Rare First Edition of Cerf and Kahn's A Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication; Signed twice by Each

  • A Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication.

A Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication.


Item Number: 26035

New York: IEEE, 1974.

First edition of this landmark paper. IEEE Transactions and Communications, Volume Com-22, Number 5, May 1974, pages 589–733. Quarto, original wrappers. Signed by both Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn on the front panel and also at their contribution in the article. In near fine condition with some light touch up to the front panel, rebacked. Housed in a custom clamshell box. Rare, especially signed.

By the early 1970’s, ARPANET (the Advanced Research Projects Agency’s computer network) “was no longer the only computer network: other countries had their own nets, and other scientific-commercial groups in America had begun theirs. Cerf began to consider joining them all together, via a series of what he referred to as gateways, to create what some people called the Catenet, for Concatenated Network, and what others called the Internet. This required not more machinery but design of TCPs, or transmission-control protocols, a universal language... Cerf and his colleagues demonstrated the first system to give access to more than one network. The Internet as we now know it was born” (Watson, The Modern Mind, 739). The authors laid out the architecture of such a network in their May 1974 paper, "It describes gateways, which sit between networks to send and receive 'datagrams.' Datagrams, similar to envelopes, enclose messages and display destination addresses that are recognized by gateways. Datagrams can carry packets of various sizes. The messages within datagrams are called transmission control protocol (TCP) messages. TCP is the standard program, shared by each network, for loading and unloading datagrams; it is the only element of the international network that must be uniform among the small networks, and it is the crucial element that makes global networking possible" (Moschovitis, History of the Internet. A Chronology, 1843 to the Present). Widely known as a “Father of the Internet,” Cerf and Kahn are the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. In 1997, President Bill Clinton presented the U.S. National Medal of Technology to Cerf and Kahn, for founding and developing the Internet. In 2004, Cerf was the recipient of the ACM Alan M. Turing award (sometimes called the “Nobel Prize of Computer Science”) and in 2005 he was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George Bush.

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