The internet started as a small "net" of interconnected computers, but how were those computers connected? Was a chip manufactured to be installed onto the computer? Was it software?

closed as off-topic by Tea Drinker, Mark C. Wallace, o0'., Steven Drennon Dec 7 '14 at 23:02

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions on social sciences other than History are off-topic here, unless they also involve history in some fashion. While ethics, archaeology, etc. are all connected to history, each field has their own experts who are better equipped to answer such questions." – Tea Drinker, Steven Drennon
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Your titled asked about "wirelessly connected computers" but the body appears to be asking about the internet instead. Could you clarify? – Semaphore Dec 5 '14 at 12:49
  • @Semaphore Yes, sorry - I've edited the question. – crgsqdmn Dec 5 '14 at 12:58
  • Thanks. The main problem (as I see it) is, which event do you consider to be the first time computers were connected to the Internet? – Semaphore Dec 5 '14 at 13:03
  • 1
    I'm not sure whether I understand the question - obviously there has to be a hardware component. Or is your question whether the connection ran on telegraph masts or could already use the telephone network? – user45891 Dec 5 '14 at 14:20
  • 1
    I was hesitant to downvote, in order not to discourage tech-history questions such as this one… but it's really written too poorly, so much that I'm not sure what he's asking either. A rewrite would likely help much. – o0'. Dec 6 '14 at 10:49

The wikipedia article on ARPANET explains the earliest architecture. Communication was over leased telephone lines using acoustic modems. Each node was run by a small, specialized computer that did routing. Communication between the routers and the local computers was through a serial port. To read the packets off the serial port, the local machine would have to have some kind of software installed (what we would call today a "tcp/ip stack").

  • well, those 'small' computers were still huge by today's standards. Think PDPs :) – jwenting Dec 5 '14 at 17:13

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.