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UCLA to open Internet history museum on Saturday

A photo from the museum website that shows an early computer.
A photo from the museum website that shows an early computer.
UCLA

OMG, the birthplace of the Internet will soon be honored with a museum in Westwood.

Come Saturday, Internet disciples will have an official place to make their pilgrimage: UCLA's Boelter Hall, which many consider the place where the Internet started.

The university opens the doors this weekend to the Kleinrock Internet Heritage Site and Archive in the very room where UCLA computer scientist Leonard Kleinrock and a graduate student sent the first internet mention.

The letters "L-O" were the first ever delivered over the internet — sent to a Stanford computer in 1969.

Kleinrock said that the very machine they used stands in the building to this day.

“We’re standing in front of the Interface Message Processor, which was the first router ever on the internet," Kleinrock said.

"This thing is the size of a refrigerator, or an old-fashioned telephone booth that you walk into and close the door. It was state of the art at the time. It’s a military hardened version, you can beat this thing up and it doesn’t care,” he said.

Kleinrock said at the time someone noted the milestone in a logbook, and most people forgot about it after that. Beginning this weekend, however, Kleinrock will be able to showcase photos, documents, and even some 1960’s décor in a museum that bears his name.