This was a very handy service, for computer time was precious in the early ‘70.In 1971 there were fifteen nodes in ARPANET; by 1972, thirty-seven nodes. By the second year of operation, however, an odd fact became clear.Interestingly, one of the first really big mailing lists was “SF-LOVERS”, for science fiction fans.
In the summer of 1968, experts at the RAND Corporation, America’s foremost Cold War think tank, were considering a strange strategic problem.
How could the US authorities successfully communicate after a nuclear war?
And how would the network itself be commanded and controlled?
Any central authority would be an obvious and immediate target for an enemy missile.
The invention of the mailing list followed naturally.
This was an ARPANET broadcasting technique in which an identical message could be sent automatically to large numbers of network subscribers.
As the ‘70 advanced, other entire networks fell into the digital embrace of this ever-growing web of computers.
Since TCP/IP was public domain, and the basic technology was decentralized and rather anarchic by its very nature, it was difficult to stop people from barging in and linking up.
This excited and intrigued many, because it did sound like a theory for an indestructible network.
In the autumn of 1969, the first node was installed in UCLA.
By December 1969, there were four nodes on the infant network, which was named ARPANET, after its Pentagon sponsor (the Advanced Research Projects Agency).