Bypass Chapter Navigation
Contents  
Foreword by Walter Cronkite  
Introduction - The National Science Foundation at 50: Where Discoveries Begin, by Rita Colwell  
Internet: Changing the Way we Communicate
Advanced Materials: The Stuff Dreams are Made of  
Education: Lessons about Learning  
Manufacturing: The Forms of Things Unknown  
Arabidopsis: Map-makers of the Plant Kingdom  
Decision Sciences: How the Game is Played  
Visualization: A Way to See the Unseen  
Environment: Taking the Long View  
Astronomy: Exploring the Expanding Universe  
Science on the Edge: Arctic and Antarctic Discoveries  
Disaster & Hazard Mitigation  
About the Photographs  
Acknowledgments  
About the NSF  
Chapter Index  
The Internet: Changing the Way We Communicate
 

Fuzzball: The Innovative Router

Routers, sometimes referred to as gateways or switches, are combinations of hardware and software that convey packets along the right paths through the network, based on their addresses and the levels of congestion on alternative routes. As with most Internet hardware and software, routers were developed and evolved along with packet switching and inter-network protocols.

NSFNET represented a major new challenge, however, because it connected such a diverse variety of networks. The person who did more than anyone else to enable networks to talk to each other was NSF grantee David L. Mills of the University of Delaware. Mills developed the Fuzzball software for use on NSFNET, where its success led to ever broader use throughout the Internet. The Fuzzball is actually a package comprising a fast, compact operating system, support for the DARPA/NSF Internet architecture, and an array of application programs for network protocol development, testing, and evaluation.

Why the funny name? Mills began his work using a primitive version of the software that was already known as the "fuzzball." Nobody knows who first called it that, or why. But everyone appreciates what it does.

 
     
PDF Version
Overview
A Constellation of Opportunities
A Public Net
From Modest Beginnings
The Launch of NSFNET
An End and a Beginning
Research on Today's Internet
Expectation for the Internet of Tomorrow
Fuzzball: The Innovative Router
Mosaic: The Original Browser
PACI: Computer Partnerships
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