Seeding Networks: the Federal Role

Larry Press,
Communications of the ACM, pp 11-18, Vol 39., No. 10, October, 1996.

Many federal agencies have contributed to the development of networking, but the work of ARPA, the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense, and NSF, the National Science Foundation, stands out. The ARPANET established the feasibility of an efficient packet-switching network (a controversial idea at the time), and provided a technology development testbed. When it became clear that the network was a valuable asset for ARPA research contractors, NSF broadened participation with CSNET, a network connecting university and other computer scientists. CSNET was followed by NSFNET, which connected a much wider community of users. There has been a significant return to the organizations that participated in this work, and much greater return to the society. This article will look at these networks and their costs and benefits, but first let's look at some government-sponsored prehistory.

Before the ARPANET

Governments and the military have been interested in telecommunication since ancient times, but two optical networks were particularly influential. The French Government built a network of semaphore towers designed by Claude Chappe in 1793, and, in 1794, the British Admiralty began a network using George Murray's towers on which six shutters (bits) could be open or closed. Chappe's network operated until 1853, and eventually reached Italy and Holland. One 1819 measurement showed transmission time over 224 stations from Lyon to Paris of 1710 seconds, but that was very fast. Station logbooks typically recorded 2-3 symbols per minute [13].

The U. S. Congress was considering a petition to authorize a New York- New Orleans Chappe line when Samuel F. B. Morse first argued for government support of his electromagnetic system. Morse patented his telegraph in 1837, demonstrated it to the government and others in 1838, received a $30,000 Congressional appropriation in early 1843, and the 37-mile link from Washington to Baltimore was inaugurated in 1844 with the famous message "What hath God wrought?"

Morse used the seed money well. New York and Boston were on line by 1845, and licensees spread throughout the U. S. and Canada. Private operators began merging to facilitate message interchange, beginning on a grand scale with the formation of the Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company in 1851, which, in 1856, was renamed the Western Union Telegraph Company. As with the Internet, the government started the ball rolling, and rapid capitalization and growth followed in the private sector.

Governments also provided funding and leadership for computing technology from Babbage to the ENIAC and most of the experimental computers which followed it.{footnote 1} When it was time to begin commercial development, government orders underwrote machines from innovative startups like Engineering Research Associates and well- established companies like IBM. IBM's first commercial computer, the 701, was initially called the "Defense Calculator." Marketing research for the 701 consisted of visits to 22 government agencies [4], and at least 18 of the 19 701s were involved in defense work [14]. As seen in Table 1, many early computing advances were made by government funded R&D, initially purchased by the government, or both.

The government also bootstrapped computer communication with Whirlwind, an Office of Naval Research computer which processed telemetry data in real time at MIT. Whirlwind demonstrated the feasibility of real-time data communication over analog telephone lines, and led to important engineering developments like core memory.

After the Whirlwind R&D, the government turned to procurement with SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment), a system to defend against manned bomber attacks. Whirlwind's successor, the XD-1, was the prototype for the IBM AN/FSQ-7 and AN/FSQ-8 (Army-Navy Fixed Special eQipment) computers which were used in SAGE. SAGE was the first computer network, growing finally to link Q-7s and Q-8s in 26 centers. SAGE cost estimates range from $4-12 billion, with $8 billion a common estimate. It included 56 IBM computers at $30 million each, 25,000 telephone lines, and training and employing roughly 3,000 programmers at the System Development Corporation (SDC), a RAND spin-off which developed the SAGE software and installed the system. [3, 7]


SAGE was a special-purpose network, but general purpose networking got rolling with ARPA's leadership and funding. The goals of ARPA's "Resource Sharing Computer Network" project were to develop the technology for and demonstrate the feasibility of a computer network while improving communication and collaboration between research centers with grants from ARPA's Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO).{footnote 2} Early papers on the ARPANET, e. g. [20, 25], speak of file transfer and remote login as concrete goals, allowing users to share programs, data, and powerful hardware from a distance. But, the vision went beyond these technical facilities. The vision grew out of the collaborative communities that formed around the early time-sharing systems.

While most computing in the 1950s was done in batch mode, anyone who had done interactive computing knew it was far superior, but expensive. The case for interactive computing was stated by MIT's J. C. R. Licklider in an influential paper on man-machine symbiosis [16]. As the first IPTO director (from 1962-64), Licklider set about implementing his vision with funding for early time-sharing systems -- affordable interactive computing. ARPA funded 6 of the first 12 general purpose time-sharing systems, including two influential systems, CTSS at MIT and the AN/FSQ-32 at SDC [7, pg 26].

