Tuesday, March 23, 2010

B.I. - Before Internet...

Sometimes it's hard to imagine what life would be like without the Internet. The Internet has officially taken over the world and has changed so many aspects of life for people of all ages. Speaking from experience I know the Internet has taken over my own life since my early teen years, round the age of 13, so that would be around 2002/03. I use the Internet every day without fail; I actually couldn't live without it, I'm pretty sure Internet addiction should be a proper condition!

The Internet has everything we could ever want or need; it entertains us, informs us and with the advent of social networking sites such as Facebook, Bebo, Twitter and the like, the Internet basically means we can socialise and meet new people all from the comfort of the couch. To sum it all up in 2 words; it's great.

But think back to when it all started, I bet nobody could have guessed how big the 'Net could get.

Not everyone who goes online is aware of the history of the Internet. Here are some of the basic facts and it's a striking example of how technology that we now take for granted has evolved so much.


It all began in the late 1950s during the Cold War when the US military devised the ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency). ARPA then set up the MIT (Massachusetts Intitute in Technology) in 1965 and the goaol was to create a network that could function in a place savaged by nuclear warfare.


The end product was ARPANET. It was a small network and in the 1970s ARPANET went global by linking with a London University. An important part of the history of the Internet happened in the 70s when UNIX was created and email became possible.

The 1980s

Alot of stuff that I don't quite understand happened in this decade. This period saw the establishment of the Internet's major protocols. These included the TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol). This was one of the earliest times that the word itself was used to describe the network.

The 1990s

By the 1990s the network had come to resemble the interface we have today. In 1991, Time Berners Lee created the World Wide Web. This invention changed the history of the Internet forever. With the hyperlinks it became easier to access information.

Mid to Late 1990s

Streaming software was introduced. Servers like America Online and CompuServe emerged. Along with these 2 servers came various service providers, offering access to the web and email. At this point Netscape and Internet Explorer would emerge as the leading web browsers. In the early days of the Internet only computer companies had web pages. However as it became more established business saw the Internet's potential and set up web pages. The open source nature of the Internet system guaranteed its success.

It has been estimated that during the 1990s the number of online users doubled or tripled every year.

The history of the Internet and its evolution has been amazing. There is no question that as the world become more connected, the 'Net will continue to have a huge impact on people and the world in general. Nowadays the Internet is everywhere and everyone surfs the web pretty regularly. It's amazing to think that less than 2 decades ago, in the early 1990s, it was basically unheard of and was still out of the reach of everyday homes and businesses.

Socialising would have been very different in the early 1990s as teens and young adults alike didn't have sites like Facebook, Bebo, Twitter and Youtube to socialise, share information and discover new things. For instance, before Facebook and Skype made it so much easier to see your friends all the time, people would have to agree well in advance of meeting up with mates and make alot of phone calls to organise get togethers. The Internet has brought us all closer at the touch of a few buttons and the flick of a mouse.

All hail the Internet! :)

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