(OT) Once upon a time…. (there was no internet)

Summary – Can you remember the earliest internet (actually its forerunner, the ARPANET)? Highly unlikely, so travel with me to those days of yesteryear. We’ve come a long way, baby. 😉


A short weekend post


8-18-2013 11-03-53 AM 


Map of my local WiFi network

After installing a wireless printer for my wife a few days ago

The 16th device connected to KnepNet


Looking at the KnepNet map reminded me of days gone by

When I worked as an engineer on the ARPANET

And we plotted maps like this next one (circa 1971)

of the ARPANET, forerunner to today’s internet

8-18-2013 12-25-20 PM

In terms of connected devices,

My home network is similar in size

To the early ARPANET

(which started with four computers in 1969)


As the network grew, we began making maps like this next one

Using a large CalComp flatbed plotter

8-18-2013 12-39-04 PM


Click to Enlarge

8-18-2013 11-21-35 AM

This is every single computer in the network in 1977

From there, the size began to grow like crazy

The number of devices connected to the internet in 2012

Is estimated at 8.7 Billion

Now that would take a pretty big map to plot

Things have gotten out of hand 😉


I retired in 1994 after 25 years with the

US DoD activity charged with network R&D and engineering

I was the Chief Engineer for the final 5 of those years

Blame it on me


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2 thoughts on “(OT) Once upon a time…. (there was no internet)

  1. Hah! Hah! You were with the ARPANET? Hah! I thought you were some, what, mechanical engineer? Geological engineer? Then turned photographer and I follow you merely for your photography knowledge! How wrong I was… One of the earlier geeks writing here who grew up with the FidoNet (since for us ordinary kiddies ARPANET was just non-existent), turned into a computer science engineer, turned into a photographer. Why do I suddenly see you in an entirely different light. Master 😉

    • I thought this might get a reply from you. That was long ago and far away but some of my own personal “inventions”, especially in the area of routing (both data and voice routing as I spent more time with circuit switched networks than data nets), are still out there humming away.

      Post-retirement was the time to switch the emphasis to the other side of my brain. I went “cold-turkey” on the work of my past & started exploring new worlds – with no regrets.

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