It was clear that these systems could be used from a distance, and more important, that they fostered collaborative user communities. (I used the Q-32 for my dissertation, and can personally testify to the excellence of the development environment and the spirit of sharing and collaboration it fostered among users). Licklider outlined his vision of computers as communication and collaboration-support devices in another widely read paper [17], and laid the groundwork for the funding of the ARPANET by his successors at IPTO, Ivan Sutherland, Robert Taylor and Larry Roberts. (In addition to MIT and SDC, Licklider funded Doug Engelbart's pioneering work on interactive and collaborative computing at the Stanford Research Institute, see [22]).

It was not clear at the start that packet-switching was the way to go, but studies by Donald Davies at England's National Physical Labs, Paul Baran at RAND, and Leonard Kleinrock at MIT were encouraging. In 1965 a link was tested between SDC and MIT [20], and preliminary design and "selling" to IPTO research sites was done during the next few years. In 1968, bids were solicited and awards made, and work started in 1969 [11].

Several organizations shared in the ARPANET award. Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN), where Licklider had also worked, won for system design and integration, and they subcontracted the communication computers to Honeywell. UCLA did network measurement and Stanford Research Institute ran the network information center. AT&T and others provided communication links, and Network Analysis Corporation designed the topology. This was a joint industry-university- government project, with IPTO remaining active in oversight and management.

The ARPANET architecture called for specialized network communication computers called Interface Message Processors (IMPs). Each IMP was to connect from 1-4 hosts, and be linked to from 3-5 other IMPs. The original message format specification had only a 6-bit address, limiting the network to 64 IMPs. IMPs performed communication tasks like routing, error checking, flow control, and network management. The hosts were heterogeneous time-sharing systems, isolated from their IMPs by well-defined electrical and software interfaces. TIPs, terminal IMPs, were later designed to connect terminals to the Net without the need for an intermediate host. (A TIP was a mini-host plus an IMP).

The first IMP was booted up at UCLA in 1969, and it was quickly linked to three others at UC Santa Barbara, The University of Utah, and the Stanford Research Institute. The Net grew like a weed. International links to Norway and England were set up in 1973. (Norway was chosen for military purposes -- a NATO nation near the Soviet Union). When the ARPANET was turned over to the Defense Communication Agency for production work (and cloning) in 1975, there were 57 nodes. (See table 2).

The ARPANET was widely publicized in papers, a short documentary, and a major public demonstration in 1972, and the word got out. As with time-sharing before it, anyone who tried the Net understood its value. (My eyes were opened during a joint-authoring exercise in which I collaborated with people around the nation using a Teletype with an acoustical coupler in my den at home). It was clear to academic researchers that their counterparts at centers with ARPANET connectivity had an advantage, and they wanted the same.


In 1974 the NSF Computer Science and Engineering Advisory Panel recommended that "the NSF provide to qualified computing researchers easy access to an international computer network. This access would create a frontier environment which would offer enhanced communication, collaboration, and the sharing of resources among geographically separated or isolated researchers." [6]

NSF funded THEORYNET, a central email computer at the University of Wisconsin, where roughly 100 theoretical computer scientists dialed in using modems or X.25 and exchanged email, and there were scattered UUCP efforts, but relatively few computer scientists were networked. THEORYNET organizer Larry Landweber convened an NSF-sponsored meeting in 1979 to plan connectivity for all computer scientists. The result, after two major review and revision cycles, was the establishment of CSNET in 1981 [6]. CSNET was seeded with a $5 million grant from NSF, which also managed the project for 2 years, before turning it over to BBN. It provided email (Phonenet) service for small institutions, TCP/IP connectivity over X.25 or the ARPANET for larger institutions, and a name server. The mail software was provided by the University of Delaware, and TCP/IP, which had become a DOD standard, came from ARPA.

CSNET was arguably the first ISP. Their charter called for financial independence after 5 years, and member institutions paid either $30,000 (industrial), $10,000 (government or non-profit) or $5,000 (university) per year. This was later reduced for small computer science departments. CSNET was self-sufficient under BBN, and, by 1985, had over 165 member institutions (mostly academic) in the U. S. and abroad. CSNET, along with Bitnet, was eventually transferred to the Corporation for Research and Education Networking.

By the mid-1980s, the value of networks was abundantly clear, and many discipline-specific, state and regional, corporate, and campus networks were operating [15, 23]. It was time to link these efforts, and move networking from computer science to the entire university and research community, then to the commercial sector. Again, NSF provided seed funding and leadership in creating NSFNET [8].

