This Hippie/Nerd-Built Super-Secret Computer Network Is Now The Internet

Forty-three years ago today, two groups of mangy computer nerds sat huddled around their massive computers. Sweat made thick-rimmed glasses slide too far down noses as the word "lo" was transmitted, for the first time via computer, from UCLA to Stanford.

Thus the computer network was born. Of course, UCLA's computer geniuses had intended to send "login," but their computer crashed and they had to wait and reboot it before they could transmit the whole word.

As so often happens when geeks are confronted by bullies, California's academic code men had their new creation wrested from them by the world's ultimate bully, the Department of Defense. But it worked out for the rest of us, because DoD's top-secret network eventually got a non-classified counterpart, which eventually became the internet as we know it today.


So happy birthday, proto-internet. You may think this has nothing to do with cars, but it does. Its creators knew that someday, you would want Jalopnik to send you the coolest cars to be found on the internet... over the internet. You may think I'm joking about that, but the video above shows a 1969 advertisement explaining how the internet works. It's eerily accurate, and if Apple made desktop computers that looked like that, I have no doubt that any army of hipsters would deplete supplies immediately.

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Wow when was the last time you saw a prediction of the future that was that accurate?! Especially from a time when you could actually say shit like 'what the wife selects on her console will be paid for by the husband?' LOL. Shhh don't tell Jezebel