A rather large desktop computer with a tape cassette drive and a floppy disk drive.

Photograph by Petri Kutvonen, 2011

AT&T 3B2 “uhecs” alias “cs.Helsinki.FI” — One of the first hosts connected to the Internet in Finland

The U.S. Department of Defence had in January 1987 accepted the national top-level domain name FI for Finland along with other top-level domain names SE, NL, and UK. The Finnish academic network infrastructure FUNET was prepared and connected to the Nordic university network NORDUnet. The aim was to connect NORDUnet to the U.S. NFSnet (National Science Foundation Network) which was already directly connected to the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). At that time, ARPANET and NFSnet made up the entire Internet. The domain name Helsinki.FI was registered on March 30 1987 (i.e. added by hand to the HOSTS.TXT file which was distributed to all hosts, DNS infrastructure existed but was in its infancy). The Nordic internet worked, but we had to wait until to December the next year until the connection to the NSFnet was operational. On December 1, 1988, at around 19:45 local time (17:45 UTC) first Internet messages crossed the Atlantic Ocean to NORDUnet over a 56 kbit/s line and at that point of time had Finland, and other countries connected to the NORDUnet, joined the Internet.