A Brief History of the Internet

June 30, 2015  •  1 Comment

     The internet was first conceived in the late 1950s during the cold war.  There was  a need to a communication system that was hard to disrupt.  The idea was that if war broke out our computers could still talk to each other.  The government created ARPANET or Advanced Research Projects Agency Network.  "ARPANET began as a four-node network involving UCLA, Stanford Research Institute, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City."( https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781323028339/pages/176798760)  The first true communication came in 1969 when the word "LOGIN" was sent from one computer to another.  By the 1970s two men, Bob Khan and Vinton Cerf had created the protocols that are still in use today.  These two men are considered to be the fathers of the internet.  This was the birth of the internet and it grew in to what we know today.  For a more detailed history on how the internet was created pleas visit http://www.internetsociety.org/internet/what-internet/history-internet/brief-history-internet.  This is an excellent site with a detailed description of how the internet was created.

     The internet as we know it today did not truly start until 1991 with the World Wide Web.  "The web is based on the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which is why you see an http:// at the beginning of web addresses."  (https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781323028339/pages/176798760).  This HTTP now allowed us to go out and search the internet.  However we had no easy way to do this until the Web browser was created.  In simple terms a web browser is an application the allows you to retrieve information from the web and display it on your computer.  "An information resource is identified by a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI/URL) and may be a web page, image, video or other piece of content." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_browser).  

​     So now that we have our browser, how exactly do our computers communicate to retrieve the information we are looking for.  There are two types of computers no the internet.  They are the client computer (the one we are using at home) and the server computer (the one we are getting the information from).  The client computer sends the request via the pathways of the internet to the server computer.  The server computer then sends back the requested data and out web browser then displays it on our scree.  This is made possible by an address that has been assigned to your computer.  This address is called an IP or Internet Proticol address.  "IP addresses are the means by which computers connected to the Internet identify each other." (https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781323028339/pages/176798761)  By knowing your computers IP address the the web browser can make sure the data you requested is returned to your computer.  For more detailed information please visit http://mashable.com/2012/10/17/tcpip-faq/, this site will give you more detailed information on TCP/IP.

     The internet also brought us a number of ways to communicate with each other, watch videos and buy things.  E-Mail was one of the first of these and I think it is safe to say that we all have used E-Mail.  E-Mail stands for electronic mail and "e-mail is still the primary means of communication over the Internet." (https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781323028339/pages/176798764).  Most people use email every day at work and did you know that on average about 144.8 billion E-Mails are sent each day? (http://mashable.com/2012/11/27/email-stats-infographic/)  That is a lot of communicating that we are doing with each other.  

     There is also social media that allows us to communicate with our friends and family.  "Social networking services such as Facebook and Twitter have become widely popular because they provide fun ways for users to communicate with their friends through wall posts, chats, tagged images, and tweets." (https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781323028339/pages/176798762).  Social media sites have evolved until they have become part of our daily lives.  However we need to use some caution when we post.  Keep your information personal, know who your friends are, and use caution when posting images. (https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781323028339/pages/176798763). If you post that you are going on vacation then you let every one know you are gone.  Will some one come by and rob your house while you are gone?  Things like this happen all of the time.

 Picture retrieve on June 30, 2015, from http://99.jinglespot.biz/files/2011/03/social-2js.jpg

     Podcasts and Webcasts are a way to listen to shows that you like of attend a meeting with out ever leaving your house.  "A podcast is a form of digital media comprised of a series of audio or video files that are distributed over the Internet." (https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781323028339/pages/176798769).  Podcasts are a great way to listen to your favorite book or learn something new.  I actually listen to podcast from some of my favorite photographers.  "A Webcast is a little different than a podcast.  A webcast is the (usually live) broadcast of audio or video content over the Internet."  (https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781323028339/pages/176798770).  Some of the companies that I have worked at in the past have used webcasts for meetings.  I also use a webcast to hear my seminars at school.  If you would really like to know the nitty gritty about podcast and webcast then visit http://smallbusiness.chron.com/difference-between-webcast-podcast-69397.html.  You can also learn how to make your own podcast on this site.  

