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I just reread papers about ARPAnet. What were it's goals? It was to share large computers. They happened to be computers that I was responsible for, the DEC PDP10s. Larry Roberts who headed ARPA said "Gee researchers should share these computers." Well the guys who had them said "We don't want a network, sharing computers. Our computers are already overloaded. For God's sake don't put any more people on them". And so he said "Well you can log in and run programs over there and collaborate". So it was a load sharing, data sharing, program sharing metaphor with remote login capability.
What we got is email. Email really is under appreciated and under utilized and I think it'll be the dominate information carrier. It carries presentations, transactions, schedules, meetings and I hope bills. For a large number of applications I prefer email to the world wide web and mosaic simply because I don't have to be there waiting for a program or talking to one. I don't have to worry about response time.
I don't have to worry when some jerk from say AT&T puts up a 50 kilobyte logo that says nothing but AT&T. So we need to stamp out bogus gifs that take time and bandwidth and say nothing. Even if we all had ISDN, the logo still takes almost 10 seconds. For many of us, it takes a minute to transfer a logo that does nothing but make us angry…. especially if it says AT&T because they should have helped provide bandwidth in the first place.
ARPAnet gave us mail, bulletin boards, FTP, and then later the remote procedure for network computing.