Tim Berners-Lee, the British MIT engineer who first proposed and later implemented the World Wide Web as we know it, has joined Twitter. And he is not impressed. "Oops confusing user interfxce [sic]" he wrote in his first tweet.
Berners-Lee was the first engineer to create a successful connection between an HTTP client and a server over the Internet. Until his work at CERN, the "Internet" was limited to command-line interaction between computers at networks like that of ARPA (now DARPA), which first made its ARPANET network live in October of 1969.
Al Gore, who (jokes aside) is also famously credited with midwifing the Web, has been on Twitter for some time as @algore. Better yet, check out his turbo-nerdy three-screen home computing setup, image courtesy of his blog:
Few other seminal figures in the birth of the Internet are on Twitter. Leonard Kleinrick, a CS professor at UCLA who played an integral role in ARPANET, has an account but no tweets. Vint Cerf, Google's chief Internet evangelist and another titular "father of the Internet," is a big believer in Twitter but doesn't publicly use the service, deferring instead to use of the official Google blog. Neither do Robert Kahn, ARPANET's hardware guru, or David Mills, inventor of computers called "fuzzballs" that were used as the backbone routers of the National Science Foundation's 56k network, which tested some of the Internet's first protocols in the 1980s.