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With the recent death of Apple founder Steve Jobs, we've heard a lot about northern California's tech leadership. So we were surprised to learn that our city has its own claim to fame: The Internet was born at UCLA. And now its delivery room has been turned into a mini museum.

Visitors enter the fluorescent-lit room 3420 in Boelter Hall to see where, on October 29, 1969, university scientists sent the first ARPANET message over telephone wires.

You'll see a notation-scratched blackboard, original log entries and a slide show of lead scientist Leonard Kleinrock's team. In a corner stands the HAL-reminiscent, refrigerator-sized "Interface Message Processor," the behemoth that sent the initial communiqué.

Museum creator and science-history Ph.D. Brad Fidler staffs the room during its free public hours on Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m. He's full of stories, including how the first transmission--"lo"--was a failed attempt at "login," before the system crashed. (These days, it seems a prescient abbreviation.)

Standing amid the humble origins of today's liberating and virulent social network, we could almost feel the soul of a then-new machine.

Kleinrock Internet Heritage Site and Archive, Room 3420, Boelter Hall, UCLA, near 420 Westwood Plz., Los Angeles;

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