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- Microsoft becomes the world’s largest PC software company based on sales. Computers are starting to become a part of daily life for some office workers.
- 2 November - Internet worm burrows through the Net, affecting ~6,000 of the 60,000 hosts on the Internet
- Soon after the completion of the T1 NSFNET backbone, traffic increased so quickly that plans immediately began on upgrading the network again.
- CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) formed by DARPA in response to the needs exhibited during the Morris worm incident. The worm is the only advisory issued this year.
- The Morris Worm Incident: Then-23-year-old Robert Morris, the son of a computer security expert for the National Security Agency, sent a nondestructive worm through the Internet, causing problems for about 6,000 of the 60,000 hosts linked to the network. A researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California discovered the worm. "It was like the Sorcerer´s Apprentice," Dennis Maxwell, then a vice president of SRI, told the Sydney (Australia) Sunday Telegraph at the time. Morris was sentenced to three years of probation, 400 hours of community service, and a fine of $10,050. Morris, who said he was motivated by boredom, programmed the worm to reproduce itself and computer files and to filter through all the networked computers. The size of the reproduced files eventually became large enough to fill the computers´ memories, disabling them.
- DoD chooses to adopt OSI and sees use of TCP/IP as an interim. US Government OSI Profile (GOSIP) defines the set of protocols to be supported by Government purchased products
- Los Nettos network created with no federal funding, instead supported by regional members (founding: Caltech, TIS, UCLA, USC, ISI)
- NSFNET backbone upgraded to T1 (1.544Mbps)
- CERFnet (California Education and Research Federation network) founded by Susan Estrada
- Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) established in December with Jon Postel as its Director. Postel was also the RFC Editor and US Domain registrar for many years
- Internet Relay Chat (IRC) developed by Jarkko Oikarinen
- Asante founded to provide Ethernet adapter cards for Apple Macintosh computers.
- Ungermann-Bass acquired by Tandem Computers.
- First Canadian regionals join NSFNET: ONet via Cornell, RISQ via Princeton, BCnet via Univ of Washington
- FidoNet gets connected to the Net, enabling the exchange of email and news
- The Swedish University Network (SUNET) moves from X.25 to a 64 kbit/s wide-area ethernet (Vitalink equipment) that carries TCP/IP aswell as DECnet and other protocols. The TCP/IP network is connected to the Internet. This is a controversial decision, as continental Europe still believes in OSI and X.400. National networks in Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland through Nordunet are connected to Stockholm, where a common connection goes to the John von Neumann Supercomputing Center (JVNC) at Princeton. Canada and France also connects to the Internet this year.
- The first Interop conference is organized in San Jose.
- The NSFnet is completely upgraded to T1 speed (1.5 or 2 Mbit/s).
- Transatlantic telephone cable TAT-8 is installed, the first to use fiber optic technology. It carries 8,000 circuits (simultaneous telephone calls) or 280 Mbps. The cable is a joint venture between AT&T, Standard Communications Laboratories (a subsidiary of STC), and the French firm Submarcom. The investment was US$ 9,000 per voice channel.
- Thirteen European countries issue a simultaneous tender for GSM equipment heralding a new era in communication.
- Donald T. Valentine, a venture capitalist, gains control of Cisco; John Morgridge is named president and CEO.
- Hewlett-Packard introduces the Deskjet printer, HP's first mass-market inkjet printer, offering plain-paper printing and industry-standard print resolution.
- CCITT (now ITU-T) jointly with ISO issues the second generation of recommendations for the X.400 Message Handling System (MHS), an e-mail system for the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI, X.200). Recommendations for a Directory Service (DS, X.500) is also issued. The first generation of X.400 was issued in 1984.
- The best-selling book of one of our times' greatest physicists,
- The first optic fiber is laid across the Atlantic (cf 1972, 1986).
- Spain, The national teletext system Telecinco is officially launched.
- Formation of of GPT by GEC and Plessey (cf 1989).
- December 6, Covidea announces it will close its videotex services, Pronto and Business Banking.
- November, MS-DOS 4.01 was released
- November 2, Internet worm burrows through the Net, affecting 6,000 of the 60,000 hosts on the Internet, leading to the formation of the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT).
- October 12, at San Francisco's Symphony Hall, Steve Jobs premiers the NeXT Computer he has developed since being ousted from Apple. Some corporate funding was provided by Ross Perot. The computer did not actually go on sale until mid-1989.
- October 10, New York Times photographers use a Macintosh and 9600 bps modem to send Dodgers-Mets photos from L.A. to New York.
- September 20, Apple and Quantum Computer Services announce AppleLink, a graphical online service for Apple computer users.
- Summer, Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is born when Jarkko Oikarinen writes the first IRC client and server at the University of Oulo, Finland. The first IRC server was named tolsun.oulu.fi.
- July, Prodigy begins test marketing in Hartford, Atlanta and California with a service for PCs.
- July, MS-DOS 4.0 was released
- June 16, introduction of the Intel 386SX microprocessor, operating at 33 MHz, having a 16 bit bus, 275,000 transistors, being able to address 4 GB of memory.
- June, IBM and Sears change the name of Trintex to Prodigy.
- June, IBM introduces the AS/400 system in the largest worldwide product announcement in IBM history. More than 100,000 customers, IBM business partners, consultants, analysts, vendors, reporters and IBM branch people in more than 140 locations were linked to the main product unveiling in New York City. Rolled out that day were six AS/400 models and more than 1,000 software packages. The AS/400 family at announcement offered a 10-fold performance range from the smallest to the largest model in the number of commercial transactions it could process per hour -- up to 45,000 in IBM benchmark tests.
- In May, August, and September, the magazine Data Communications (now Network Magazine, a McGraw-Hill publication) contained an interesting debate in three articles between William Stallings (pro OSI) and Joachim Martillo (pro TCP/IP). The fact that the benefits of competing technologies is the topic of a public debate might indicate that the battle had already been won (by TCP/IP).
- February, Compaq reports $1.2 billion sales for 1987.
- January 2, shutdown of Multics at MIT, then running MSS 38.3.
- The first multicast tunnel is established between Stanford and BBN in the Summer of 1988
- Countries connecting to NSFNET: Canada (CA), Denmark (DK), Finland (FI), France (FR), Iceland (IS), Norway (NO), Sweden (SE)
Jon Postel is the Director of ISI's Computer Networks Division. The division has 70 staff members working on about 10 projects, including the NSF sponsored Routing Arbiter, and DARPA sponsored projects in the areas of Active Networks, Middleware, Security, Distributed Systems, and High Speed Networking.
He received his B.S. and M.S. in Engineering, and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from UCLA, in 1966, 1968, and 1974 respectively. Jon is a member of the ACM and the Internet Society (and currently serves on the Internet Society Board of Trustees). At UCLA he was involved in the beginnings of the ARPANET and the development of the Network Measurement Center.
He has worked in the areas of computer communication protocols, especially at the operating system level and the application level.
His interests included multi-machine internetwork applications, multimedia conferencing and electronic mail, very large networks, and very high speed communications.
Jon was also involved in several Internet infrastructure activities including the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, the RFC Editor, the US Domain, and the Los Nettos network (a regional network for the greater Los Angeles area).
Jon was regarded by many to be the ‘policeman of Internet Standards” for many years during the infancy of the Internet.
Jon was honored by Dr. Vint Cerf in October 1998, shortly after his passing with the addition of RFC 2468.