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Hobbes' Internet Timeline v3.3


Robert H'obbes' Zakon
Internet Evangelist
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 matter.

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 genealogy search.


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)

J.C.R. Licklider & W. Clark, MIT: "On-Line Man Computer Communication" (August)

Paul Baran, RAND: "On Distributed Communications Networks"

ARPA sponsors study on "cooperative network of time-sharing computers"

Larry Roberts, MIT: "Towards a Cooperative Network of Time-Shared Computers" (October)

ACM Symposium on Operating Principles

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)
  • NIC
  • SDS940/Genie
  • 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
  • Graphics
  • DEC PDP-10, Tenex

Use of Information Message Processors (IMP) [Honeywell 516 mini computer with 12K of memory] developed by Bolt Beranek and Newman, Inc. (BBN)

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

ALOHAnet developed by Norman Abrahamson, Univ of Hawaii (:sk2:)

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 (March)

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 server).

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 net.* hierarchy.

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"

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:)

EUnet (European UNIX Network) is created by EUUG to provide email and USENET services. (:glg:)

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 networks.

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-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:)

US White House comes on-line (http://www.whitehouse.gov/):

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 (:gck:)

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 on NSFNET

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 (http://www.govt.nz/)

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), Uzbekistan (UZ)

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
Emerging Technologies: Mobile code (JAVA, JAVAscript), Virtual environments (VRML), Collaborative tools

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 (beta) versions.

Restrictions on Internet use around the world:

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 viewers.

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

Internet growth:

   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

WWW 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

USENET 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

Hobbes' Internet Timeline FAQ

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 timeline@hobbes.mitre.org. For comments/corrections please use hobbes@hobbes.mitre.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.
Addison-Wesley, 1993.
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 (fitz@wang.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 (arnaud.dufour@hec.unil.ch)
Related Timelines:
  - 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 (arnaud.dufour@hec.unil.ch)
amk - Alex McKenzie (mckenzie@bbn.com)
bb1 - Billy Brackenridge (billyb@microsoft.com)
dk1 - Daniel Karrenberg (Daniel.Karrenberg@ripe.net)
ec1 - Eric Carroll (eric@enfm.utcc.utoronto.ca)
esr - Eric S. Raymond (esr@locke.ccil.org)
feg - Farrell E. Gerbode (farrell@is.rice.edu)
gck - Gary C. Kessler (kumquat@hill.com)
glg - Gail L. Grant (grant@glgc.com)
gmc - Grant McCall (g.mccall@unsw.edu.au)
gst - Graham Thomas (G.S.Thomas@uel.ac.uk)
irh - Ian R Hardy (hardy@uclink2.berkeley.edu)
jap - Jean Armour Polly (mom@netmom.com)
jg1 - Jim Gaynor (gaynor@agvax.ag.ohio.state.edu)
kf1 - Ken Fockler (fockler@hq.canet.ca)
lb1 - Larry Backman (backman@ultranet.com)
lhl - Larry H. Landweber (lhl@cs.wisc.edu)
mpc - Mellisa P. Chase (pc@mitre.org)
pb1 - Paul Burchard (burchard@cs.princeton.edu)
pds - Peter da Silva (peter@baileynm.com)
ph1 - Peter Hoffman (hoffman@ece.nps.navy.mil)
rab - Roger A. Bielefeld (rab@hal.cwru.edu)
sc1 - Susan Calcari (susanc@is.internic.net)
sk2 - Stan Kulikowski (stankuli@uwf.bitnet) - see sources section
sw1 - Stephen Wolff (swolff@cisco.com)
tp1 - Tim Pozar (pozar@kumr.lns.com)
twc - Thomas W. Creedon - K'o Wei Li (tcreedon@mitre.org)
vgc - Vinton Cerf (vcerf@isoc.org) - see sources section
wz1 - W. Zorn (zorn@ira.uka.de)
zby - Zenel Batagelj (zenel.batagelj@uni-lj.si)

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) ;-) 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 rhz@po.cwru.edu; 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 Archive-location: http://www.isoc.org/zakon/Internet/History/HIT.html Last-updated: 12 April 1998 Maintainer: Robert H'obbes' Zakon, zakon@info.isoc.org Description: An Internet timeline highlighting some of the key events and technologies which helped shape the Internet as we know it today.

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