstations come into being, many with Berkeley UNIX which
includes IP networking software.
- Networking needs switch from having a single, large time sharing computer
connected to the Internet at each site, to instead connecting entire local
- Internet Activities Board (IAB) established, replacing ICCB
- Berkeley releases 4.2BSD incorporating TCP/IP (:mpc:)
- EARN (European Academic and Research Network) established. Very
similar to the way BITNET works with a gateway funded by IBM.
- FidoNet developed by Tom Jennings.
- Domain Name System (DNS) introduced.
- Number of hosts breaks 1,000
- JUNET (Japan Unix Network) established using UUCP.
- JANET (Joint Academic Network) established in the UK using the
Coloured Book protocols; previously SERCnet.
- Moderated newsgroups introduced on USENET (mod.*)
- Neuromancer by William Gibson
- Canada begins a one-year effort to network its universities. The NetNorth Network is connected to BITNET in Ithaca from Toronto. (:kf1:)
- Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link (WELL) started
- Information Sciences Institute (ISI) at USC is given responsibility for DNS root
management by DCA, and SRI for DNS NIC registrations
- Symbolics.com is assigned on 15 March to become the first registered domain.
Other firsts: cmu.edu, purdue.edu, rice.edu, ucla.edu (April); css.gov (June);
mitre.org, .uk (July)
- 100 years to the day of the last spike being driven on the cross-Canada
railroad, the last Canadian university is connected to NetNorth in a one
year effort to have coast-to-coast connectivity. (:kf1:)
- NSFNET created (backbone speed of 56Kbps)
- NSF establishes 5 super-computing centers to provide high-computing
power for all (JVNC@Princeton, PSC@Pittsburgh, SDSC@UCSD, NCSA@UIUC,
- This allows an explosion of connections, especially from
- NSF-funded SDSCNET, JVNCNET, SURANET, and NYSERNET operational (:sw1:)
- Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and Internet Research Task
Force (IRTF) comes into existence under the IAB. First IETF meeting held in January
at Linkabit in San Diego
- The first Freenet (Cleveland) comes on-line 16 July under the auspices
of the Society for Public Access Computing (SoPAC). Later Freenet program
management assumed by the National Public Telecomputing Network (NPTN)
in 1989 (:sk2,rab:)
- Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP) designed to enhance Usenet news
performance over TCP/IP.
- Mail Exchanger (MX) records developed by Craig Partridge allow
non-IP network hosts to have domain addresses.
- The great USENET name change; moderated newsgroups changed in 1987.
- BARRNET (Bay Area Regional Research Network) established using high
speed links. Operational in 1987.
- NSF signs a cooperative agreement to manage the NSFNET backbone with
Merit Network, Inc. (IBM and MCI involvement was through an agreement
with Merit). Merit, IBM, and MCI later founded ANS.
- UUNET is founded with Usenix funds to provide commercial UUCP and
Usenet access. Originally an experiment by Rick Adams and Mike O'Dell
- Email link established between Germany and China using CSNET protocols, with
the first message from China sent on 20 September. (:wz1:)
- 1000th RFC: "Request For Comments reference guide"
- Number of hosts breaks 10,000
- Number of BITNET hosts breaks 1,000
- 2 November - Internet worm burrows through the Net, affecting ~6,000
of the 60,000 hosts on the Internet (:ph1:)
- CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) formed by DARPA in response to
the needs exhibited during the Morris worm incident. The worm is
the only advisory issued this year.
- DoD chooses to adopt OSI and sees use of TCP/IP as an interim. US
Government OSI Profile (GOSIP) defines the set of protocols to be
supported by Government purchased products (:gck:)
- Los Nettos network created with no federal funding, instead supported
by regional members (founding: Caltech, TIS, UCLA, USC, ISI).
- NSFNET backbone upgraded to T1 (1.544Mbps)
- CERFnet (California Education and Research Federation network) founded
by Susan Estrada.