     Watching TV shows on your internet connected device has become a big thing these days.  This is called streaming media and you can get this at Youtube, Hulu or Netflix.   These are just a couple of the sites that stream media.  So what is streaming media and how does it work.  "Streaming media is multimedia (audio and video) that is continuously fed to your browser so you avoid having to wait for the entire file to download completely before listening to or watching it."  (https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781323028339/pages/176798771).  Not only can you watch movies with streaming media but you can listen to music as well with sites like Pandora.  In order for streaming media to work your first need a media player that will play files as they down load.  "So it downloads maybe the first 10 seconds of the file, stores or buffers it, then immediately starts to play it. As the media player starts playing the first part of the file, it's also downloading the next 10 seconds ready for when you come to that bit." (http://www.explainthatstuff.com/streamingmedia.html).  The amazing thing about streaming media is that it never is stored on your computer.  The information is deleted once it is used.  So you can stream all  you want with out filling up your hard drive.

     Another way of communicating with people over the internet is through Wikis and Blogs like this one.  The first time I heard the term "Wiki" I thought it was some Hawaiian dance.  However it is something totally different.  "A wiki (sometimes spelled "Wiki") is a server program that allows users to collaborate in forming the content of a Web site. The term comes from the word "wikiwiki," which means "fast" in the Hawaiian language." (http://searchsoa.techtarget.com/definition/wiki)  In a way I was right, it is a Hawaiian word.  By allowing users to collaborate the information is always evolving to stay current.  "Wiki content such as that found on Wikipedia is created collaboratively by multiple users, resulting in an emergent “common” opinion rather than the opinion of an individual writer." (https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781323028339/pages/176798766).  There is down side to wikis, since any one can contribute some people add false information.  To combat this some sights now require users to register before they can contribute.  Blogs let a person post a journal or log on the internet. "Anyone can create a blog, and there are millions of blogs available to read, follow, and comment on."    (https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781323028339/pages/176798768).  You can blog about anything that you want and comment on other blogs as well.  It is very easy to get started blogging.  You simply down load the free software that will allow you to do this.  A great place to learn more about blogging and how to get started is  http://www.buildyourownblog.net/?utmx=16461984202_69393471202_1t1_c_kwd-120892810_9032180_&gclid=CjwKEAjw_MisBRCTuNPfoMqU4ngSJACrJv1VS5Gz_tuDhDuCQXTZfQY1N8MpvJWeFF8rX3QFAKBT5BoClfnw_wcB.  

     Finally there is E-Commerce and who has not bought anything from Amazon?  We all have bought things from Amazon or other sites and it has made shopping easy and convenient.  Instead of going to the mall you can sit in your robe with your pink slippers on and shop until your fingers get tired.  Today E-Commerce is broken down in to three categories.  "Business to consumer, business to business and consumer to consumer." (https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781323028339/pages/176798772).  The first is a person buying goods from a store like Amazon.  You go to their site and find what you want.  The second is a business like an auto shop that buys parts from an auto parts store or another business.  The third one is when you sell something to some one else on the internet.  This is what Ebay does very well.  They connect people who want to sell things with the people who want to buy them. "In the 1990s and early 2000s. Amazon began operating as a book-shipping business in Jeff Bezos' garage in 1995. EBay, which enables consumers to sell to each other online, introduced online auctions in 1995 and exploded with the 1997 Beanie Babies frenzy."  h(ttp://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4872-what-is-e-commerce.html).  As you can see E-Commerce has been around a while but you still need to use caution when shopping online.  Neve use your debt card for purchases.  Always use a credit card, this will help to keep your bank account from being emptied by some one who got your card number.  The newest form of commerce on the net is M-Commerce of mobile commerce.  This gives you the ability to make purchases from your smart phone or buy from some one who is using a card reader that is attached to their smart phone.  You can learn more about this emerging way of purchasing by going to (http://searchmobilecomputing.techtarget.com/definition/m-commerce).

 

 



Comments

Chandra(non-registered)
That is fascinating! I knew pieces of it but I had never read about the whole thing like that. Thank you for that. And now here we are in 2017 programming to computers to talk to each other and negotiate so we can learn more about the possibilities of A.I. that still lie just beyond our reach.
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