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Internet turns 40 today

The Internet has entered its middle age. It turned 40 today even as major nations, including India, are still to use the full potential of the Internet. Despite turning 40, the Internet is still young at heart and the potentials of growth are enormous.

It was on Sept 2, 40 years ago, that Len Kleinrock and his team at UCLA began initial tests on what would ultimately end up as the Internet - something that the world today cannot live without. And with social networking, tweeting and high speed applications making its mark, the Internet has over a billion people online.

On Sept 2, 1969 about 20 people got together in Kleinrock's lab at the University of California, Los Angeles, to watch as two computers chatting by sending out meaningless test data through a 15-foot gray cable. That was the beginning of what was then called Arpanet network. The 1970s brought email and the TCP/IP communications protocols, which allowed multiple networks to connect. That then became the Internet.

However, the Internet did not land up on the study tables in houses till the '90s. That came when British physicist, Tim Berners-Lee, invented the web, a subset of the internet that made it easier to link resources across disparate locations.

Here are the milestones:

1969: On September 2, two computers at University of California, Los Angeles, exchange meaningless data in first test of Arpanet, an experimental military network

1972: Ray Tomlinson brings email to the network, choosing @ as a way to specify email addresses belonging to other systems

1973: Arpanet gets first international nodes, in England and Norway

1974: Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn develop communications technique called TCP, allowing multiple networks to understand one another, creating a true internet

1983 : Domain name system is proposed. Creation of suffixes such as '.com', '.gov' and '.edu' comes a year later

1988: One of the first internet worms, Morris, cripples thousands of computers

1990: Tim Berners- Lee creates the World Wide Web while developing ways to control computers remotely

1993: Marc Andreessen and colleagues at University of Illinois create Mosaic, the first web browser to combine graphics and text on a single page

1994: Andreessen and others on the Mosaic team form a company to develop the first commercial web browser, Netscape. Two immigration lawyers introduce the world to spam, advertising their green card lottery services

1999: Napster popularizes music file-sharing and spawns successors that have permanently changed the recording industry

2000: The dot-com boom of the 1990s becomes a bust as technology companies slide

2004: Mark Zuckerberg starts Facebook at Harvard University

2005: Launch of YouTube video-sharing site

2007: Apple releases iPhone, introducing millions more to wireless internet access

World internet population surpasses 250 million in 1999, 500 million in 2002, 1 billion in 2006 and 1.5 billion in 2008