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In the summer of 1968, experts at the RAND Corporation, America’s foremost Cold War think tank, were considering a strange strategic problem.
How could the US authorities successfully communicate after a nuclear war?
In 1971 there were fifteen nodes in ARPANET; by 1972, thirty-seven nodes. By the second year of operation, however, an odd fact became clear.The ARPA’s original software for communication was known as NCP, “Network Control Protocol”, but as time passed and the technique advanced, NCP was superseded by a higher-level, more sophisticated standard known as TCP/IP.This software converted messages into streams of packets at the source, then reassembled them back into messages at the destination.As early as 1977, TCP/IP was being used by other networks to link to ARPANET.ARPANET itself remained fairly tightly controlled, at least until 1983, when its military segment broke off and became MILNET. And ARPANET itself, though it was growing, became a smaller and smaller neighborhood amid the vastly growing constellation of other linked machines.