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Internet Hall of Fame 2017 –  Ed Krol

Internet Hall of Fame 2017 – Ed Krol


– This next person helped
to develop and deploy early Internet infrastructure
through US regional networks. In addition he also
wrote one of the earliest non-technical Internet guides in 1987. He is Edward Krol. (applause) – Too many pieces of paper. When I first learned about
being named for this award I listened to the acceptance
speeches of prior awardees and I noticed the central theme was, I just happened to be in the
right place at the right time and in fact I just happened to be in the right place at the right time but probably more than that, important thing was we picked
the right technology IP. We were a group of
experienced software people at the National Center for
Supercomputing Applications of the University of Illinois and we were charged with learning
networking and connecting that supercomputer to
the rest of the world. We picked IP because it was open, it worked, and had a
partilcipatory development path. We didn’t know at the
time that Dennis Jennings was looking for a group who was too naïve to know it was hard to build
a nationwide 56 KB network to connect the supercomputer
centers together and then go on to tie them to the emerging research networks. He picked us to head the effort. And thanks to a lot of
help from the centers, the regional networking staffs, and the networking research community, we built a network which
survived for 18 months and before its replacement T-1 network came into production. Part of the original NSF net grant was to facilitate the fledgling community in connecting to, and using the Internet. There is an obvious Catch-22 here as the only way to get
documentation about the Internet was to download it from the ARPANET Network Information Center, and
so, if you can get connected you to get the documentation
about how to get connected. Therefore I wrote the Hitchhiker’s
Guide to the Internet. It was a 30-page guide
documenting probably everything I knew about
the Internet at the time, and released it to the
community, and it — by the way — was then promptly named RFC
1118 and put up on the NIC with all the rest of the documentation. This led me down the
path to being solicited to write a book for
O’Reilly which included not only how to use the Internet, but catalogued a thousand sites where information could be found. The book hit the shelves
about the same time as the Internet was
discovered by the public. So suddenly I spent a year teaching whomever wanted to know
what is the Internet. Anyway I’d like to thank
the Internet Society and the community for this honor and I’d like to acknowledge the help of U of I co-workers Charlie
Kline and Ross Veitch who did a lot of the real work, and allowed me to do the fun stuff and be standing here
today. And I have to add, that Charlie Kline, getting back to Yvonne’s
talk about CU-SeeMe — Charlie Kline, to show
it’s a small community, wrote the audio portion of CU-SeeMe. So she was actually — he was actually part
of Yvonne’s successes in this area as well. Thank you very much. (applause)

1 comment on “Internet Hall of Fame 2017 – Ed Krol

  1. I'm on vacation, inexplicably reading "The Whole Internet," and have found myself intrigued by this author who uses Buckaroo Banzai and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure references as examples in explaining foreign concepts such as "how electronic mail works." Fortunately, the Internet has matured to the point where I can find crystal-clear video of the man himself in action.

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