In 1984 an NSF panel suggested a two-stage approach: first to link the NSF supercomputer centers and then to construct a high-speed backbone network for connecting existing and future regional, campus, and other networks. In 1985 six federally funded supercomputer centers were linked in a 56 Kbps network, and in 1987 bids were solicited on the NSFNET backbone. Merit Network, Inc., which had experience linking four universities in Michigan, was selected along with partners MCI, IBM, and the State of Michigan. By 1988, 13 backbone nodes linked supercomputer centers and regional networks in a 1.544 Mbps network, which was later upgraded to 45 Mbps. When decommissioned in April, 1995, NSFNET was the global backbone, linking 28,470 domestic and 22,296 foreign networks.

NSF also helped non-computer scientists connect. The purpose of their 1990 Higher Education Connection solicitation was to encourage the networking of U. S. academic institutions with research or undergraduate education missions. Dave Staudt, NSF Associate Program Director, estimates that approximately 1,300 of the roughly 3,600 four-year institutions in the U. S. have been assisted at a cost of about $30 million. Today, institutions of higher education, including technical and community colleges, can apply for $20,000 for connection assistance. (This is only a small portion the total cost since a school must provide access to all qualified faculty and students).

In addition to connectivity grants for higher education, NSF supports research-oriented connection to their new high-speed backbone and connections for innovative applications of networking in selected K-12 schools. According to the Department of Education, about half of U. S. public schools are linked to the Internet, though only 9% of classrooms are connected [21]. NSF has directly supported only a few of these, but many connect to universities and ISPs which have had NSF support.

The U. S. scientific community collaborates with foreign researchers and educators, and NSF has played a key international role. In 1990, a solicitation called for assistance in connecting international scientists and educators to NSFNET, beginning with the French and Nordic research networks [9]. Sprint was the successful bidder, and with the active collaboration of NSF Program Director Steve Goldstein, they have helped link 28 research and education networks of 26 nations to NSF-sponsored ports in the U. S. (see Table 4). Note that while the initial solicitation was for Europe, much of the effort has gone toward developing nations. NSF has assisted Latin American, Asian, and African networks with U. S. connection points, communication links, and consultation. For example, they recently helped Mongolia with a port and subsidy for a satellite link. (The rest of the funds came from Mongolia and a fund resulting from the sale of surplus butter there). This program has been indefatigable and instrumental in bringing the Net to nations where it would otherwise not reach.

Was it Worth It?

Without SAGE, the projects mentioned in this article have cost less than $127 million (see Table 3), and the benefits have been immense. There are three classes of benefit -- direct and subsequent payoff to organizations doing the R&D and return to the rest of society.

Direct payment for R&D may be a substantial portion of an organization's gross revenue. For example, SDC was formed to build SAGE, and would not have existed without it. However, this business is not highly profitable. IBM grossed around $500 million on SAGE computers and 7-8,000 of its 39,000 employees worked on SAGE during 1955, but profit levels were lower than their regular business [7, page 88-89]. Hall [10] states that "Since 1972, microeconomic studies have repeatedly demonstrated that federally funded R&D generates a direct return of zero for the firms that do it."

When an R&D project is finished, contractors and vendors may reap further profits based on their experience. For example, BBN used their ARPANET experience to start the X.25 Telenet network, which grew rapidly and was sold to GTE at a substantial profit, and their follow- on work operating the Defense Data Network was responsible for roughly 10% of their income for perhaps five years [18]. IBM's SAGE experience contributed to their work on American Airlines' SABRE reservation system, which gave them an early lead in commercial on- line systems. SAGE produced technical innovation like cycle-stealing DMA and the use of printed circuits in production machines, and SAGE- based core memories were used in the 701. (Early 701s used CRT memory, and were retrofitted). MCI gained knowledge and contacts from their NSF work, and their Internet business is now $100 million/year and projected to top $2 billion by the year 2,000 [5]. Mansfield [19] finds a median return of 25% on innovations derived from R&D in a study of 17 industries.

The greatest payoff on R&D is social return, return to organizations that do not participate directly. Social return provides the rationale for government support since, from the societal perspective, self-serving organizations with short-term pressure to show profit under invest in risky R&D. (Where would we be if we had left agricultural research to farmers instead of land-grant universities)?

