The history of this technological revolution began in the early 1960's, at the height of the Cold War. The Department of Defense created ARPA, The Advanced Research Project Association. They approached the Rand Corporation to help with their research. Why create a WWW presence?
The Rand Corporation, a military think tank, was asked to devise a way
for U.S. authorities to maintain communication in the aftermath of a nuclear
attack. At this time, computer communication was only point to point, with
each network link dependent upon the link before it. Paul Baran,
one of the masterminds on the project, conceived of a new way of interconnecting
computers and communicating. He envisioned a fishnet, where information
could flow through any path, rather than point to point. If one section
of the fishnet was destroyed, the remaining pieces would reconstitute themselves
and communication would still find its way through the net. Though the
Department of Defense shelved his idea, this provided the seed for the
growth of the Internet.
Four universities use the ideas of ARPA to create the first hosts of the ARPANET. (A host is simply a computer hooked up to the Internet.) The objective was the sharing of research among supercomputers. Stanford University, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara and the University of Utah are now connected. Email quickly becomes the most important application.
ARPANET grows to 23 hosts.
InterNetworking Working Group (INWG) sets standards for growing the network. Vinton Cerf is the first chairman and later becomes known as the "Father of the Internet".
ARPANET becomes international adding connections to University College in London, England and The Royal Radar Establishment in Norway.
Queen Elizabeth goes on-line with the first royal e-mail message.
ARPANET has 213 hosts.
The term "Internet" is used for the first time.
The number of Internet hosts exceeds 1000.
The number of Internet hosts exceeds 10,000.
The number of Internet hosts exceed 100,000.
The number of Internet hosts exceed 300,000.
The National Science Foundation (NSF), a Federal agency, lifts the ban for corporations to use the Internet for commercial traffic. This leads the way for the age of electronic commerce.
Mark MaCahill releases "gopher". This is the first point and click way to navigate through the files of the Internet. Linkage was through file folders.
Tim Berners-Lee produces the first hypertext code which defines and creates the World Wide Web.
The Internet is made up of computer networks connecting to one another. The World Wide Web is abstract space where people can now connect through documents, pictures, sound or video. This is possible only because of the hypertext code.
The number of Internet hosts exceed 1,000,000.
Pizza Hut accepts orders for mushroom, pepperoni and extra cheese, over the net. Japan's Prime Minister goes on-line at www.kantei.go.jp.
The Vatican launches www.vatican.va.
150 countries are connected to the Internet.
The number of hosts approaches 10 million. Using the average over the last 4 1/2 years, predictions are there will be 187 million hosts by the end of the decade.
Approximately 40 million individuals and businesses are currently connected to the Internet.
It is estimated that there will be 100 million users by the end of 1998.
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