- Internet Relay Chat (IRC) developed by Jarkko Oikarinen (:zby:)
- First Canadian regionals join NSFNET: ONet via Cornell, RISQ via
Princeton, BCnet via Univ of Washington (:ec1:)
- FidoNet gets connected to the Net, enabling the exchange of e-mail
and news (:tp1:)
- Countries connecting to NSFNET: Canada (CA), Denmark (DK), Finland (FI), France (FR),
Iceland (IS), Norway (NO), Sweden (SE)
- Number of hosts breaks 100,000
- RIPE (Reseaux IP Europeens) formed (by European service providers) to
ensure the necessary administrative and technical coordination to
allow the operation of the pan-European IP Network. (:glg:)
- First relays between a commercial electronic mail carrier and the
Internet: MCI Mail through the Corporation for the National Research
Initiative (CNRI), and Compuserve through Ohio State Univ (:jg1,ph1:)
- Corporation for Research and Education Networking (CREN) is formed
by merging CSNET into BITNET
- AARNET - Australian Academic Research Network - set up by AVCC and
CSIRO; introduced into service the following year (:gmc:)
- First Interop conference in San Jose, CA(:lb1:)
- Cuckoo's Egg by Clifford Stoll tells the real-life tale of a
German cracker group who infiltrated numerous US facilities
- Countries connecting to NSFNET: Australia (AU), Germany (DE), Israel (IL), Italy (IT),
Japan (JP), Mexico (MX), Netherlands (NL), New Zealand (NZ), Puerto Rico (PR),
United Kingdom (UK)
- ARPANET ceases to exist
- Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is founded by Mitch Kapor
- 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 (world.std.com), 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 (:gck:)
- CA*net formed by 10 regional networks as national Canadian backbone
with direct connection to NSFNET (:ec1:)
- The first remotely operated machine to be hooked up to the Internet, the
Internet Toaster by John Romkey, (controlled via SNMP) makes its debut at Interop.
Pictures: Internode, Invisible
- 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)
- Commercial Internet eXchange (CIX) Association, Inc. formed by General
Atomics (CERFnet), Performance Systems International, Inc. (PSInet),
and UUNET Technologies, Inc. (AlterNet), after NSF lifts restrictions
on the commercial use of the Net (:glg:)
- Wide Area Information Servers (WAIS), invented by Brewster Kahle,
released by Thinking Machines Corporation
- 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 (:pb1:)
- PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) released by Philip Zimmerman (:ad1:)
- US High Performance Computing Act (Gore 1) establishes the National
Research and Education Network (NREN)
- 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
- Start of JANET IP Service (JIPS) which signalled the changeover from
Coloured Book software to TCP/IP within the UK academic network.
IP was initially 'tunneled' within X.25. (:gst:)
- Countries connecting to NSFNET: Croatia (HR), Czech Republic (CZ), Hong Kong (HK),
Hungary (HU), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), Singapore (SG), South Africa (ZA),
Taiwan (TW), Tunisia (TN)
- Internet Society (ISOC) is chartered
- Number of hosts breaks 1,000,000
- First MBONE audio multicast (March) and video multicast (November)
- RIPE Network Coordination Center (NCC) created in April to provide
address registration and coordination services to the European
Internet community (:dk1:)
- IAB reconstituted as the Internet Architecture Board and becomes
part of the Internet Society
- Veronica, a gopherspace search tool, is released by Univ of Nevada
- World Bank comes on-line
- Japan's first ISP, Internet Initiative Japan (IIJ), is formed by Koichi Suzuki
- The term "Surfing the Internet" is coined by Jean Armour Polly (:jap:)
- Internet Hunt started by Rick Gates
- Countries connecting to NSFNET: Antarctica (AQ), Cameroon (CM), Cyprus (CY), Ecuador
(EC), Estonia (EE), Kuwait (KW), Latvia (LV), Luxembourg (LU), Malaysia (MY),
Slovakia (SK), Slovenia (SI), Thailand (TH), Venezuela (VE)
- InterNIC created by NSF to provide specific Internet services: (:sc1:)
- directory and database services (AT&T;)
- registration services (Network Solutions Inc.)
