Moving to the Net

Ninety percent of all good things that I can think of that have been done in computer science have been funded by that agency [ARPA]. Chances that they would have been funded elsewhere are very low. The basic ARPA idea is that you find good people and you give them a lot of money and then you step back. If they don't do good things in three years they get dropped—where "good" is very much related to new or interesting.

—Alan Kay, personal computing pioneer

If I had to sum up the story of the Internet and online services through the end of the twentieth century in as few words as possible, I might write the following:

ARPANET was decommissioned in 1989, replaced by a new Internet backbone called NSFNET1 that connected ...

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