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with only a few months left before Kleinrock and the UCLA team were
to accept delivery of IMP No. 1, a thick envelope arrived in the
mail from Cambridge. Inside the package was a newly written set
of specifications for connecting host computers to the soon-to-be-delivered
IMP. The ARPANET at last seemed to be falling into place.
and Crocker asked technicians at Scientific Data Systems, makers
of the Sigma-7, to build the interface hardware for the host-to-IMP
connection. The company's response was discouraging: It would take
months and probably not be finished in time for the IMP's arrival.
Moreover, Scientific Data wanted tens of thousands of dollars to
do the job.
when Mike Wingfield '67, M.S. '69, Ph.D. '72, a UCLA grad student
techno- whiz kid, said he'd like to take a crack at solving the
problem, Kleinrock figured, "Why not?" Wingfield plunged into the
task and one week before the Interface Message Processor was scheduled
to arrive, he had the hardware built, debugged and ready to go.
"It was," Crocker recalls, "a gorgeous piece of work."
Crocker looked at the calendar. He counted on having at least one
extra day to complete preparatory work on the network, since September
1 was Labor Day. He'd heard that the folks in Cambridge were having
internal timing problems with the IMP. Timing bugs could be nasty
and, Crocker hoped, might buy him the extra week he needed. But
an excited call from Kleinrock advised Crocker that UCLA's Interface
Message Processor was about to be put on a plane and would arrive
in Los Angeles on August 30 -- two days early.
the deadline for launching the ARPANET lurched toward the UCLA team
like a madman with a bomb.
the Saturday before Labor Day, 1969, about a dozen people -- Kleinrock,
Crocker, Postel, Wingfield, Cerf and a handful of curiosity seekers
-- gathered on the loading dock of Boelter Hall. Champagne bottles
were popped open: The IMP was arriving.