Mansfield [19] cites studies showing median social returns on innovations of 70, 56, and 99%.{footnote 3} The payoff has been much greater for the R&D discussed here. Entire industries -- LANs, routers, ISPs, and so forth have resulted from this work. Boardwatch Magazine,, lists 2,272 U. S. ISPs in their directory, and the recruiting firm Christian and Timbers estimates that 40,000 people hold jobs directly related to the Internet, 36,000 jobs became available at Internet-related companies in 1995, and 100,000 will be created in 1996 [21].

Perhaps the key payoff has been enhanced human capital -- both technicians and users. While it may be argued that SAGE was obsolete and unworkable from the start, it was a significant national training resource. SDC trained thousands of programmers, system analysts, and system training experts. In July, 1954, all the computer manufacturers together provided 2,500 student-weeks of programmer instruction, and three years later SDC was providing 10,000 student- weeks.{footnote 4} By 1959 there were 800 SAGE programmers, and by 1963 SDC had 4,300 employees and 6,000 former employees were in industry [3]. Many of today's Internet executives trace their training to the ARPA and NSF projects. Douglas Comer learned the TCP/IP protocols on the CSNET project, and his textbooks have trained a generation of networking specialists.

Trained, demanding end users are an even more important resource than networking technicians. As an example of the impact of the NSF connections programs, consider the small university where I teach. We received $10,000 for a router and some subsidy for communication links and ports from NSF. This precipitated our connection to the Net, and motivated intra-campus connectivity. Faculty from literally every discipline use the Net for teaching and research, and 4,884 of our 9,828 resident students have accounts. Email and the Web are routinely used in classes. We have an external humanities program with over 2,000 students, a statewide nursing program with 1,883 students, teach Webmaster courses, and so forth. The Net is the hottest technology to hit our campus since blackboards were installed, and, as NSF intended, it has gone well beyond the computer scientists. Our students, and their counterparts around the nation, bring their Net skills and expectations with them to industry upon graduation.


One does not typically associate "government program" and "immense return," but these programs were not the Post Office or Department of Motor Vehicles. Several characteristics distinguish them:

The social returns for these projects far outweighed their costs, and the returns to the participating firms would not have justified the investments. But, with the end of the cold war and the fiscal conservatism evidenced by the 1994 elections, political support for federally funded R&D seems likely to erode. While we may not need more immortal bureaucracies, we should not throw the baby out with the bath water.


  1. The ENIAC and Von Neumann's proposed stored program architecture were presented at a summer school at the University of Pennsylvania in 1946. British and American computing pioneers attended and returned home to build research computers. In this experimental era, the British were arguably ahead of the U. S. with the first operational Von Neumann machine and the first operational transistorized machine; however, they were unable to capitalize on their research. In his history of early British computing [12], Hendry discusses several factors that led to the great commercial advantage for the U. S., and government R&D and procurement are prominent.
  2. It is often stated that ARPA's interest in networking was motivated by the need for a military communication system that could withstand attack. While that motivation was clearly stated in a series of Air Force reports by Paul Baran [2] outlining the packet-switching architecture (analogous to the torn paper-tape telegraph systems of the day) that was chosen for the ARPANET, it was not what motivated the ARPANET. The goal stated in most ARPANET papers is resource sharing. With the exception of Larry Roberts, the importance of email, the killer application, was generally unanticipated by the original technicians (though not by Licklider). Robustness under attack was a TCP/IP goal, but that came later.
  3. Alperovitz [1] argues that since the primary return to federal research comes to non-participant firms like Microsoft or Apple, the public should share in that return through some sort of tax or royalty mechanism. It might be argued that high returns are necessary to attract the capital to commercialize publicly supported innovation -- to deploy the Internet or distribute millions of copies of DOS or Windows. Still, one wonders if Bill Gates would not have built Microsoft even if a portion of his $18 billion had gone to the government.
  4. These figures are from [3, pp 52-3]. It is not clear what the time units are, but annual class-weeks seems likely. Regardless, we can assume the units are the same and therefore the figures are comparable.