- information services (General Atomics/CERFnet)
- US White House comes on-line (http://www.whitehouse.gov/):
- President Bill Clinton: email@example.com
- Vice-President Al Gore: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Worms of a new kind find their way around the Net - WWW Worms (W4),
joined by Spiders, Wanderers, Crawlers, and Snakes ...
- Internet Talk Radio begins broadcasting (:sk2:)
- United Nations (UN) comes on-line (:vgc:)
- US National Information Infrastructure Act
- Businesses and media really take notice of the Internet
- Mosaic takes the Internet by storm; WWW proliferates at a 341,634%
annual growth rate of service traffic. Gopher's growth is 997%.
- Countries connecting to NSFNET: Bulgaria (BG), Costa Rica (CR), Egypt (EG),
Fiji (FJ), Ghana (GH), Guam (GU), Indonesia (ID), Kazakhstan (KZ), Kenya
(KE), Liechtenstein (LI), Peru (PE), Romania (RO), Russian Federation
(RU), Turkey (TR), Ukraine (UA), UAE (AE), US Virgin Islands (VI)
- ARPANET/Internet celebrates 25th anniversary
- Communities begin to be wired up directly to the Internet
(Lexington and Cambridge, Mass., USA)
- US Senate and House provide information servers
- Shopping malls arrive on the Internet
- First cyberstation, RT-FM, broadcasts from Interop in Las Vegas
- Vladimir Levin of St. Petersburg, Russia, is the first publicly-known Internet bank
robber, stealing millions of dollars from Citibank between June and August.
- The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) suggests that
GOSIP should incorporate TCP/IP and drop the "OSI-only" requirement
- Arizona law firm of Canter & Siegel "spams" the Internet with email
advertising green card lottery services; Net citizens flame back
- NSFNET traffic passes 10 trillion bytes/month
- Yes, it's true - you can now order pizza from the Hut online
- WWW edges out telnet to become 2nd most popular service on the Net
(behind ftp-data) based on % of packets and bytes traffic distribution
- Japanese Prime Minister on-line (http://www.kantei.go.jp/)
- UK's HM Treasury on-line (http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/)
- New Zealand's Info Tech Prime Minister on-line
- First Virtual, the first cyberbank, open up for business
- Radio stations start rockin' (rebroadcasting) round the clock on the Net:
WXYC at Univ of NC, WJHK at Univ of KS-Lawrence, KUGS at Western WA Univ
- Trans-European Research and Education Network Association (TERENA) is
formed by the merger of RARE and EARN, with representatives from 38
countries as well as CERN and ECMWF. TERERNA's aim is to "promote
and participate in the development of a high quality international
information and telecommunications infrastructure for the benefit
of research and education"
- Countries connecting to NSFNET: Algeria (DZ), Armenia (AM), Bermuda (BM), Burkina
Faso (BF), China (CN), Colombia (CO), Jamaica (JM), Lebanon (LB), Lithuania (LT),
Macau (MO), Morocco (MA), New Caledonia, Nicaragua (NI), Niger (NE), Panama (PA),
Philippines (PH), Senegal (SN), Sri Lanka (LK), Swaziland (SZ), Uruguay (UY),
- 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
- Hong Kong police disconnect all but 1 of the colony's
Internet providers in search of a hacker. 10,000 people are
left without Net access. (:api:)
- RealAudio, an audio streaming technology, lets the Net hear in near real-time
- Radio HK, the first commercial 24 hr., Internet-only radio station starts broadcasting
- 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)
- Thousands in Minneapolis-St. Paul (USA) lose Net access after transients
start a bonfire under a bridge at the Univ of MN causing fiber-optic
cables to melt (30 July)
- 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
- The Vatican comes on-line (http://www.vatican.va/)
- The Canadian Government comes on-line (http://canada.gc.ca/)
- The first official Internet wiretap was successful in helping the Secret
Service and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) apprehend three individuals who
were illegally manufacturing and selling cell phone cloning equipment
and electronic devices
- Operation Home Front connects, for the first time, soldiers in the field with
their families back home via the Internet.
