The Internet Began on a Yellow Legal Pad

We are quite proud to be the only legally-related blog (that we know about) whose background consists of simulated yellow legal pad paper, commonly used in many law firms.

Did you know that the Internet as we know it today really started out on the yellow paper of a legal pad?

Katie Haffner has a February 16, 2005 New York Times article entitled Laurels for Giving the Internet Its Language, which reports that Vinton G. Cerf and Robert E. Kahn will receive the A.M. Turing Award, computing’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

It occurred in the summer of 1973, when Cerf and Kahn sketched their ideas on a yellow legal pad in a conference room of the Cabana Hyatt Hotel in Palo Alto, California, right next to Stanford University, thus creating, as Haffner writes,

“the structure for Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol, or TCP/IP, a set of communications standards that enable different computer networks to share information, giving the Internet its power and reach.”

Haffner writes further:

“A lot of people are responsible for the success of the Internet,” said David Patterson, a professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, who is president of the association. “Vint and Bob are responsible for the vocabulary of the Internet.”

With that first generation of pioneers now graying, researchers and archivists are pondering the birth of the Internet in historic terms. That old yellow pad, if it had not been lost decades ago, would be a valuable collector’s item now.

Read the whole article here.

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