July 22, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

The Guy’s a Genius, What Can We Say?

Leonard Kleinrock

At age 6, Leonard Kleinrock made a crystal radio by wrapping copper wire around an empty toilet paper roll. “This is magic,†he thought, as he listened to broadcasts from faraway places.

He got the instructions for building his little radio out of a comic book.
By the time he got to graduate school at MIT, it was Kleinrock who was writing the books.

Kleinrock as a young scientist

His PhD thesis, “Message Delay in Communication Nets with Storage,†dealt with a problem that nobody was paying much attention to in those days; that computers couldn’t “talk†to other computers.

Kleinrock came up with the idea for something called “packet switching,†which means sending information over long-distance wires in small bursts of bits and bytes. This work created the building blocks of the modern Internet although nobody really knew it at the time.

He had a feeling he was on to something.  Although he predicted the profound changes wrought by the modern computer, few were interested at the time. AT&T responded with a “Thanks, but no thanks.â€

Kleinrock received the National Medal of Science at the White House recently.

Eventually, a group called ARPA (Advanced Research Project Agency), a branch of the Defense Department formed by President Eisenhower in response to Sputnik, agreed to back Kleinrock and several others who wanted to pursue the challenge of getting computers to communicate with one another.

Kleinrock came to UCLA in 1963 and joined the faculty of what later became the Computer Science department. He rose to department head in the nineties and today, at age 74, still serves as a professor.

Kleinrock stands next to the first internet router.

Kleinrock described what it was like sending the first message from UCLA to Stanford Research Institute (SRI) at 10:30 p.m. on the evening of October 29, 1969. He and his associates began to type in “LOGIN†to get their session started.

After they typed in the letter “L,†they asked their colleagues at SRI, who were connected to the UCLA team by telephone, if they had received the “L.â€

Yes, they had, they reported.

Then they typed in the “O.†Yes, they got that, too.

Their excitement grew. But at the letter “G,†SRI’s computer crashed. And that was it – at least for this first test drive.

So the first word ever sent over the Internet was “LO.â€

“Lo and behold,†laughed Kleinrock. “That’s kind of the story here, isn’t it?â€

In the 1960s, computers were as big as commercial refrigerators. Kleinrock still has the original computer over which the first Internet message was sent.

In 1989, 20 years after the first experiment, Kleinrock offered this computer to the Smithsonian. The Smithsonian wasn’t interested. They didn’t know what the Internet was.

It took another five to ten years before people began to grasp that the Internet was about to revolutionize how we live and work.

Kleinrock teaches at UCLA

Kleinrock and his colleagues chose to share their innovation instead of “fencing it in with patents.†Their openness allowed fellow researchers to build on their revolutionary work which has benefited us all.

Kleinrock and his team had a pretty good idea that the infrastructure they were creating would be big someday. But, he added, he is still constantly amazed at all the new and exciting ways people come up with to use it.

“Today’s Internet innovators are more motivated by the promise of financial rewards than we were,†he said.

Back in the days when he and his colleagues were developing the basis for all this, there were few secrets. Computer scientists from all over the country readily shared information. Had it not been that way, it would have been a lot harder to connect all the dots, said Kleinrock.

People were open and trusting before SPAM and identity theft existed. It never occurred to them to build in safeguards against such things.

As the technology continues to evolve, Kleinrock, who was just awarded the National Medal of Science at a White House ceremony (this is the nation’s highest scientific honor, bestowed on eight scientists a year), said the Internet will be “invisible and everywhere†– running our appliances, controlling our room temperatures, connecting our earpieces to our phones, communicating with our cars, our pacemakers – everything.

Kleinrock does not seek special credit for any of this. He’s quick to name names of the fellow scientists who were with him on the ground floor.  

Today he is happy spending more time with his wife of 41 years, Stella, four grown children and six grandchildren. He studies Japanese, Karate and loves teaching today’s most promising graduate students.

“I’m very gratified to have been a part of all this,†he chortled. “They actually pay me to do this.â€

It looks like the last laugh will be Kleinrock’s as well.

