LOSE YOURSELF IN 1969
ARPANET: EARLY INTERNET
The first message over what was effectively a very early and crude version of the internet was broadcast on 29 October at 10.30pm. ARPANET stood for the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network and used a system that… well, frankly, we don’t understand or can explain properly, but it established protocols that would eventually become vital in internet communication.
After years of development, a successful nascent email was sent from a Scientific Data Systems (SDS) computer at the University of California, Los Angeles, to another SDS machine at the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, California. The text was just one word: ‘login’. There had been a previous attempt earlier in the day, but only the
‘l’ and the ‘o’ were transmitted before the system crashed, which took an hour to rectify. It’s probably just as well that things have gotten rather quicker and more reliable since then…
THE ONE AFTER
Apollo 11 famously completed the first moon landing, but what of its follow-up, Apollo 12? That blasted off – being struck twice by lightning in the process – on 14 November 1969, carrying Charles ‘Pete’ Conrad, Alan L Bean and Richard F Gordon. They may have been less famous than their predecessors, but managed to land at their intended location – unlike Apollo 11.
They also took the first colour TV camera to the lunar surface – though it was destroyed when one of the astronauts accidentally pointed it at the sun.
When Conrad stepped onto the moon, his first words were ‘Whoopie! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that’s a long one for me.’ Not as deep as Neil Armstrong’s speech, perhaps, but it did at least win him a $500 bet with a journalist.
The crew of Apollo 12. They look rather chipper, don’t they?