- Richard White becomes the first person to be declared a munition, under
the USA's arms export control laws, because of an RSA file security
encryption program emblazoned on his arm (:wired496:)
- Country domains registered: Ethiopia (ET), Cote d'Ivoire (CI), Cook Islands (CK)
Cayman Islands (KY), Anguilla (AI), Gibraltar (GI), Vatican (VA), Kiribati (KI),
Kyrgyzstan (KG), Madagascar (MG), Mauritius (MU), Micronesia (FM), Monaco (MC),
Mongolia (MN), Nepal (NP), Nigeria (NG), Western Samoa (WS), San Marino (SM),
Tanzania (TZ), Tonga (TO), Uganda (UG), Vanuatu (VU)
- Technologies of the Year: WWW, Search engines
- Internet phones catch the attention of US telecommunication companies
who ask the US Congress to ban the technology (which has been around for years)
- Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, PLO Leader Yasser Arafat, and Phillipine
President Fidel Rhamos meet for ten minutes in an online interactive chat session
on 17 January.
The controversial US Communications Decency Act (CDA) becomes law in the US
in order to prohibit distribution of indecent materials over the Net.
A few months later a three-judge panel imposes an injunction against
its enforcement. Supreme Court unanimously rules most of it unconstitutional in 1997.
- 9,272 organizations find themselves unlisted after the InterNIC
drops their name service as a result of not having paid their domain name fee
- Various ISPs suffer extended service outages, bringing into question whether
they will be able to handle the growing number of users.
AOL (19 hours), Netcom (13 hours), AT&T; WorldNet (28 hours - email only)
- New Yorks' Public Access Networks Corp (PANIX) is shut down after repeated
SYN attacks by a cracker using methods outlined in a hacker magazine (2600)
- Various US Government sites are hacked into and their content changed,
including CIA, Department of Justice, Air Force
- 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.
- A malicious cancelbot is released on USENET wiping out more than 25,000 messages.
- 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
- Restrictions on Internet use around the world:
- China: requires users and ISPs to register with the police
- Germany: cuts off access to some newsgroups carried on Compuserve
- Saudi Arabia: confines Internet access to universities and hospitals
- Singapore: requires political and religious content providers to register with
- New Zealand: classifies computer disks as "publications" that can be censored
- source: Human Rights Watch
- vBNS additions: Baylor College of Medicine, Georgia Tech, Iowa State Univ,
Ohio State Univ, Old Dominion Univ, Univ of CA, Univ of CO, Univ of Chicago,
Univ of IL, Univ of MN, Univ of PA, Univ of TX, Rice Univ
- Country domains registered: Qatar (QA),
Central African Republic (CF), Mauretania (MF), Oman (OM), Norfolk Island (NF),
Tuvalu (TV), French Polynesia (PF), Syria (SY), Aruba (AW), Cambodia (KH),
French Guiana (GF), Eritrea (ER), Cape Verde (CV), Burundi (BI), Benin (BJ)
Bosnia-Hercegovina (BA), Andorra (AD), Guadeloupe (GP), Guernsey (GG),
Isle of Man (IM), Jersey (JE), Lao (LA), Maldives (MV), Marshall Islands (MH),
Mauritania (MR), Northern Mariana Islands (MP), Rwanda (RW), Togo (TG),
Yemen (YE), Zaire (ZR)
- Technologies of the Year: Search engines, JAVA, Internet Phone
- Emerging Technologies: Virtual environments (VRML), Collaborative
tools, Internet appliance (Network Computer)
- 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.
- Early in the morning of 17 July, human error at Network Solutions causes the DNS table
for .com and .net domains to become corrupted, making millions of systems unreachable.
