Here's the first message ever sent over the internet

Here's the first message ever sent over the internet

29 October is International Internet Day! Here's more about the first message ever sent between two computers. 

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The internet is more a part of our lives today than we could ever have imagined. It's where we get our groceries and our medicine, it's how we navigate to new places (in a car or even just as an armchair traveller), it is where we find all sorts of entertainment to suit our tastes and, of course, it is how we connect with people all over the world. 

But in a time of emoji speak and more viral videos per minute than anyone can count, have you ever wondered what the very first message to be sent over the internet contained?

On 29 October 1969, two decades before the world wide web would be introduced, two men in California sent two letters - 'L' and 'O' - between two computers

Programmers Charley Kline and Bill Duvall used an interface message processor to send a message from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to the Stanford Research Institute (SRI). The two planned to log in to the computer at SRI from UCLA using the word "login".

But there was no spectacular ta-da! moment. Kline typed one letter, 'L', then confirmed that Duvall got it on his computer. He did the same with 'O', and it seemed they were on the right track. Then, as Kline attempted the third letter, Duvall's computer crashed. 

The first message ever sent over the internet was "Lo". It could be an omen or a sign of future connections to be made: it could be interpreted as "lo and behold" or a colloquial form of "hello".
However you read it, the message was a sign of greater things to come. The first website on the world wide web would only go live on 6 August 1991, but Kline and Duvall showed just one of the many possibilities of this "network of networks" that would soon rule our lives. 

Staff at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, were the first to ever upload a picture to the world wide web. It featured four women who were part of a singing group called Les Horribles Cernettes and went up in 1992. Pictures on the internet sure have come a long way since this grainy poster featuring a difficult to read font!

Do you remember the first message you ever sent over the internet?

Image: PhotoMIX-Company

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