Oral Histories

Interview of William Naylor

Member of the research team at the Network Measurement Center for UCLA’s U.S. Defense Department sponsored ARPANET project which created a “wide-area packet-switched network.”
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
Fidler, Bradley
Naylor, William
Persons Present:
Naylor and Fidler.
Place Conducted:
Kleinrock's office in Los Angeles, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for 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. Naylor was then given an opportunity to review the transcript and made a few corrections and additions. Those corrections were entered into the text without further editing or review on the part of the Center for Oral History Research staff.
2.5 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 interest in computing and introduction to computers – undergraduate studies in mathematics and engineering at UCLA – private sector work in California c. 1966-68 - graduate school at California State Northridge and UCLA – meeting Steve Crocker and joining the early Network Measurement Center – building a time-sharing system for resource sharing on the ARPANET – building a terminal handler. server side of telnet, and measurement software – other work going on in the early Network Measurement Center (NMC) – informal relations between people at the NMC– interactions between NMC members and other researchers at UCLA – protests at UCLA c. 1969 – the arrival of the IMP at UCLA and the first host-host message with the Stanford Research Institute – connecting a faculty member to the ARPANET – visions of the future of the ARPANET c. 1969 – getting back on the internet in the private sector in the 1980s – supervising the NMC personnel – management philosophy at the NMC – organizational identity – PhD program and its relationship to his work at the NMC – network measurement programs and practices and their development – user behavior and personal use of the ARPANET – Email – more on network measurement – recommendations for modifications to the ARPANET and relationships with BBN – detecting routing loops – packet speech – PhD dissertation and ARPANET routing algorithms – Packet Radio (PRNET) and Packet Satellite (SATNET) groups – interactions with groups on the Packet Satellite program – network measurement on SATNET – relationship between ARPANET, PRNET, and SATNET – leaving UCLA and going off the ARPANET – working at Xerox and Transaction Technology Inc. of Citibank, and ARPANET/Internet access there – work at Transaction Technology Inc. to develop computer networks – working at the Computer Science Research Group at the Aerospace Corporation – returning to Citibank and setting up a home banking system – different ways of accessing the ARPANET/Internet in the 1970s and 1980s – introduction to the World Wide Web – maintaining personal, family, and neighborhood websites in the present-day – realizing that the internet would become a global phenomenon – discussing history with the internet with family and friends – thoughts on the future direction of the internet
Working at Xerox and on the Xerox Telecommunications Network (XTEN) – working with Network Analysis Corporation (NAC) – More on developing the Xerox Telecommunications Network (XTEN) – Differences between working at Xerox and UCLA – Working at Transaction Technology Incorporated – Maintaining terminals and Automatic Teller Machines for Citicorp – Network and computing measurements at Citicorp and Transaction Technology Incorporated – More on management and co-workers at Transaction Technology Incorporated – Work at Aerospace Corporation’s Computer Science Research Group – Establishing a local area network – Working with Aerospace Corporation and thoughts on working for the military – Using email at Aerospace Corporation – Developing home banking technology at Citicorp and retiring – Using personal email – Early impressions on the ARPANET and thoughts on the internet in historical perspective – Continuities in work over time – Impressions of colleagues throughout career