Topic #4

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9036482/Happy_Birthday_Sputnik_Thanks_for_the_Internet_

http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Internet—A-Cold-War-Invention&id=770340

Searching the internet on the relationship between the Cold War and the birth of the internet itself, I have found two conclusions. First, I found that the internet was established as a way to get ahead of the Russians in the Space Race after they had launched the Sputnik in 1957. And second the internet was launched as a way to save information in case of an impending attack.

Sputnik being the first manmade object to orbit the earth stunned the U.S which in turn felt the need to prove that America was more technologically advanced than Russia. Unfortunately the U.S was not having the same success sending rockets into space as Russia was at the time. The American public was getting frustrated and demanded that something be done about it.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) was then developed by President Eisenhower in 1958. The idea behind the “pre- internet” was to keep military secrets safe in case of a nuclear attack. Another idea behind it was to prevent technological surprises meaning the president didn’t want the Russians revealing anything more technologically advanced than the U.S. The first internet was called ARPANET which really developed in 1969. As time progressed the internet’s technology grew and its users reached 550 people in 1981, by 1984 it had 940 users. By then the internet had developed into much more than a military secret.

Without the launch of the Sputnik President Eisenhower may have never needed to launch the development of the internet. I believe computer systems and the internet itself would have eventually developed into what it is today but may have developed at a much slower pace. The technology may have even been abandoned somewhere between 50 years ago and now. Bill Gates may have never had the idea to develop the Microsoft operating system to guide users while using a computer and Steve Jobs may have never given us the IOS operating system on the Apple Macintosh. Overall I believe the public can partially thank the Russians giving us the need to get ahead which has over time developed into what the internet is today.

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