Mike Barnett (Your Views, July 30) is mistaken in his assertion that the Internet was a product of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Gordon Crovitz, writing July 22 in The Wall Street Journal, outlined the early development of what we now know as the Internet. Interestingly, Crovitz cites an email from 2004 sent by Robert Taylor, the DARPA director in the 1960s. Taylor wrote, “The creation of the Arpanet was not motivated by considerations of war. The Arpanet was not an Internet. An Internet is a connection between two or more computer networks.”
According to Crovitz, full credit goes to Xerox PARC Labs for development of the Ethernet. While DARPA was working toward the same direction, the government process was seen as much too slow for Xerox. It had a more immediate need to connect multiple networks for users to be able to share printers and copiers. What's more, Steve Jobs learned about the PARC Labs Ethernet development when Xerox invested $1 million in Apple in 1979. Reportedly, Jobs said afterward that “they had no idea what they had.” Crovitz correctly points out the difference between thinkers and true entrepreneurs. True entrepreneurs take truly great ideas and bring them into existence.
Left in government hands, who knows how long it would have taken to develop the Internet as we now know it?
Andrew Oster, Edmond