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university researchers were also pushing their machines in entirely
new directions. Real-time computing, time-sharing systems and computer
networking were considered dramatic new tools for expanding human
intellectual reach. These were areas, researchers like Professor
Leonard Kleinrock discovered, where you could have some fun and
make a difference, too.
had joined the UCLA computer science faculty in 1963, having developed
the underlying principles for data networking while a Ph.D. student
at MIT. His tight bond and intellectual alliance with Lawrence Roberts,
a classmate from MIT, would lead directly to the government's selection
of UCLA as the Kitty Hawk of computer networking.
1967 Roberts had moved to Washington, D.C., to take charge of creating
the ARPANET, a project dedicated to finding a way to transmit huge
chunks of digital data between computers in a number of smaller
digital bundles. Funding for the project -- a million dollars --
had been approved by the Pentagon in 1966. This "packet-switching"
network, as it came to be called, had been pioneered by Kleinrock
and was to revolutionize communications by the decade's end. "It
was clear to me that high-speed packet-switched networks were exactly
the right way for computers to talk to one another," recalls Kleinrock.
"But in those days the hot technology was time sharing. I had to
wait for conditions to ripen before my ideas would catch on."
it came time to choose node one for the ARPANET-to-be, Roberts had
no trouble finding the one spot on the map where he knew it could
work: UCLA. On the Westwood campus was Kleinrock, the man who had
influenced his thinking on network technology. Kleinrock promptly
received a sizeable grant and, in 1968, established both a research
group and the Network Measurement Center at UCLA.