Pub-Panel Event: Tribal Song of the Internet Graybeards

Tuesday, June 27, 2023
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM (EDT)
Category: Cyber Security

Special 30yr Anniversary of the Web - "Pub-Panel Event: Tribal Song of the Internet Graybeards"

Come join RBTC’s Cyber Security Forum to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of the World Wide Web at the Internet Graybeard Pub-Panel talk!  After the work day on June 27th, plan to sit and enjoy BBQ and beer together at the Big Lick Brewing Co (downtown Roanoke) as regional Internet Graybeards recount their stories of how the modern Internet came to be and pass along this tribal song onto the next generation.  Panelists include Bernie Cosell (creator of the ARPAnet IMP routers), Andrew Cohill (creator of BEVnet), and key VT network engineers & architects who together helped forge the early Internet in the US & spread access to the Web in SW Virginia.

In honor of this anniversary and these key Internet milestones, we've assembled together some of the regional giants upon who's shoulders who helped build these systems.  This Graybeard panel will weave their stories, tales and lore, as well as answer questions about how we built the Internet that we all use today.  This must-see event has limited seating at the brew-pub, so don't wait to RSVP!

Did you know? 2023 is the 30 year anniversary of the World Wide Web http standard and the first graphical web client Mosaic (1993) – one of the key "killer apps" that lit the explosive growth of the web and cleared the way for the eventual commercialization of the Internet in 1995. The foundation of the Internet, however, stretches much further back into the 1950-60s. A key critical year in this story was 1969 when the ARPAnet (the military's research network) routed its first packetized connections between research universities using the Interface Message Processors (or IMPs), the first ARPAnet routers, which in turn led to the development standardized SMTP based email, TCP/IP, Usenet, and eventually how ARPAnet gave way to NSFNet and which then led to the commercialization of the Internet in 1995. 

This special Cyber Security event will also get into local defining moments from the 90s through the 2000s such as the VT/Blacksburg's, the spinoff BizNet ISP, Network Virginia, VT-Sprintnet, the MARIA fiber backbone and more.  

Thank you to our 2023 CyberSecurity Forum partners, Virginia Cyber Range and 1901 Group for making these events possible.


About the Panelists:

  • Bernie Cosell - Programmer on the ARPAnet IMP project (now retired sheep farmer/CEO of Fantasy Farm in Pearisburg VA) Worked at BBN for 26 years as a systems analyst/programmer.  Cosell’s first project was the Hospital Computer Project group followed by the ARPAnet project.
  • Andrew Cohill - Creator of BEVnet (now CEO of WideOpen Networks, CEO of Design Nine) Cohill's telecom career began in the early eighties at AT&T Bell Labs and AT&T Systems. Since 1993, Cohill has been helping communities develop, build, and operate modern broadband fiber and wireless networks. Design Nine has worked with more than three hundred communities in twenty-eight states.  WideOpen Networks have built modern fiber and wireless networks in six states, Canada, and the Caribbean.
  • Jeff Crowder - ""Internet Evangelist"" behind VT outreach for early Internet development (now VT/IT Exec Director). Crowder began at Virginia Tech pulling cables through the steam tunnels in 1985 and he remains the only Wahoo known to have escaped that gig.  He was the founding director for NetworkVirginia which extended early internet access to every county in Virginia providing access for over 1.4 million people  at the high point.  Now he's the executive officer for the Mid-Atlantic Research Infrastructure Alliance, Inc. (MARIA) providing cyberinfrastructure to the Virginia research community. 
  • Carl Harris - Network and Software Engineer/Architect (now VT/IT Chief Technology Architect) has twenty five years of experience at Virginia Tech making Erv Blythe's and Jeff Crowder's conceptual drawings of networks into actual networks – focusing mostly now on cloud technologies.
  • Clark Gaylord - Director, Research Technology Services at The George Washington University. During his stent at VT in the 90s-2000s Gaylord was Network architect for VT campus networking and later moved over as the CIO/CISO at VTTI.


Moderated by Thomas Weeks - Moderator (VT/IT Directory of Future Technologies & Communities / VA Cyber Range Engineer) Tom, or ""Tweeks"" spent 25 yrs. in the commercial networking and Internet hosting industry, works for VT's central IT, and spends most of his time working as an engineer at the Virginia Cyber Range.  A portion of his time is also spent wearing his technical outreach hat by running the RBTC Cybersecurity Forum, and teaching STEM coding classes for kids in the SW VA region.