straight up
" Well, somebody's going to need to have a collection of on-line resources. And so that's something that really is related to my research. I'll volunteer to develop and operate an on-line information center."
The second node on the Internet (then ARPANET

Internet <1969>

So the following year the ARPANet, which is now the Internet, started getting connected. Almost a year and a half after it was planned they told us – principal investigators doing ARPA work– that they were going to try to tie our computers together to experiment with networks for the other principal investigators running their programs. They all had time-sharing computers and were doing research. And their graduate students, etc, would have to get involved helping make some funny networking things work, and why.

So they both turned and started talking to the ARPA command who were running this multiple research program like that from the ARPA office. And they only had a couple sectors. And everybody says, "You're going to have to tell us what the resources are so we can use it." But I was sitting there so thrilled because that meant there was a ready-made community that would be tied together with a network, that I could start doing the kind of collective work I wanted to do. So I volunteered.

In 1969 when they started actually connecting the network, there was an IMP, Interface Message Processor, that, at every node in this network, relayed things through. And at that time we only needed to have it at the main center. So they were going to go out so you could tie your computer to that and it would be in communication. And so my computer was the second one tied to the ARPANet. So you can ask yourself if you could be connected to the Internet any earlier than that. I say, no.