How It All Begins
A Brief Timeline Of The Internet
“A global network of computers, which allows instantaneous access to an Expanding number of individual Web sites offering information about practically anything and Everything—including the contents of daily newspapers, the price of goods in local shopping Malls, library holdings, commodity prices, sports news and so on and so for”
But How it all started
The successful launch of Sputnik 1 (launched it into an elliptical low Earth orbit on 4 October 1957) by the Soviet Union may have triggered the space race, but it also helped bring about the Internet
(although somewhat indirectly).
In part because of Sputnik 1, the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) was formed as part of the U.S. Department of Defense, also in 1957. Among other things, ARPA created research centers at a number of universities across the country.
It soon became clear that these research centers needed to be able to communicate with each other through some type of infrastructure.The first four sites to be connected were at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), the Stanford Research Institute, the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB), and the University of Utah.
Because this first network was military-oriented, the distribution of information through it was highly secretive.
A system of splitting data into tiny “packets” that took different routes to the same destination was developed to make it more difficult to “eavesdrop” on these transmissions.
It is this method of “packet switching” that allows the Internet to function as it does today: Large numbers of computers can go down, and data can still be transferred. By 1969, new research into networking was being conducted. Standard systems of networking were needed in order for computers to be able to communicate with each other.
Over time a system known as TCP/IP was developed; it became the standard protocol for internet working in 1982. TCP/IP is an abbreviation for the Internet’s fundamental communications system. It stands for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, but you don’t need to know that unless you think it will impress your friends.(Pronounce it “tee see pee eye pee,” and say it real fast.)
Because all these internet works communicated in the same way, they could communicate with one another, too. The government, defense contractors, and scientists often needed to communicate with one another and share information, so they hooked all of their computers and networks into one big TCP/IP internet work. And that fat internet work was the infant Internet.
Who’s in charge?
The Internet is a single gigantic network of networks that are linked using a wide variety of technologies.
The millions of individual networks, small and large, that make up the Internet are owned and operated by numerous individuals, small businesses and large corporations.
This means that the Internet is built on cooperation and that nobody actually owns the Internet.
But there are some governing bodies which facilitates the open development of the standards, protocols, administration, and technical infrastructure of the Internet… ensuring the smooth evolution and operation of the network of networks.
The Internet Society is the international organization that promotes global co-operation and co-ordination for future development of the Internet. Its principal purpose, as stated on its website, is
To maintain and extend the development and Availability of the Internet and its associated Technologies and applications – both as an End in itself, and as a means of enabling Organizations, professions, and individuals worldwide to more effectively collaborate, cooperate, and innovate in their respective fields and interests
Another governing body, Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C), created in October 1994, sees its role as leading the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols.
Its seven guiding principles are:
. Universal access
. Semantic web
. Cooler Multimedia
The Internet continues to grow, driven by ever greater amounts of online information and knowledge, commerce, entertainment and social networking.
According to Internet Live Stats, as publishing this article there was an estimated 3,629,269,614 Internet users worldwide.
The number of Internet users represents nearly 40 percent of the world’s population. The largest number of Internet users by country is China, followed by the United States and India.
It is estimated that in 1993 the Internet carried only 1% of the information flowing through two-way telecommunication,
By 2000 this figure had grown to 51%, and by 2007 more than 97% of all telecommunicated information was carried over the Internet.