LOSE YOURSELF IN 1969

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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?

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