History of the Internet - a Motiongraphics documentary

by Volker Weber


This documentary is part of the diploma work by Melih Bilgil, who recently graduated from university in Mainz, Germany. Very impressive in its own right, it also tells you about the early days of the Internet.

Watch in Quicktime here or as Flash on Vimeo.

[via Alper]


As someone who was around then, I'm afraid a lot of the "early stuff" was such complete bullshit that I gave up in disgust. I guess this is how history gets re-written.

1. Yes the idea of time-sharing dates to an article published in 1957, but CTSS is commonly viewed at the 1st operational (as opposed to demonstrable) time sharing system, and it was first demonstrated in 1961!

2. The whole notion of packet (as opposed to circuit) switching was key to the development of the Internet.

3. No one ever thought of a PDP 10 as a main-frame.

4. The reason for IMPS (and TIPs) in the Arpanet was three-fold:
A. packet switching required specialized hardware.
B. packet switching required many CPU cycles.
C. software updates were easier on a common platform.

So a decision was made to interface different systems (though primarily PDP 10s) to a single IMP platform, rather than run network software directly on different systems.

5. The Merit network was much earlier than Cyclades and much more conceptually important. There was also Bitnet!


Nick Shelness, 2009-01-09

For people who interested in an accurate history, there is:

A Brief History of the Internet

Nick Shelness, 2009-01-09

I must say i thought it was beautifully designed (I just wish I had some small proportion of those talents) but as for the story, I kind of lost the plot somewhere along the way... but I guess it is meant to be a design exercise rather than a definitive history!

Nick Daisley, 2009-01-09

I am not familiar with details of the history of the internet, so I can't say anything about the accuracy of the technical details mentioned in the film. But I think saying "at that time", as in "before the Internet", "knowledge was only transferred by people" (1:58) is pretty bold and an indication not to forget the grain of salt. I like in terms of visual design, though.

Haiko Hebig, 2009-01-09

Very nice presentation!
But they didn't mention Sir T. Berners Lee and R. Cailliau (Belgium!) or CERN, who played a fundamental role in the development of the "World Wide Web" with their http protocol.
The French system they talked about, was this the same as the "Minitel" system which was in use in France, long before we talked about Internet?

Ludwig Deruyck, 2009-01-10

Well, Ludwig, it's a presentation about the history of the internet NOT of the worldwideweb ;-)

Martin Hiegl, 2009-01-10

Even for a history of the Internet this is just so wrong that it almost hurts.

Gerhard Poul, 2009-01-10

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