- Longest hostname registered with InterNIC: CHALLENGER.MED.SYNAPSE.UAH.UALBERTA.CA
- 101,803 Name Servers in whois database
- Country domains registered: Falkland Islands (FK), East Timor (TP), Congo (CG),
Christmas Island (CX), Gambia (GM), Guinea-Bissau (GW), Haiti (HT), Iraq (IQ),
Lybia (LY), Malawi (MW), Martinique (MQ), Montserrat (MS), Myanmar (MM),
French Reunion Island (RE), Seychelles (SC), Sierra Leone (SL), Sudan (SD),
Turkmenistan (TM), Turks and Caicos Islands (TC), British Virgin Islands (VG)
- Technologies of the Year: Push, Multicasting
- Emerging Technologies: Push, Streaming Media [:twc:]
- Hobbes' Internet Timeline is released as RFC 2235 & FYI 32
- La Fête de l'Internet, a country-wide Internet fest,
is held in France 20-21 March
- Internet users get to be judges in a performace by 12 world champion ice skaters on
27 March, marking the first time a television sport show's outcome is determined by its
- Electronic postal stamps become a reality, with the US Postal Service allowing stamps
to be purchased and downloaded for printing from the Web.
Internet | Networks | WWW | USENET | Security
Date Hosts | Date Hosts Networks Domains
----- --------- + ----- --------- -------- ---------
1969 4 | 07/89 130,000 650 3,900
04/71 23 | 10/89 159,000 837
06/74 62 | 10/90 313,000 2,063 9,300
03/77 111 | 01/91 376,000 2,338
08/81 213 | 07/91 535,000 3,086 16,000
05/82 235 | 10/91 617,000 3,556 18,000
08/83 562 | 01/92 727,000 4,526
10/84 1,024 | 04/92 890,000 5,291 20,000
10/85 1,961 | 07/92 992,000 6,569 16,300
02/86 2,308 | 10/92 1,136,000 7,505 18,100
11/86 5,089 | 01/93 1,313,000 8,258 21,000
12/87 28,174 | 04/93 1,486,000 9,722 22,000
07/88 33,000 | 07/93 1,776,000 13,767 26,000
10/88 56,000 | 10/93 2,056,000 16,533 28,000
01/89 80,000 | 01/94 2,217,000 20,539 30,000
| 07/94 3,212,000 25,210 46,000
| 10/94 3,864,000 37,022 56,000
| 01/95 4,852,000 39,410 71,000
| 07/95 6,642,000 61,538 120,000
| 01/96 9,472,000 93,671 240,000
| 07/96 12,881,000 134,365 488,000
| 01/97 16,146,000 828,000
| 07/97 19,540,000 1,301,000
| 01/98 29,670,000
Note: A more accurate survey mechanism was developed in 1/98; corrected
numbers are shown in the chart below dating back to 1/95.
For further info, see Sources section below.
Figure: Internet Hosts
Figure: Internet Domains
Figure: Internet Networks
Worldwide Networks Growth: (I)nternet (B)ITNET (U)UCP (F)IDONET (O)SI
____# Countries____ ____# Countries____
Date I B U F O Date I B U F O
----- --- --- --- --- --- ----- --- --- --- --- ---
09/91 31 47 79 49 02/94 62 51 125 88 31
12/91 33 46 78 53 07/94 75 52 129 89 31
02/92 38 46 92 63 11/94 81 51 133 95 --
04/92 40 47 90 66 25 02/95 86 48 141 98 --
08/92 49 46 89 67 26 06/95 96 47 144 99 --
01/93 50 50 101 72 31 06/96 134 -- 146 108 --
04/93 56 51 107 79 31 07/97 171 -- 147 108 --
08/93 59 51 117 84 31
Figure: Worldwide Networks Growth
Date Sites | Date Sites | Date Sites
----- ---------- + ----- ---------- + ----- ----------
06/93 130 | 11/96 525,906 | 10/97 1,466,906
12/93 623 | 12/96 603,367 | 11/97 1,553,998
06/94 2,738 | 01/97 646,162 | 12/97 1,681,868
12/94 10,022 | 02/97 739,688 | 01/98 1,834,710
06/95 23,500 | 03/97 883,149 | 02/98 1,920,933
01/96 100,000 | 04/97 1,002,612 | 03/98 2,084,473
