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The Internet: where did it come from?

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When:

  • Wed 14 May ’08, 6:30pm – 7:30pm

Where:

Lecture Theatre E6, Universtiy of Canterbury, Creyke Road, Christchurch District

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

For most people, the Internet seemed to appear out of nowhere in about 1995. Since then, it has revolutionised the way that hundreds of millions of people get news and information, stay in touch with family, structure their social life, entertain themselves, or do their jobs.

How did this happen? Was it an accident or a plan? How did the Internet fly in the face of established telecommunications services? What were the engineering design features of Internet technology that allowed this to happen, and how important were technological and regulatory developments? What was the "dot com bubble" really about? But most important, what can we learn about the future from this very recent history?

The lecture will consider all these questions, briefly tracing the technical history of the Internet from the invention of packet switching in 1962, through its first deployment in the ARPANET in 1969, and looking at the continuous growth of the Internet since it took its modern shape in the late 1980s. Current leading-edge research and standards development will be described, followed by some speculation about the future.

Dr Brian Carpenter will be speaking across New Zealand on the Internet phenomenon as this year’s IET Prestige Lecturer. Lectures will take place in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Palmerston North, Christchurch and Dunedin during May.

Dr Carpenter is a Senior Researcher in the Department of Computer Science, University of Auckland. Prior to joining the University, he spent 10 years working at IBM. Before this, he led the networking group at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, in Geneva, Switzerland.

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