Where would we be today without the interwebs? It’s too chilling a thought to process, I know. Still, let’s pause our abuse of the Seacom cable for a second and take stock:
Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s usage of the World Wide Web! While telecoms based communication had occurred to/from South Africa prior to 1991, the first communication via the TCP/IP protocol stack occurred at 10h44 on Tuesday, 12 November 1991.
Here’s a record of the very first ping from North America to Sub-Saharan Africa, from the Network Startup Resource Centre:
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 91 0:57:21 PST
Well, the line keeps going up and down, and the telcos have not completed
testing yet. But, for the record book, the first ping from North America to
rain:/home/randy> ping 126.96.36.199
188.8.131.52 is alive
Tue Nov 12 00:44:47 PST 1991
And to push the envelope, all mail for Africa which comes to rain.psg.com
will now go SMTP, i.e. this message!
Okay, I’m a little hazy on the Geek-Speak, and I don’t know who Randy is, but it’s clear even to a n00b like me that this here was the first spark in what has become the flaming inferno of millions of South Africans raging at their ISPs for throttling their ADSL. Aah, isn’t history grand?
[Thanks, Mathew S!]
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