Sunday April 16, 2017

Robert Taylor, Innovator Who Shaped Modern Computing, Dies at 85

A prominent figure in computing history has passed away. While Bob Taylor was no computer scientist, he led teams that managed to spearhead some of the industry’s most influential breakthroughs, which include the modern internet, personal computers, and even hardware such as the mouse. His biggest claim to fame is probably championing ARPANET, which was the first network to implement TCP/IP.

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ARPA was funding three separate computer research projects and using three separate computer terminals to communicate with them. Mr. Taylor decided that the department needed a single computer network to connect each project with the others. "I went to see Charlie Herzfeld, who was the head of ARPA, and laid the idea on him," Mr. Taylor recalled in an interview with The Times. "He liked the idea immediately, and he took a million dollars out of the ballistic missile defense budget and put it into my budget right then and there." He added, "The first funding came that month." His idea led to the Arpanet, the forerunner of the internet.