Thursday, January 31, 2013

30 Years of Modern Internet – Legendary Dr Vinton G Cerf, Father of Internet Speaks Exclusively to PodUniversal

Emergence of modern internet

Thirty years ago, on 1st January 1983, the world entered a new era of communication with the birth of ‘Modern Internet’ which we use today.  This communication revolution was made by the TCP/IP protocol, was developed by Dr. Vinton G. Cerf and Robert E. Kahn.  They are now considered ‘Fathers of Modern Internet’.

In those days, ARPANET was the wide-area network sponsored by the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It went live in 1969, when Vinton Cerf was an ARPANET scientist at the Stanford University. The military became interested in a common protocol as different networks and systems using different and proprietary protocols began to hook up to ARPANET, and they found that they could not talk to each other easily.

On 1st January 1983, the new Internet Protocol TCP/IP, which replaced the older system, was accepted as the standard and the modern  Internet was born. The Internet, a revolutionary and cost-effective communication system has transformed the lives of billions of people across the world. Using data "packet-switching", the new method of linking computers and sharing information paved the way for the arrival of the World Wide Web.

Interaction with Dr Vinton G Cerf

Dr. Vinton G. Cerf (70), the main architect of Modern Internet, is presently the President and CEO of Google Special Services Inc. and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google.  He visited Chennai in mid-January 2013 to participate in the annual meeting of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) – India Council.  Dr. Vinton is the International President of ACM.  We had the opportunity of recording his inspiring interview for PodUniversal and PreSense.  (Link for his interview is given at the end of this article).

While people with less qualification and achievement pose themselves as great men, this legendary person, who revolutionalised the entire globe with his invention, looked very simple and humble.  In the 45 minutes of conversation we had with him, he spoke and came across as a very simple man. 

Awards and recognition

Dr. Vinton Cerf has received hundreds of national and international awards for his achievement.  He is also the recipient of the ‘Turing Award’ for Technology, equivalent to the Nobel Prize, in Computing.  Recently, President Obama has appointed him as a member of National Science Board in US Government.

Dr. Vinton suffered from a hearing impairment from an early age, and he later attributed some of his interest in computer networking to its promise as an alternative communications channel for the hearing impaired. His personal disability triggered a great communication revolution in the globe.

Exclusive interview with PodUniversal

In an exclusive interview with K. Srinivasan, Editor-in-Chief of PreSense and PodUniversal, Dr. Vinton said that at the time of the invention, his team had high hopes that this would become a powerful infrastructure in future.  “I think those hopes have been largely realised” he added proudly.

On computer security, he said, “There is still plenty of work to be done on the technical side and on the training side to get users to adopt safer communication practices.”  He suggested ‘two factor authentication’ for the safety of the users. 

On his passion, his achievement, and his message to the Indian youth, he said, “The simple message here is that you need to be really passionate about making something happen and you better be prepared to be patient and persistent because some ideas, the Net included, will not be widely accepted.”  In the same breath, he also appreciated Indian entrepreneurs for exporting their skill, talents and inventions to the rest of the world.

PreSense is proud to feature him as ‘Man of the month’ (though he is the Man of the Century) in the current issue, when the world celebrates the 30th year of modern Internet. 

PodUniversal Edition 161

Please listen to his inspiring interview in the following link (10 minutes).  We have also published the transcript (courtesy Esther Emil, GRI) for the benefit of those who cannot follow the American accent.


  1. As the article stated, computer security has to be improved at the user end. As long as there is a chain of security, the weakest link will always be the point at which scammers may enter. In some cases, that weakest link is the user.

  2. Everything is getting faster and faster.

  3. The internet has come a far way.


Please give your feedback. You may also send
your comments to

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...