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Map of the early internet in 1982.
The history of the Internet dates back to the early development of communication networks. In the 1950s and early 1960s, prior to the widespread inter-networking that led to the Internet, most communication networks were limited by their nature to only allow communications between the stations on the network. Some networks had gateways or bridges between them, but these bridges were often limited or built specifically for a single use. One prevalent computer networking method was based on the central mainframe method, simply allowing its terminals to be connected via long leased lines. This method was used in the 1950s by Project RAND to support researchers such as Herbert A. Simon, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when collaborating across the continent with researchers in Santa Monica, California, on automated theorem proving and artificial intelligence.

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Sign for a Wireless access point in Tartu, Estonia
Credit: A. Fielder

In computer networking, a wireless access point (WAP or AP) is a device that connects wireless communication devices together to form a wireless network. The WAP usually connects to a wired network, and can relay data between wireless devices and wired devices. Several WAPs can link together to form a larger network that allows "roaming".

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Vint Cerf in 2007
Vinton Gray Cerf (born June 23, 1943) is an American computer scientist who is the "person most often called 'the father of the Internet'." His contributions have been recognized repeatedly, with honorary degrees and awards that include the National Medal of Technology, the Turing Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Cerf's first job after getting his B.S. in mathematics from Stanford University was at IBM, where he worked for less than two years as a systems engineer supporting QUIKTRAN. He left IBM to become a principal programmer at UCLA; he then became an assistant professor at Stanford University where he co-designed the Department of Defense TCP/IP protocol suite with Robert E. Kahn. Cerf joined the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in 1999, and is serving a term until the end of 2007; he previously served as the ICANN Chair.

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Bill Clinton
Nobody who wasn't a high-energy physicist had even heard of the World Wide Web before I became President. And now even my cat, Socks, has his own page.
Bill Clinton, 1996

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