  1. Alperovitz, Gar, "Distributing our Technological Inheritance," Technology Review, Vol 97, No 7, pp 31-36, October, 1994.
  2. Baran, Paul, Boehm, S., and Smith, J. W., "On Distributed Communications" (11 Memoranda), RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, August, 1964.
  3. Baum, Claude, pages 35, 47 and 52-3, "The System Builders," System Development Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, 1981.
  4. Birkenstock, James W., "Preliminary Planning for the IBM 701," pp 112-114, Annals of the History of Computing, Vol 5, No 2, April, 1983.
  5. Cerf, Vint, interview, June, 1996.
  6. Comer, Douglas, "The Computer Science Research Network CSNET: A History and Status Report," Communications of the ACM, pp 747-753, Vol 26, No 10, October, 1983.
  7. Flamm, Kenneth, "Creating the Computer," The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, 1988.
  8. Frazer, Karen D., NSFNET: Final Report, Merit Network, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI, 1995,
  9. Goldstein, Steven N., "Future Prospects for NSF's International Connections Program Activities," Proceedings of INET '95, pp 681-685, Internet Society, Reston, VA, 1995.
  10. Hall, Bronwyn H., "The Private and Social Returns to Research and Development," pp 150, in Smith, Bruce L. R., and Barfield, Claude E. eds, Technology and the R&D Economy, The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, 1996.
  11. Heart, F., McKenzie, A., McQuillian, J., and Walden, D., ARPANET Completion Report, Bolt, Beranek and Newman, January 4, 1978.
  12. Hendry, John, "Innovating for Failure: Government Policy and the Early British Computer Industry," The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1990.
  13. Holzmann, Gerard J. and Pehrson, Bjorn, The Early History of Data Networks, IEEE Computer Society Press, Los Alamitos, California, 1994.
  14. Hurd, Cuthbert C., "Prologue to the Special Issue on the IBM 701," pp 110-111, Annals of the History of Computing, Vol 5, No 2, April, 1983.
  15. Jennings, Dennis M., Landweber, Lawrence H., Fuchs, Ira H., Farber, David J., and Adrion, W. Richards, "Computer Networking for Scientists," pp 943-950, Science, Vol 231, February 28, 1986.
  16. Licklider, J. C. R., "Man-Computer Symbiosis," pp 4-11, IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics, March, 1960.
  17. Licklider, J. C. R. and Taylor, Robert W, "The Computer as a Communication Device," Science and Technology, April, 1968, 21-31.
  18. McKenzie, Alex, interview, June, 1996.
  19. Mansfield, Edward, "Contributions of New Technology to the Economy," in Smith, Bruce L. R., and Barfield, Claude E. eds, Technology and the R&D Economy, The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, 1996.
  20. Marill, Thomas and Roberts, Lawrence G., "Toward a Cooperative Network of Time-Shared Computers," Proceedings of the 1966 Fall Joint Computer Conference, 425-431.
  21. Newstrack, Communications of the ACM, page 9, Vol 39, No 4, April, 1996.
  22. Press, L., "Before the Altair -- The History of Personal Computing," Communications of the ACM, September, 1993, vol 36, no 9, pp 27-33.
  23. Quarterman, John S. and Hoskins, Josiah C., "Notable Computer Networks," pp 932-971, Communications of the ACM, Vol 29, No 10. October, 1986.
  24. Reed, Sidney G., Van Atta, Richard H., and Dietchman, Seymour J., "DARPA Technical Accomplishments: An Historical Review of Selected DARPA Projects" volume 1, page 20-28 [chapter 20, page 28], Alexandria, VA: Institute for Defense Analyses, 1990.
  25. Roberts, Lawrence G., and Wessler, Barry D., "Computer Network Development to Achieve Resource Sharing," Proceedings of the 1970 Spring Joint Computer Conference, 543-549.


Category                                    No. of     Govt.    First
                                          Advances     R&D    Purchase
Memory and Storage (1948-1971)
   Memory                                      4        4        3
   Magnetic Tape                               6        2        3
   Drum and Disk                              10        3        3

Hardware (1946-1968)
   Memory organization and addressing         12        4        6
   Processor parallelism                       7        6        7
   Processor functions                         6        2        3
   Processor structure                         7        6        7

Software (1950-1973)
   Time-sharing OS                            17       10        8
   Batch OS                                   13        5        5
   Languages                                  15        4        3
   Assemblers, loaders, compilers              8        4        1

Total                                        105       50       49
Table 1. The number of important advances in computing technology, e. g., index registers, floating point hardware, interrupts, I/O channels, for which the Government funded R&D or made the initial purchases (derived from [7]).
Number of nodes          57
Average connectivity     2.28 hosts
Average path length      6.68 hops
Maximum path length      15 hops
Node unavailability      .67%
Internode throughput     5,179,361 packets/day
Intranode throughput     1,918,538 packets/day
Total throughput         7,097,899 packets/day
Table 2. ARPANET statistics in July, 1975, when it was turned over to the Defense Communication Agency for production use [11]. The packet counts are for the entire network, averaged over the month.
                              Funding          Source of
Project                      (Million $)       Estimate

Morse Telegraph                    .03         Smithsonian
SAGE                          8,000.           [7]
ARPANET                          25            [24]
CSNET                             5            [6]
NSFNET Backbone                  57.9          [8]
NSF Higher-ed connections        30            Dave Staudt, NSF
NSF International connections     6.6          Steve Goldstein, NSF
Table 3. Cost estimates for projects mentioned in this article.