06/96 252,000 | 05/97 1,044,163 | 04/98 2,215,195
07/96 299,403 | 06/97 1,117,255 |
08/96 342,081 | 07/97 1,203,096 |
09/96 397,281 | 08/97 1,269,800 |
10/96 462,047 | 09/97 1,364,714 |
Figure: WWW Server Growth
Date Sites ~MB ~Posts Groups | Date Sites ~MB ~Posts Groups
---- ----- --- ------ ------ + ---- ------- --- ------ ------
1979 3 2 3 | 1987 5,200 2 957 259
1980 15 10 | 1988 7,800 4 1933 381
1981 150 0.05 20 | 1990 33,000 10 4,500 1,300
1982 400 35 | 1991 40,000 25 10,000 1,851
1983 600 120 | 1992 63,000 42 17,556 4,302
1984 900 225 | 1993 110,000 70 32,325 8,279
1985 1,300 1.0 375 | 1994 180,000 157 72,755 10,696
1986 2,200 2.0 946 241 | 1995 330,000 586 131,614
~ approximate: MB - megabytes per day, Posts - articles per day
Security (CERT) Incidents:
1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
+ ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
Incidents | 6 132 252 406 773 1334 2340 2412 2573 2134
Advisories | 1 7 12 23 21 19 15 18 27 28
Vulnerabilities | 171 345 311
- 1. Why did you compile Hobbes' Internet Timeline?
- For use in various Internet courses I taught in the early 1990s
- 2. How do I get Hobbes' Internet Timeline?
- The Timeline is archived at: http://www.isoc.org/zakon/Internet/History/HIT.html.
If you prefer a copy via e-mail, send a blank message to email@example.com.
For comments/corrections please use firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 3. What do you do at MITRE?
- I design the soccer shoe of the future (wrong MITRE :-) Actually, I
wear the following hats: Net Evangelist, HCI Engineer, Systems Integrator,
Information Engineer, NIDR Administrator, Lead Scientist, Instructor,
Cognitive Scientist, Infosec Engineer, manager, He with the Most Toys
- 4. Why don't you list the Number of Internet users?
- This is too controversial, and relatively inaccurate, an issue which the
author does not want to get flamed or spammed for. His guess would be
between 1 (himself) and 6 billion (but then again, one never knows if
you're a dog on the Net).
- 5. Is your license plate really NET SURF?
- Yes, and there is a frame around it with INTERNET at the top, and my
e-mail address at the bottom. (My wife is too embarrassed to drive it:)
Oh, and the bumper sticker says "I'd Rather Be Net Surfing".
Actually as of this printing Hobbes bought a new car and is yet to
transfer the plates.
- 6. Can I re-print the Timeline or use parts of it for ... ?
- Drop me an e-mail. The answer is most likely (though don't assume) 'yes'
for non-profit use, and 'maybe' for for-profit; but to be sure you are not
going to break any copyright laws, drop me an e-mail and wait for a reply.
- 7. Peddie (Ala Viva!), CWRU (North Side), Amici Usque Ad Aras (OH Epsilon)
- E-mail me if you know
Hobbes' Internet Timeline was compiled from a number of sources, with some
of the stand-outs being:
Cerf, Vinton (as told to Bernard Aboba). "How the Internet Came to Be."
This article appears in "The Online User's Encyclopedia," by Bernard Aboba.
Hardy, Henry. "The History of the Net." Master's Thesis, School of
Communications, Grand Valley State University.
Hardy, Ian. "The Evolution of ARPANET email." History Thesis, UC Berkeley.
Hauben, Ronda and Michael. "The Netizens and the Wonderful World of the Net."
