Originally designed by the U.S. Department of Defense so that a communication signal could withstand nuclear war and serve military institutions worldwide, the Internet was first known as the ARPANet , the most robust communication technology. It is a system of linked computer networks , international in scope, that facilitates data transfer and communication services, such as remote login, file transfer ( FTP ), electronic mail ( e-mail ), newsgroups , and the World Wide Web . The Internet greatly extends the reach of each connected computer network (see: network effect , IP ).
Before ARPANET, most computer systems consisted of a massive computer -- sometimes the size of an entire room -- with user terminals hardwired to it. A terminal was some form of user interface, often consisting of a keyboard or punch card reader. Multiple users could access the computer simultaneously, in a technique called timesharing. Other early networks required a direct connection between host computers, meaning that there was only one path for information to flow through. The direct connections limited the size of these computer networks, which became known as local area networks (LANs).
“ In the 1960s, as many as a few hundred users could have accounts on a single large computer using terminals, and exchange messages and files between them. But each of those little communities was an island, isolated from others. By reliably connecting different kinds of computers to each other, the ARPANET took a crucial step toward the online world that links nearly a third of the world's population today.”
Marc Weber, founding curator of the Computer History Museum ’s Internet History Program
On October 29, 2009, SRI celebrated the 40th anniversary of the first ARPANET connection .
Minicomputer s are a largely obsolete class of multi-user computers which made up the middle range of the computing spectrum, in between the largest multi-user systems (mainframe computers) and the smallest single-user systems (microcomputers or personal computers )
“ . . . Ray Tomlinson is credited with inventing email in 1972. . . . He picked the @ symbol from the computer keyboard to denote sending messages from one computer to another. So then, for anyone using Internet standards, it was simply a matter of nominating name-of-the-user@name-of-the-computer.
“ . . . 1975 seems to be the definitive year in which, for the first time, networks connected to each other.”
One of the first value-added, packet switching networks that enabled terminals and computers to exchange data. Established in 1975 by Dr. Lawrence Roberts, who helped to develop ARPANET, Telenet was acquired by GTE in 1979. After it was acquired by Sprint in 1986, it was renamed SprintNet
Telnet and its close cousins rlogin and tn3270 are methods of connecting to a remote [mainframe] computer over the Internet that let you use programs and data just as if you were using the computer locally. Do not confuse telnet with Telenet, the old name for Sprintnet.
Telnet is a text-only protocol. At one time it was one of the most common ways to connect to other sites.
Libraries use networks like Telenet and Tymnet for remote searching of databases
Scientists and scholars communicate by email
The Silent 700 was a line of portable computer terminals manufactured by Texas Instruments in the 1970s and 1980s. Silent 700s printed with a dot-matrix heating element onto a roll of heat-sensitive paper . They were equipped with an integrated acoustic coupler and modem that could receive data at 30 characters per second .
A forum for users to browse and exchange information. Computer BBSs are accessible by telephone via a personal computer and a modem. Many BBSs are small operations run by a single person that allow only several users to log on at the same time. Some are much larger and allow hundreds of users to login simultaneously to use the system. Huge, commercial examples are America Online, CompuServe, and Prodigy.
From Glossary of Distance Education and Internet Terminology
BBS all text, very little graphics From Early PC Computing c. 2007, Gerald T. Aitken. Chapter 8: DOS telecommunications [To find this, you will have to scroll down a l-o-o-o-n-g way, because the whole book is all one file, with no internal links!]
The Gopher Protocol is a distributed document search and retrieval protocol that was developed at the University of Minnesota in the late 1980s. Resources are stored on Gopher servers, which organize information using a hierarchical directory structure. Gopher clients access servers to retrieve directory listings of available resources, which are presented to the user as a menu from which an item may be selected for retrieval.
Gopher Protocol (Gopher) (Page 4 of 4)
A Gopher menu From a Finnish History of the Internet (click on 1991 to get the page where this is reproduced) To navigate the menus, you used the arrow keys (no mouse, of course!) to move the arrow up or down the menu and then hit Enter to select the item you want. Current browsers no longer support Gopher.
