DNS marks 20th birthday

The database system that sends Web surfers to the right page and gets email messages where they need to go turned 20 years old this week.

DNS (Domain Name System) had its first successful test on June 23, 1983, at the University of Southern California School of Engineering's Information Sciences Institute (ISI), said Paul Mockapetris, the researcher who invented the system. Jon Postel, another computer scientist at ISI, had assigned him to create a new kind of directory of the Internet, then a fledgling network of about 200 computers.

Before DNS, the addresses of all computers on the Internet were maintained in a central catalogue of host names and addresses. Mockapetris devised a system that let those who had computers on the Internet own a domain and assign their own computers to it.

"Once you got your organisation connected to the network, you could have as many computers on it as you wanted, and you could name them yourself," Mockapetris said.

With further refinement, it became the system of ".com," ".edu," ".gov" and other top-level domains still used by email and Web users.

Mockapetris is now chief scientist and chairman of the board at IP (Internet Protocol) address software vendor Nominum and a visiting scholar at the university's Jon Postel Center for Experimental Networking, named for his former supervisor, who died in 1998.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?