Contributors recognized by Internet Hall of Fame

Sept. 22, 2017
by Mark Ollig

For 25 years, The Internet Society has supported the internet’s worldwide public accessibility and unrestricted access to its rich content resources.

The Internet Hall of Fame, started by The Internet Society, recognizes those who have made substantial contributions to the internet over the years.

Monday evening, I watched the live-stream internet broadcast of the 2017 Internet Hall of Fame.

Vinton Cerf is one of the hall’s members.

Many consider Cerf the “Father of the Internet,” because of his work during the late 1970s creating the internet’s unique addressing system called IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4).

IPv4 works within the internet’s TCP/IP (transmission control protocol/internet protocol) created by Cerf and Robert Khan in the early 1970s.

Using 32-bit addressing, IPv4 provides almost 4.3 billion unique addresses for the devices connected to the internet.

A good analogy I use is to think of the unique address for an internet-connected device as equivalent to the specific telephone number assigned to a phone.

According to Cerf, 4.3 billion unique addresses seemed like more than enough when IPv4 was designed in 1977.

As we now know, 4.3 billion were not nearly enough, and so an improved addressing system was developed.

The new (and currently being deployed) IPv6 uses 128-bit address allocation, providing more than 340 undecillion unique addresses.

Just think; a billion is a 1 followed by nine zeros, and an undecillion is a 1 followed by 36 zeros.

IPv6 is essentially an unlimited internet addressing schema. It will provide a unique internet address for any type of device imaginable for decades to come.

Let us just say I do not foresee exhaustion of unique internet addresses using IPv6 anytime soon.

This year, the Internet Hall of Fame honored 14 individuals who contributed to the engineering, development, education, and continued evolution of the internet.

The success of the internet not only came about because of the people who have contributed to its history, but also to those who maintain it and create the new technology for improving how it operates, and what it can be used for.

We know benefits of the internet include its ability to reach isolated parts of the world and connect those living there with education, commerce opportunities, and ways to improve their lives.

The Internet Hall of Fame’s inductees selected this year have each made noteworthy contributions.

“Ultimately, the success of the internet depends on the people behind it,” said Kathy Brown, Internet Society president and CEO.

The internet, as we know it today, uses a suite of communication protocols for linking computers, various electronic components, software applications, voice, video, data, and local and wide-area networks.

Today’s internet originated 50 years ago, because of the US Government’s Advanced Research Projects Agency Network using data packet-switching. It was called the ARPANET.

In 1967, ARPANET published an engineering design paper titled “Multiple Computer Networks and Intercomputer Communication.”

This paper showed how a computer could communicate with another computer within a network by having an Interface Message Processor (IMP) device (about the size of a refrigerator) wired into each networked computer.

Remember, the computers in 1967 were a lot larger than the ones we carry around with us now.

Today, we know the IMP as a computer-networking router, and it is much smaller than a refrigerator.

Digressing back to today’s topic, I found interesting how one Internet Hall of Fame inductee used the internet to further learning opportunities for educators and students throughout the world.

In 1984, years before folks were using a web browser or had heard of websites, Dr. Yvonne Marie Andrés recognized the internet’s potential for advancing the cause of global learning.

The same year, she began an international organization called Global SchoolNet for advancing internet-shared educational projects amongst students worldwide.

By 1992, Dr. Andrés began Global Schoolhouse. This effort connected young people all over the world with scientists, authors, explorers, and community leaders for their assistance and correspondence on projects benefiting the world.

It is also important to recognize her work in conducting the very first live-streaming, television-internet broadcast in 1995, over the still-in-its-infancy World Wide Web, in collaboration with “World News Now.”

In 2001, President George W. Bush honored Dr. Andrés by having her announce the US Department of Education’s online Friendship Through Education initiative.

This internet initiative fostered mutual understanding of various cultures worldwide, along with establishing collaboration and friendship between people living in other countries with students in the US.

Dr. Andrés began her teaching and technology-mentoring career at the Oceanside Unified School District in Oceanside, CA.

The complete list and detailed information for all fourteen inductees is at https://www.internethalloffame.org/inductees.

Follow me on Twitter as I express my humble opinions about the internet and other interesting topics at @bitsandbytes.

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