So…in the beginning, there was ….The idea of the global villageMarshall McLuhan – media theorist and writer –coined the term in the 60s, indicating thatincreasingly, people would become less attached totheir nationalities in the traditional sense as theybecame more involved in each other’s lives –regardless of location.
On with history…The history of the ‘Net, is of course up for interpretationand some what disputed.Accepted versions regard the internet as a product of theCold War The Air Force in 1962 – wanting to maintain the ability to transfer info around the country even in the event of destruction from attack – leading scientists were commissioned to solve this problem. Some still call it a myth that has just been undisputed so long it is accepted as fact. That the government developed it to protect national security in the event of nuclear attack.
The Internet – version 2 (.0?) Joseph C. R. Licklider, a devotee of McLuhan’s thinking – envisioned linked home computers and left the field of psychology for computer science. He saw these things as necessary for political evolution and success. He wrote in 1960: “The hopes that in not too many years, human brains and computing machines will be coupled….tightly, and the resulting partnership will think as no human brain has ever thought and process data in a way not approached by the information handling machines we know today” Man-Computer Symbiosis
InspirationSo, just as computers were getting smaller and lessexpensive, this writing inspired scores of computerexperts to plunge ahead toward the development ofwhat we know now as the INTERNET – a globalnetwork of interconnected computers thatcommunicate freely and share and exchangeinformation.
Backing up a bit…The Computer. Without it…well, no Internet.Originator: Charles Babbage (WAS going to make asteam-driven computer…interesting) but money andresources failed him. So by the mid-1880s producedplans for a computer that could do algebra stored inmemory and used punch cards for input and output.Colossus – developed by the Brits to break Germancodes, was the first digital computer. It reducedinformation to binary code (digits from 1 – 0).
More on computersThe ENIAC – Electronic Numerical Integrator andCalculator, came about in 1946. 18 feet tall, 80 feetlong and 60,000 pounds. 17,500 vacuum tubes and500 miles of electrical wire. Could fill an auditoriumand ate up 150,000 watts of electricity.Commercial computers burst onto the scene thanksto IBM. Mostly sold to businesses and transformedthe business from rental to sales.
So back to the Internet…ARPANET ARPA – Advanced Research Projects Agency To create a decentralized comm network in case the HQ was knocked out. Packet switching – data gets broken down into packets (datagrams) that are labeled to indicate the origin and the destination of the info. They were forwarded from one computer to another until it reached its destination. If lost, can be resent from original computer.
Two thingsCommon rules (protocols) and common languages (HTML)Embedded instructions to reroute if the next destinationcomputer was unavailable.ARPANET went online in 1969 – Stanford U, UCLA, U ofCalifornia-Santa Barbara and U of Utah. Took one year tobecome reliable and fully operational.On Oct. 29 – computers at Stanford and UCLA connectedfor the first time - the first hosts on the future Internet.The first message sent was supposed to be “login” but thelink crashed on the letter “g.”
Eeeeeee! - MailRay Tomlinson created the first email program in1972. He was an engineer and gave us the wonderful“@”
More milestones1971 – Project Gutenberg – global effort to makebooks and documents in the public domain availableelectronically-for free- in a variety of eBook andelectronic formats.1972: CYCLADES – France began its own ARPANET-likeproject called CYCLADES – it eventually shut downbut it did pioneer a key idea: the host computershould be responsible for data transmission ratherthan the network itself.
More milestonesARPANET made its first trans-Atlantic connection in1973, with the University College of London. Also in’73, email accounted for 75% of all ARPANET networkactivity.1974: TCP/IP – Transmission Control Protocol/IP. Aproposal was published to link ARPA-like networkstogether into a so-called “inter-network” whichwould have no central control and would workaround transmission control protocol (eventuallyTCP/IP)
More and more1977: the PC modem1978: The BBS system – developed during a blizzard inChicago, SPAM was also born in ‘78.1979: MUD, the earliest form of multiplayer games.Precursor to WoW and others. Text-based virtual worlds.Also, USENet was born – created by two graduatestudents, was an internet-based discussion system.1980: CERN (European Prg for Nuclear Research) launchedENQUIRE, a hypertext program that allowed scientists atthe particle physics lab to keep track of people, softwareand projects using hypertext (hyperlinks).
The 80s!EMOTICONS! :-) were born in 1980. In 1982, Scott Fahlman proposed this.1983: ARPANET switches to TCP/IP1984: Domain Name System1985: Virtual Communities – The WELL (Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link).1986: Protocol Wars- Europe was trying to use their own, our TCP/IP eventually wonout.1988: First real-time chat. IRC – Internet Relay Chat1989: AOL is launched1989: Proposal for the WWW – originally called “Mesh” was proposed by Tim Berners-Lee. Code was written in 1990 by Lee during which time he coined the WWW phrase.
The 90s continued1997: “weblog” is a term1998: First news story is broke online instead of intraditional news. It was the Monica Lewinsky/Clintonscandal. Drudge Report ran it after Newsweek killed it.Google also launched in 1998, along with Napster.1999: SETI@home launches. This was when the Signs ofExtraterrestrial Intelligence folks put a project online for 3million computers in homes worldwide…it created asupercomputer, that when the screen saver would comeon, it would take that processing power and use it toanalyze radio telescope data to look for signs of ET.
IssuesPiracySecurityData MiningPrivacyThe Digital Divide or the Technology Gap/Information GapChild Internet Protection Act/Child Online Protection Act Upheld in the Supreme Court in June 2003, gave Congress the power to require libraries to install filters on computers that had access to the web if they were to continue receiving federal funding.