The Links that Became a Web: The 45-year Old Internet and the 25-Year Old Web


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Evolution of the internet from Arpanet to the world wide web.

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The Links that Became a Web: The 45-year Old Internet and the 25-Year Old Web

  1. 1. The Links that Became a Web The 45-year Old Internet and the 25-Year Old Web EDU626 Integrating Educational Technology Summer 2014
  2. 2. First: What is the Internet? For one thing, it’s not really “the net”, it’s the “nets”: – The internet is “a cooperatively-run collection of computer networks that span the globe.” 2
  3. 3. A formal definition Internet – The high-speed fiber-optic network of networks that uses TCP/IP protocols to interconnect computer networks around the world, enabling users to communicate via e-mail, transfer data and program files via FTP, find information on the World Wide Web, and access remote computer systems such as online catalogs and electronic databases easily and effortlessly, using an innovative technique called packet switching. The Internet began in 1969 as ARPAnet, a project of the U.S. Department of Defense.
  4. 4. Cold War Technology? 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). – Internet
  5. 5. Before ARPANet 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). – How ARPANET Works
  6. 6. Phone-linked networks “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.
  7. 7. From mainframes to minicomputers Before ARPANET, most computer systems consisted of a massive computer -- sometimes the size of an entire room -- with user terminals hardwired to it. What is a mainframe computer?
  8. 8. The 1957 vision of computers
  9. 9. Minicomputers? Minicomputers 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). Taken from the Blog “Health Care Renewal”: A picture from the 1973 yearbook of George Washington High School (Phila., PA) showing a group in front of [their] high school's DEC PDP- 8/S • Steve Jobs: Computer Geniuses and Medical Mysticism, a Very Bad Combination
  10. 10. When did ARPAnet become the Internet? “. . . 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.” – Ian Peter’s History of the Internet Meet the Man Who Put the ‘@’ in Your E-Mail By Cade Metz 07.30.12
  11. 11. 1975, the net goes commercial Telenet – 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
  12. 12. Packet switching? Almost like USPS delivery – In a packet-switched network, no circuit is set up prior to sending data between devices. Blocks of data, even from the same file or communication, may take any number of paths as it journeys from one device to another. Compare this to Figure 1 [circuit switching is essentially a direct connection] CircuitSwitchingandPacketSwitch ingNetworks-2.htm
  13. 13. Not to be confused with Telnet What is telnet? – Telnet and its close cousins rlogin and tn3270 are methods of connecting to a remote 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. • Telnet FAQ © 2001 Walt Howe (last updated 30 April 2001)
  14. 14. Or the Belgian Telenet Telenet – is the largest cable television operator in Belgium. Telenet offers video, broadband internet, and digital telephony (VoIP) as well as mobile telephony services to 4.6 million service subscribers (RGUs) represented by 2.1 million customers as of December 31, 2013.
  15. 15. Significance of Telenet?
  16. 16. 1980s Main uses scholarly or military – Libraries use 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.
  17. 17. What, no fun things? Enter the BBS! – bulletin board system (BBS) • A bulletin board system (BBS) is a computer or an application dedicated to the sharing or exchange of messages or other files on a network. Originally an electronic version of the type of bulletin board found on the wall in many kitchens and work places, the BBS was used to post simple messages between users. The BBS became the primary kind of online community through the 1980s and early 1990s, before the World Wide Web arrived.
  18. 18. BBS all text, very little graphics
  19. 19. An actual BBS session from 1986
  20. 20. BBS’s still exist! AT2k Design BBS’s VADV-PHP Home Description: [The BBS is located in Clarksville, TN and has been running since 1999] The AT2k Design BBS is the leading support center for the VBBS and VADV software! If you are looking for information about this awesome BBS software, this is the place to look. The BBS also features many message networks and lots of doors. The BBS has been completely customized to look like no other. Also visit the website at!
