20th Century: 1969

Spacewar is a two-player networked game inspired by the original Spacewar! on PLATO. Two players control a spaceship each in a two-dimensional representation of space. The ships can thrust, rotate, and fire and must try to destroy each other. The ships are represented by custom ASCII graphics. Unlike the original Spacewar! Here ships have only limited fuel and hyperspace jumps. Connected users are listed on-screen (big board) and can be challenged to a duel. The game was originally written for PLATO III but later ported to PLATO IV. When PLATO went on the ARPANET in 1974 the game became incompatible. It was replaced by Orbit War.

The first Request for Comments, RFC 1 published. The RFCs (network working group, Request For Comment) are a series of papers that are used to develop and define protocols for networking; originally the basis for ARPANET.


Telnet is an application protocol used on the Internet or local area network to provide a bidirectional interactive text-oriented communication facility using a virtual terminal connection. User data is interspersed in-band with Telnet control information in an 8-bit byte oriented data connection over the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP).

Telnet was developed on September 25, 1969 beginning with RFC 15, extended in RFC 855, and standardized as Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Internet Standard STD 8, one of the first Internet standards. The name stands for “teletype network”. Historically, Telnet provided access to a command-line interface on a remote host.

Jan. 16, 1969: Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 rendezvous and dock and perform the first in-orbit crew transfer.

March 3, 1969: Apollo 9 launches. During the mission, tests of the lunar module are conducted in Earth orbit.

The first artificial heart was placed into Haskell Carp on April 4, 1969, for 64 hours until a donor’s heart became available.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) was founded on May 1, 1969.

May 22, 1969: Apollo 10’s Lunar Module Snoopy comes within 8.6 miles (14 kilometers) of the moon’s surface.

UCLA puts out a press release introducing the public to the Internet on July 3, 1969.

July 20, 1969: Six years after U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the Apollo 11 crew lands on the Moon, fulfilling his promise to put an American there by the end of the decade and return him safely to Earth.

Eagle going for landing.
At 20:18 UTC on July 21, 1969, the Apollo 11 spacecraft landed on the moon, and Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon.

Ralph Baer files for a US patent on August 21, 1969, that describes playing games on television and would later be a part of the Magnavox Odyssey.

On September 2, 1969, the first data moves from UCLA host to the IMP switch and The first U.S. bank ATM went into service at 9:00AM.

Charley Kline, a UCLA student, tries to send “login,” the first message over ARPANET at 10:30 PM on October 29, 1969. The system transmitted “l” and then “o” but then crashed making today the first day a message was sent over the Internet and the first network crash.

On August 29, 1969, the first network switch and the first piece of network equipment (called “IMP,” which is short for “Interface Message Processor”) is sent to UCLA.

Summer 1969 Unix was developed.

CompuServe, the first commercial online service, was established.

Introduction of the RS-232 (serial interface) standard by EIA (Electronic Industries Association), one of the oldest serial interfaces still in use today.

Gary Starkweather, while working with Xerox invents the laser printer.

Feature Presentation: Wake me up when the war is over.


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