History of the Internet: 1957-2009
January 6, 2009 3:07 PM   Subscribe

History of the Internet is an animated documentary explaining the inventions from time-sharing to filesharing, from Arpanet to Internet.
posted by Surfin' Bird (17 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Stylish and informative.. thanks.
posted by starman at 3:37 PM on January 6, 2009

I find this video more interesting if I think of it as the internet teaching me about itself.
posted by aetg at 3:39 PM on January 6, 2009

Of course the guy with the English accent takes a detour to England. Where's Alohanet, huh? And please, the French?

PICOL seems like a nice idea but I hope he gets more than 22 icons designed.
posted by GuyZero at 3:41 PM on January 6, 2009

Man, I'm pretty far removed from the subject these days, but I found him sort of muddled and unclear, at least in the opening minutes. I don't know that someone with no base knowledge of the subject would really be able to follow it, but I'm willing to be wrong on that one.

Also, he doesn't start talking about the difficulty creating a protocol that works between different computer systems until around the 6 minute mark. He should have started talking about the when discussing the IMP, since that was one of the major hurdles BBN had to deal with.

GuyZero, the french come in around the 5 minute mark. I mean, I guess you have to be pretty bare bones at ten minutes, but there are still some stark omissions, depending on what you even mean by "internet."
posted by absalom at 5:08 PM on January 6, 2009

To clarify: what I meant was I think that you can't really discuss the internet without discussing ethernet and, by extension, alohanet. SO I think that's an omission. But including that obscure thing (I forget what) that they attribute to some French team? The French belong nowhere in the history of the invention of the internet except in the side discussion of how Minitel slowed French adoption of dialup and WWW services.
posted by GuyZero at 5:23 PM on January 6, 2009

GuyZero: Gotcha, I thought you meant they were not mentioned at all. I am in complete agreement.
posted by absalom at 5:36 PM on January 6, 2009

The narrator and animation style remind me of a slow-spoken, less angry Zero Punctuation.
posted by ErWenn at 6:30 PM on January 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Or at least the beginning with the frustrated developers did.
posted by ErWenn at 6:34 PM on January 6, 2009

You can't take your money with you!
posted by parallax7d at 6:39 PM on January 6, 2009

whoops, wrong thread sorry! (metafilter, where adding in the ability to delete or edit a comment will never happen!)
posted by parallax7d at 6:40 PM on January 6, 2009

i miss usenet's good days.
posted by bonaldi at 6:46 PM on January 6, 2009

"Sorry, this video no longer exists"
posted by mrbill at 9:00 PM on January 6, 2009

And... NOW it works once I reload a couple times.
posted by mrbill at 9:04 PM on January 6, 2009

I don't know that someone with no base knowledge of the subject would really be able to follow it

I had minimal knowledge (I knew about ARPANET and that's about it) and I followed it pretty well. It annoyed me that the Brit doesn't know how to pronounce French (it's si-KLAHD, it doesn't rhyme with Pilates) and that he doesn't tell you when things were happening (I don't think he mentions a date between 1962 and 1990), but it was educational for me.

As for the French stuff, the Wikipedia article makes it sound like Cyclades was pretty significant. Maybe they should have mentioned ALOHAnet as well, but that doesn't make Cyclades not worth mentioning.
posted by languagehat at 6:58 AM on January 7, 2009

Oh that's what he was saying. I couldn't spell it at all based on how he pronounced it.

Cyclades to me is more like a parallel evolution. Like how squid eyes are so similar to human eyes. Yeah, they're both eyes with similar structures but only one led to the painting of the Mona Lisa. Like every invention in the world, there were multiple people working on packet switching at the same time. That doesn't mean they all influenced the Internet. Similarly, Aaron Schwartz summarizes The Telephone Gambit in a recent blog posting. So Bell copied the telephone from Grey? That doesn't mean Grey had any real influence on the eventual development of Bell Labs.

I'm really just nitpicking, many parts of the documentary were fine but it seems like the author goes out of his way to find tenuous European connections while ignoring more important stuff that was done by other Americans. The Internet is fundamentally an American invention (and as I non-American I say this without jingoistic posturing. it's simply true)
posted by GuyZero at 9:53 AM on January 7, 2009

Fair enough, but as an American who by the nature of things tends to get heavily US-centric coverage of everything, I appreciate a little extra attention being paid to non-US stuff I might not otherwise know about. (That's why I like the Penguin Guide to Jazz: it has heavy coverage of non-US jazz that I wouldn't otherwise be aware of.)
posted by languagehat at 10:55 AM on January 7, 2009

At 1,548 pages (!!) the Penguin Guide to Jazz is probably going for a more complete approach to the topic at hand than a 5-minute animated short produced by an undergrad using open-source icons. Given five minutes, I would skip the esoterica about dead-ends in the development of commercial computer networks, i.e. X.25 and Cyclades.

Although if this guy is going to write a 1,548 page book on the development of large-scale packet-switched networks, I will definitely buy a copy.

(Also, I really wanted to like Tuna: A Love Story but man, that guy needs a better editor. Stop repeating yourself Mr Ellis.)
posted by GuyZero at 11:33 AM on January 7, 2009

« Older The Uncle Floyd FPP!   |   How's the schadenfreude today? Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments