Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Leonard Kleinrock

A comic book hero inspired the father of the Internet? Well, it started with the 6-year-old Leonard Kleinrock, in 1940, reading Marvell comic’s Superman. The centre fold had a description on how to build a crystal radio. The idea immediately appealed to him and so armed with his father’s razor, used pencil lead, empty toilet roll, wire, an earphone appropriated from a public telephone booth and variable capacitor bought from a downtown electronics shop, the future father of the Internet set foot in the field of networks. Kleinrock had to use his ingenuity and creative streaks as he was too poor to afford the common amenities of life. He worked himself through Bronx High School of Science and also attended courses on radio engineering on the side. This was turning too expensive an option, and so he became a full time technician by the day and at dusk went to an evening college. Fortunately for the world, he succeeded in wining a full scholarship to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and decided to tread new waters by plunging into data networks. He thus established the principles of packet switching – the technology on which the Internet now runs.

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Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2006, Arindam Chaudhuri's Initiative

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