Happy 41st Birthday, Internet!

Forty-one years ago today, the first message was transmitted over ARPANET, the computer network that would grow into the Internet, when UCLA graduate student Charles Kline sent the world “login” — one letter at a time — to Stanford Research Institute programmer Bill Duvall. The L and the O were sent and received with no problems. In a video about this momentous exchange, Kline remembers what happened next: “Then I typed the G, and [Duvall] said, ‘Wait a minute, my system crashed.'”

Which is perfect, no? The modern experience of e-mail — instantaneous communication, hair-pulling frustration — sprang fully formed from ARPANET on Oct. 29, 1969. And nothing would ever be the same — including meetings and conventions, which, let’s face it, have gained a whole lot more than they lost from the deal. Including this blog. Thanks, Internet!

Sarah Beauchamp

Sarah Beauchamp was formerly assistant editor of Convene.