Paul Baran, a giant of early Internet technology, has died at age 84.
In the early 1960s, while working at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California, Mr. Baran outlined the fundamentals for packaging data into discrete bundles, which he called “message blocks.” The bundles are then sent on various paths around a network and reassembled at their destination. Such a plan is known as “packet switching.”
Mr. Baran’s invention was so far ahead of its time that in the mid-1960s, when he approached AT&T with the idea to build his proposed network, the company insisted it would not work and refused.
More about packet switching.