“ . . . in 1989, while working at the European Particle Physics Laboratory, I proposed that a global hypertext space be created in which any network-accessible information could be refered to by a single "Universal Document Identifier". Given the go-ahead to experiment by my boss, Mike Sendall, I wrote in 1990 a program called "WorldWideWeb", a point and click hypertext editor which ran on the "NeXT" machine. This, together with the first Web server, I released to the High Energy Physics community at first, and to the hypertext and NeXT communities in the summer of 1991.
The World Wide Web: A very short personal history
He almost called it the “Mesh”! Sir Tim Berners-Lee on the Web (past, present and future)
In 1991, the NCSA introduced NCSA Mosaic, the first readily-available graphical Web Browser that virtually kickstarted the dot.com revolution. It may not look like much now – but it is interesting to consider how similar modern browsers look to the original.
Weebly is a San Francisco, California based company that was founded in 2006 with the mission to help people put their information online quickly and easily. We now enable 3 million people to easily create personal sites and blogs or establish web presences for businesses, weddings, classrooms, churches, artistic portfolios, and more.
A URL has three basic parts: the protocol (how to get the resource); the server id (who to get the resource from); and the resource id (the name of the resource and how to find it on the target machine). In its most basic form, this looks like the following:
The "http" indicates that this is a Web document. The "www.fake.com" is the domain name of the (in this case, fictional) machine on which the web server is running (we know it's a web server because of the protocol). And, of course, "doc.html" is the filename of the HTML document (notice the file extension ".html") on that machine.
Domain Name System, or DNS, is the most recognized system for assigning addresses to Internet web servers (aka “Internet hosts”). Somewhat like international phone numbers, the domain name system helps to give every Internet server a memorable and easy-to-spell address. Simultaneously, the domain names keep the really technical IP address invisible for most viewers.
A Top Level Domain (TLD) is the “suffix” or the end of each domain name. (e.g., the “.com” in yahoo.com is the TLD.) There are two types of TLDs - global and country code. Generic Top Level Domain (gTLDs) extensions include: .com, .net, .org, .biz, .coop, .edu, .gov, .info, .int, .mil, and .museum.
Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) are TLDs created by a country, such as .it, which is the country code for Italy or .tv which is the country code for Tuvalu, and of course .us for the United States
A complete list of ccTLDs (sorted by ccTLD) can be found at http://www.iana.org/cctld/cctld-whois.htm .
In the Domain Name System ( DNS ) hierarchy, it is the highest level underneath the top-level domains . It is that portion of the domain name that appears immediately to the left of the top-level domain , separated by a dot. For example, the “NetLingo” in www.netlingo.com is a second-level domain.
If you need to further distinguish your second-level domain name, you can use a third-level domain name, such as “resources.hostway.com.” Typically a third-level domain name is used to refer to different servers within different departments of a company.
The success of the World Wide Web, itself built on the open Internet, has depended on three critical factors: 1) unlimited links from any part of the Web to any other; 2) open technical standards as the basis for continued growth of innovation applications; and 3) separation of network layers, enabling independent innovation for network transport, routing and information applications. Today these characteristics of the Web are easily overlooked as obvious, self-maintaining, or just unimportant. All who use the Web to publish or access information take it for granted that any Web page on the planet will be accessible to anyone who has an Internet connection, regardless whether it is over a dialup modem or a high speed multi-megabit per second digital access line. The last decade has seen so many new ecommerce startups, some of which have formed the foundations of the new economy, that we now expect that the next blockbuster Web site or the new homepage for your kid's local soccer team will just appear on the Web without any difficulty.
Testimony of Sir Timothy Berners-Lee , Hearing on the “Digital Future of the United States: Part I -- The Future of the World Wide Web ”
The Internet is a far more speech-enhancing medium than print, the village green, or the mails.... The Internet may fairly be regarded as a never-ending worldwide conversation. Statement by a federal judge in American Civil Liberties Union v. Reno, 929 F. Supp. 824, 844 (E.D. Pa. 1996) (Dalzell, J.). Quoted by Tim Berners-Lee in his Testimony at Hearing on the “Digital Future of the United States: Part I -- The Future of the World Wide Web”