Monday, March 28, 2011

Updated: Paul Baran, Internet and packet switching pioneer, is mourned

This is definitely sad. Paul Baran was one of the developers of TCP/IP. To learn more about Paul and the others that actually invented the Internet I highly recommend the book, Where Wizards Stay Up Late by Katie Hafner.


Baran credited with inventing packet switching in 1960s against military backdrop

By Bob Brown, Network World
March 27, 2011 10:05 PM ET

Paul Baran

Paul Baran, whose Cold War era invention of packet switching technology helped to lay the foundation for the Internet, has died at the age of 84 in Palo Alto, Calif.

Baran, a native of Poland whose family moved to Philadelphia when he was a youngster, developed his concept of a survivable store-and-forward communications network while at RAND the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis in the early 1960s.

That concept of packet switching, a digital communications method involving the movement of data divvied up into what Baran called "message blocks" over shared and distributed networks, later found its way into the Department of Defense's ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), which evolved into the Internet. His work, initially conducted at RAND for the U.S. Air Force, led to development of packet switching technologies such as TCP/IP, frame relay and X.25.

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