The Ultimate Networking Handbook

A Brief History of Computer Networking

The Ultimate Networking Handbook

I was asked to write this feature article for The Ultimate Networking Handbook, which contains guidance on setting up a sophisticated home network, taking in cloud storage, homebrew servers and network attached hard drive arrays along the way. Here’s a snippet from my more reflective feature to whet your tech chops…

The networking technology underlying our current ‘Information Age’ is largely a result of the pioneering advances of a handful of visionaries who rose to prominence in the latter half of the twentieth century and pushed the concept of the network beyond the ken of their generation. But the first stirrings of such an interconnected world can be traced back even earlier. Consider the words of the renowned engineer and physicist Nicolas Tesla, who in an 1926 interview with Colliers magazine stated the following:

“When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole. We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance.

“Not only this, but through television and telephony we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do his will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket.”