Kulikowski, Stan II. "A Timeline of Network History." (author's email below)
Quarterman, John. "The Matrix: Computer Networks and Conferencing Systems
Worldwide." Bedford, MA: Digital Press. 1990
"ARPANET, the Defense Data Network, and Internet". Encyclopedia of
Communications, Volume 1. Editors: Fritz Froehlich, Allen Kent.
New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. 1991
Internet growth summary compiled from:
- Zone program reports maintained by Mark Lottor at:
Note: A more accurate host counting mechanism was used starting
with 1/98 count.
- Connectivity table maintained by Larry Landweber at:
WWW growth summary compiled from:
- Web growth summary page by Matthew Gray of MIT:
- Netcraft at http://www.netcraft.com/survey/
USENET growth summary compiled from Quarterman and Hauben sources above,
and news.lists postings. Lots of historical USENET postings also provided
by Tom Fitzgerald (email@example.com).
CERT growth summary compiled from CERT reports at ftp://ftp.cert.org/
Additional growth charts (square root, logarithmic) available from
Many of the URLs provided by Arnaud Dufour (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- DNS: http://www.wia.org/dns-law/pub/timeline.html
- JAVA: http://java.sun.com/events/jibe/timeline.html
Additional books of interest:
- "Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet"
by Katie Hafner & Matthew Lyon
- "Architects of the Web: 1,000 Days That Built the Future of Business"
by Robert H. Reid
- "Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet"
by Michael Hauben et al
- "Exploring the Internet: A Technical Travelogue"
by Carl Malamud
Contributors to Hobbes' Internet Timeline have their initials next to the
contributed items in the form (:zzz:) and are:
ad1 - Arnaud Dufour (email@example.com)
amk - Alex McKenzie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
bb1 - Billy Brackenridge (email@example.com)
dk1 - Daniel Karrenberg (Daniel.Karrenberg@ripe.net)
ec1 - Eric Carroll (firstname.lastname@example.org)
esr - Eric S. Raymond (email@example.com)
feg - Farrell E. Gerbode (firstname.lastname@example.org)
gck - Gary C. Kessler (email@example.com)
glg - Gail L. Grant (firstname.lastname@example.org)
gmc - Grant McCall (email@example.com)
gst - Graham Thomas (G.S.Thomas@uel.ac.uk)
irh - Ian R Hardy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
jap - Jean Armour Polly (email@example.com)
jg1 - Jim Gaynor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
kf1 - Ken Fockler (email@example.com)
lb1 - Larry Backman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
lhl - Larry H. Landweber (email@example.com)
mpc - Mellisa P. Chase (firstname.lastname@example.org)
pb1 - Paul Burchard (email@example.com)
pds - Peter da Silva (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ph1 - Peter Hoffman (email@example.com)
rab - Roger A. Bielefeld (firstname.lastname@example.org)
sc1 - Susan Calcari (email@example.com)
sk2 - Stan Kulikowski (firstname.lastname@example.org) - see sources section
sw1 - Stephen Wolff (email@example.com)
tp1 - Tim Pozar (firstname.lastname@example.org)
twc - Thomas W. Creedon - K'o Wei Li (email@example.com)
vgc - Vinton Cerf (firstname.lastname@example.org) - see sources section
wz1 - W. Zorn (email@example.com)
zby - Zenel Batagelj (firstname.lastname@example.org)
:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) ;-) Help the Author (-: (-: (-: (-: (-: (-: (-:
The author is on an eternal genealogical search. If you know of someone
whose last name is Zakon or could spare 1 minute to check your local phone
book, please e-mail any info (i.e., name, phone, address, city) to
email@example.com; your help is greatly appreciated.
Help update: Thanks to Net folks, 43 new Zakon's have been found so far, making
the current total around 180! (this after a decade of research)
Archive-name: Hobbes' Internet Timeline v3.3
Last-updated: 12 April 1998
Maintainer: Robert H'obbes' Zakon, firstname.lastname@example.org
An Internet timeline highlighting some of the key events and technologies
which helped shape the Internet as we know it today.