  21. 21. A story from “All Things Considered” on NPR: – Bulletin board systems — or BBS — were born in Chicago in 1978. Eventually, there were more than 100,000 of them across the country, a precursor of today’s World Wide Web. – Michael Powell runs the Capitol City Online BBS from his home in [Frankfort,] Kentucky. He says most people who dial in do it for the nostalgia value. “Usually they’ll compliment me on keeping it going,” he says. “It’s nice to know they appreciate that, and it’s nice that I'm still here to provide that for them.” Program November 21, 2009 – See The BBS Corner’s Telnet & Dial-Up BBS Guide The ‘Wild And Woolly’ World Of Bulletin Boards
  22. 22. Related to BBS Gopher – 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)
  23. 23. A Gopher menu The above is copied from Dr. Pratap Reddy’s Gopher notes 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 wanted. Current browsers no longer support Gopher, though you can use Floodgap Public Gopher Proxy
  24. 24. Veronica, Jughead and Archie! Rodent companions (note: no Betty)! – Veronica: “Very Easy Rodent-Oriented Net- wide Index to Computerized Archives” – Jughead: “Jonzy’s Universal Gopher Hierarchy Excavation and Display” – Archie: a popular FTP [“File Transfer Protocol”] search program of the time. Though the legend of Archie being named for the cartoon, the name in fact is shorthand for “Archives.” • A Pre-Web Search Engine, Gopher Turns Ten By Chris Sherman, Search Engine Watch, Feb 6, 2002
  25. 25. 25 years ago: Enter the Web! Tim Berners-Lee: – “. . . 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
  26. 26. The Web has changed the world web25-welcome
  27. 27. The first “real” browser NCSA Mosaic In 1991, the NCSA introduced NCSA Mosaic, the first readily-available graphical Web Browser that virtually kickstarted the revolution. It may not look like much now - but it is interesting to consider how similar modern browsers look to the original. Glossary of Terms
  28. 28. Today’s browsers / 11
  29. 29. Alphabet soup of the Web URL – Uniform Resource Locator HTTP – HyperText Transfer Protocol HTML – Hypertext Markup Language – Now being complemented by XML • EXtensible Markup Language – See What is XML?
  30. 30. Basic URL Structure Parts – 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 "" 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.
  31. 31. Other url address types Gopher URLs – gopher:// Access the searchable index “fonebook.txt” from the named gopher server, running on port number 151. [It’s unlikely that you will be access this: most modern browsers no longer support gopher] Mailto URL – mailto:user@host?subject=Happy%20lobsters [Allows you to] include mail headers within the mailto URL. [This] example [will] send a letter with the subject line “Happy lobsters”. • For other examples, see Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) from Introduction to HTML by Ian Graham, The Information Commons, University of Toronto. Last Update: 20 September 2000
  32. 32. Domain name? What is a ‘Domain Name’? – 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. • By Paul Gil, Guide
  33. 33. Structure of a Domain Name 1 Top-level domain or first-level domain – Every domain name has a suffix that indicates the Top Level Domain (TLD) to which it belongs. The TLD is the part of an internet domain name which can be found to the right of the last point. Generic TLDs include .com, .int, .net, .info, .org, etc. There are also many country code top level domains (ccTLDs) such as .es, .it, .cz and .be. Each TLD is associated with a particular registry which registers the names associated with the TLD. • What is a Top Level Domain (TLD)? • The .eu Top Level Domain
  34. 34. Structure of a Domain Name 2 Second-level domain – 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 is a second-level domain.
  35. 35. Structure of a Domain Name 3 SubDomain - The Third Level Domain – If you need to further distinguish your second-level domain name, you can use a third-level domain name, such as “” Typically a third-level domain name is used to refer to different servers within different departments of a company. • Creating third-level domains
  36. 36. Examples of 3rd level domains closer to home? From Murray State: – –
  37. 37. Success of the web? Tim Berners-Lee: – 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” March 1, 2007
  38. 38. 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.[1] 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” The internet a conversation?