Customer        	     Bandwidth	Installed

NACSIS (Japan)  		E1      3/1/92
MIMOS (Malaysia)        	T1      11/14/92
UKWT-NET (Kuwait)       	192k    12/19/92 *
ECUAnet (Ecuador)       	256k    1/20/93
CRNET (Costa Rica)      	128k    1/29/93
TURBITAK (Turkey)       	128k    4/8/93
RENATER (France)        	T1      6/8/93
Conacyt (Mexico)        	T1      12/1/93
PLDT/Philnet (Philippines)      64k     3/1/94
Univ. of Uruguay (Uruguay)      64k     3/24/94
Peru (Peru)     		256k    4/1/94
BPPT/IPTEKNET (Indonesia)       64k     5/1/94
Colombia Univ. Net (Colombia)   256k    6/1/94
KREONet (Korea) 		256k    7/1/94
UK FatPipe/UKERNA (UK)  	E1      7/19/94 **
Univ. of West Indies (Jamaica)  64k     8/1/94
HONDUTEL (Honduras)		64k     5/20/95
UKERNA (UK)     		E1      6/10/95
Swedish FatPipe                 E3      7/14/95 **
BOLNet (Bolivia)   		64k	7/19/95
CEENet (Austria)        	E1      11/18/95
Mongolia        		128k    1/5/96
Venezuela       		64K     4/8/96
Paraguay        		64K     4/10/96
RENATER (France)		E1      7/25/96
Argentina       		256k    10/1/96
Nicaragua       		TBD     TBD
El Salvador     		TBD     TBD

*  This is an X.25 link.

** The Fatpipe is a 45 Mbps line from the U. S. to England, where an 
E3 (34Mbps) link goes to Sweden.

T1=1.544 Mbps, E1=2 Mbps, and E3=34 Mbps.
Table 4. Current, NSF-facilitated links to international research and education networks. Source, Jeff Coshland, Sprint.


Those interested in the history of networking or any computing-related topic should check out the excellent journal The Annals of the History of Computing. (The October, 1983 issue was on SAGE). IEEE Computer Society,

The Encyclopaedia Britannica has an excellent treatment of the history of telegraphy. Those interested in more detail on pre-electronic networks, will enjoy the text and illustrations of [13]. IEEE Computer Society,

The newsletter ConneXions is an excellent source of Internetalia. It emphasizes new technology, but the authors and audience are well- rooted in the history. For example, the October, 1989 issue was devoted to the ARPANET's 20th birthday and the April, 1996 issue covered the retirement of NSFNET.

For excellent coverage of ARPA's work on information processing between 1962 and 1986, including the ARPANET, see Norberg, Arthur L., and O'Neil, Judy E., Transforming Computer Technology, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1996. Hafner, Katie and Lyon, Mathew, "Where Wizards Stay up Late," Simon and Schuster, New York, 1996, fleshes out the people mentioned in this article, for example, saying what a fine gentleman Licklider was, but is glib on the technology, for example, characterising SAGE as a single large computer rather than a network of large computers.

For more on the history of networking, see Quarterman, John, The Matrix: Computer Conferencing Systems Worldwide, Digital Press, Maynard, MA, 1990 and Salus, Peter H., Casting The Net, Addison- Wesley, Reading, MA, 1995.

Kenneth Flamm, an economist with a sound knowledge of computing, wrote two books, [7] and a companion volume "Targeting the Computer." They provide in-depth coverage of the history of computers and the government role. The Brookings Institution,

A previous column [22] contains related material, including discussion of Licklider and Engelbart's work.

Several listservers are dedicated to the history of computing and networking. Join by sending messages saying:

   "join history-of-computing-uk " to,
   "subscribe shothc-l" to listserv@SIVM.BITNET, or 
   "subscribe cpsr-history " to

Two Internet timelines on the Web, are and

For a history of computing site with links to others check, and an on-line history book can be found at

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on unofficial pages of California State University, Dominguez Hills faculty, staff or students are strictly those of the page authors. The content of these pages has not been reviewed or approved by California State University, Dominguez Hills.