Oral Histories

Interview of Anita Coley

Punch card operator and lab administrator at UCLA’s Network Measurement Center. Worked on U.S. Defense Department-sponsored ARPANET project, an experimental computer network that was the forerunner of the Internet.
Early Internet History at UCLA: The ARPANET Network Measurement Center
UCLA and University of California History
Science, Medicine, and Technology
UCLA Research Centers and Programs
Biographical Note:
Punch card operator and lab administrator at UCLA’s Network Measurement Center. Worked on U.S. Defense Department-sponsored ARPANET project, an experimental computer network that was the forerunner of the Internet.
Fidler, Bradley
Coley, Anita
Persons Present:
Coley and Fidler.
Place Conducted:
Coley's office in Sacramento, California.
Supporting Documents:
Research relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center of Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Bradley Fidler, Assistant Researcher, UCLA Computer Science Department; Ph.D. UCLA (History of Science).Fidler prepared for the interview by reading extensive primary source documents that were generated by the Network Measurement Center between 1969 and 1975, as well as materials from UCLA’s work on the ARPANET after the Network Measurement Center was closed in 1975. Many of these documents were available to him through the archive maintained by the Kleinrock Center for Internet Studies at UCLA, a part of the UCLA Special Collections. As part of his research for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency at the UCLA Computer Science Department, the interviewer has studied at length ARPANET technical and policy documents, and has interviewed and spoken with other key individuals from the early ARPANET. The interviewer conducted background research on each interviewee by completing a brief pre-interview, obtaining their résumé or CV, reviewing their published works, if any, reading documentary materials that shed further light on their roles in ARPANET history, and reading any existing interviews.
Processing of Interview:
The transcript is a verbatim transcription of the recording. It was transcribed by a professional transcribing agency using a list of proper names and specialized terminology supplied by the interviewer. Coley was then given an opportunity to review the transcript but made no corrections or additions.
1.4 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
The purpose of this oral history series is to document the context and early technological development of the ARPANET, the network that went online in 1969 and grew into the Internet. Interviewees include the Center’s Principal Investigator, three researchers, and the center administrator. The Network Measurement Center is significant in the history of the ARPANET and the Internet because it was the first systematic study of a large, general purpose computer network. In addition to testing and validating theories about computer networks, staff at the center were active in detecting and suggesting areas where the technologies could be improved. The center was also involved in experiments with radio and satellite networks that led to the development of TCP/IP, the protocol suite that drives the modern Internet. This series of interviews was made possible through funds provided by Gold Shield, Alumnae of UCLA.
Early life and childhood – Junior high and high school – Work after high school and college – Work in a cashier’s office and as a bank teller – Time at Santa Monica City College – Visiting and reconnecting with a friend injured in the Vietnam War – Working as a keypunch operator at UCLA and becoming available for another job – Excitement for the opportunity to work at UCLA – Impact of the politics of the 1960s and the Vietnam War – Process of finding work at the UCLA Network Measurement Center – Arriving at the Network Measurement Center, initial training, and initial duties – More on tasks at the Network Measurement Center – Meeting husband and marrying – Installation of the Interface Message Processor [IMP] and being on 24 hour call – Working with Network Measurement Center staff – Social life at the Network Measurement Center – Interacting with staff at the Network Measurement Center – Observations of research work of Network Measurement Center staff – Ordering and repairing hardware – Learning about research at the Network Measurement Center – More about working with Network Measurement Center staff – More on lab duties – Working with Jon Postel – Supervision of work – Culture and environment of the Network Measurement Center – Working with groups beyond the Network Measurement Center - Email - Management methods and leisure time at the Network Measurement Center – Gender and ethnicity at the Network Measurement Center – Further reflections on work at the Network Measurement Center – Leaving UCLA – Living and studying at Esalen Institute – Living and working in Nevada County – Training to be a therapist – Work as a therapist – More on experiences at UCLA, in psychological perspective and in retrospect