Paul Baran, early internet engineer and architect, passes away at 84

Jacob Schulman
J. Schulman|03.28.11

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Paul Baran, early internet engineer and architect, passes away at 84
Most of you may not believe it, but the internet as we know it didn't really exist a mere 20 years ago. Paul Baran, an engineer of the ARPANET (an early attempt at a networked information superhighway) has passed away today at the age of 84. As the father of packet-switching -- the basis of all online information exchanges -- he was initially scoffed at by major communications players like AT&T, who thought the tech was too advanced to be realized at the time. However, after the US Department of Defense saw the need for an effective large-scale information network following WWII, the ARPANET was eventually -- and successfully -- built based on these packet-switching concepts and evolved to form the current interweb. We've definitely lost a visionary in the field of networking, and here's to hoping the next generation of like-minded innovators has the same perseverance and success.

[Image: Computer History Museum]
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