Now, curators from the Smithsonian call Kleinrock regularly asking for the computer that was used to send the first message over the Internet in 1969 – but now he won’t give it to them.

It will likely become part of an “Internet Museum†at UCLA that is under consideration.

Dr. Kleinrock’s inner six-year-old still has yet another crystal radio to build.

in News
Related Posts

(Video) School of Rock Offering Summer Camps for Future Rockstars

July 22, 2024

July 22, 2024

Various Camps Are Offered for Beginners and Experienced Musicians Alike @culvercitywlanews Camps are offered for musicians of various skill levels...

Suspect Killed by Los Angeles County Sheriffs in Shooting in West Hollywood

July 21, 2024

July 21, 2024

Incident on N. Gardner St. Under Investigation by Sheriff’s Homicide Detectives Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide detectives are investigating a...

Ryan Garcia Charged with Allegedly Vandalizing the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

July 21, 2024

July 21, 2024

DA Gascón Announces Charges for the Incident on June 8 Boxer Ryan Garcia has been charged with allegedly vandalizing the...

President Biden and Local Politicians Endorse Brentwood Resident VP Kamala Harris for President

July 21, 2024

July 21, 2024

Vice President Kamala Harris Gains Support as Democratic Nominee In a surprise announcement on Sunday afternoon, President Joe Biden announced,...

Culver City Police Arrest Four Juvenile Suspects in Vehicle Burglary Spree

July 21, 2024

July 21, 2024

Collaboration with Residents Leads to Arrests and Recovery of Evidence Culver City experienced a series of vehicle burglaries in various...

Cinespia Announces Additional Special Screenings at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

July 19, 2024

July 19, 2024

Featuring Tributes to Paul Reubens and Shelly Duvall and Annual Screenings Cinespia, the popular cinematic experience presented by Amazon MGM...

Michelle Bisnoff Arrested for $2 Million Investor Fraud Scheme

July 19, 2024

July 19, 2024

CEO of ESOS Rings Faces Securities and Wire Fraud Charges A Boca Raton woman was arrested today on charges of...

Felony Battery Suspect Arrested in South Brentwood Sexual Assault on July 16

July 18, 2024

July 18, 2024

26-Year-Old Taken Into Custody After Assault on Gretna Green Way Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Los Angeles...

Culver City Opens Nomination Period for City Council Candidates This Week

July 18, 2024

July 18, 2024

Residents Invited to File Nomination Papers from July 15 to August 8  The nomination period for Culver City’s City Council...

(Video) Only One More Saturday Pop Up of Pa’s Biscuitisserie at Cardinale du Vin Left!

July 18, 2024

July 18, 2024

From 9 am to 2 pm, the best biscuits: their tribute to Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay biscuits and the best...

(Video) Cold Brew Lou Celebrates Three Years at the Motor Avenue Farmers Market With New Coffee Drinks

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

Stay cool with Cold Brew Lou’s new creations, orange you curious? Check them out. @culvercitywlanews Cold Brew Lou Celebrates Three...

Danny Boy’s Famous Original’s New Location Now Open in Westwood Village

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

Acclaimed Chef Daniel Holzman Brings New York-Style Pizza to Westwood Daniel Holzman, celebrated chef and industry veteran, will open the...

New Restaurant Alert: All Roads Pinseria + Enoteca to Open in Brentwood on July 26

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

Roman-Style Eatery Boasts Unique Pinsa and Italian Specialties, Italian Wines Exciting news for the Westside: All Roads Pinseria + Enoteca,...

String of Car Burglaries Reported in Culver City Early Sunday, July 14

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

Residents Urged to Check Security Footage and Take Precautions A series of car burglaries occurred in Culver City early Sunday,...

Sexual Assault Reported in South Brentwood, Suspect at Large

July 16, 2024

July 16, 2024

LAPD Confirms Incident, Community Seeks Help to Identify Man A post on Nextdoor this evening reported the shocking news that...