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Its users scarcely noticed, for ARPANET’s functions not only continued but steadily improved.The use of TCP/IP standards for computer networking is now global.By December 1969, there were four nodes on the infant network, which was named ARPANET, after its Pentagon sponsor (the Advanced Research Projects Agency).

Any central authority would be an obvious and immediate target for an enemy missile.ARPANET’s users had warped the computer-sharing network into a dedicated, high-speed, federally subsidized electronic postal service.The main traffic was not long-distance computing, but news and personal messages.Interestingly, one of the first really big mailing lists was “SF-LOVERS”, for science fiction fans.Discussing science fiction on the network was not work-related and was frowned upon by many ARPANET computer administrators, but this didn’t stop it from happening.

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