Arpanet To Internet: A Brief History of The Internet

The internet. We all use it. Some of us use it for talking to friends with social media; some use it for online gaming; others for shopping. But this year our internet is 25 (45 if you include Arpanet). The internet also has a very interesting history.
1969 – Arpanet: Arpanet is usually what is known as the predecessor of the internet. Arpanet was the first ever network to use ‘packet switching’ technology, this basically groups data in a certain way. The network started on October 29,

1969 at Stanford and UCLA. Reportedly, the first message sent was ‘login’ however the system apparently crashed on the ‘g’.

1971 – E-mail: E-mail is a big part of many people’s lives; it can be used to send business messages, talk to friends or even to send extreme legal documents. However e-mail was first developed in 1971 by a man named Ray Tomlinson, who also chose to use the ‘@’ symbol to separate the user’s name and the computer’s name.

1977-The PC modem: The introduction of the PC modem allowed PC users to connect their computer to the internet easily. Many people still use modems today, as they are still needed to connect your computer to the current internet. This was developed by Dennis Hayes and Dale Heatherington.

1978 – Bulletin Board Systems (BBS): BBS was the precursor to social networks like Facebook. These allowed people to create posts (like a forum) in which they could say something to a community using it. People could then reply to this using another post.

1979 – MUD (Multi-User Dungeon): MUD was a big step in the development of online gaming and ‘MMORPGs’ (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games).These were text-based adventures that were playable by more than one user at a time. These included parts from role-playing games as well as chat elements.

1987 – Internet grows: The internet began growing in popularity. There were approximately 30,000 users of the internet at this time. Compared to the original Arpanet (which only allowed 1000 users) this was a large improvement.

1989 – AOL is created: AOL or America Online was created in order to compensate for Apple dropping out of their own projects. AOL still exists today and at one point made the internet an even more popular place. However, AOL has dropped in popularity today.

1989 – Proposal for the World Wide Web: This is the year that is generally accepted as the birth of the internet. Written by Tim Berners-Lee, the general idea of the internet was to persuade the company ‘CERN’ to change to a ‘global hypertext system.’ This was originally named ‘MESH’ however during the coding phase; Tim Berners-Lee changed the name to the World Wide Web.

1991 – First web page invented: This was a big jump in the technology and development of the internet. The first web-page was created and told users what the World Wide Web was and how it worked.

1991 – MP3 becomes standard: MP3 files became the standard for audio files in 1991. These were compressed and so were of a lower file size. These later allowed people to share songs and albums across the internet.

1993 – First graphical web browser: Mosaic was the first ever graphical web browser in existence. This was widely downloaded and made the World Wide Web accessible to users who weren’t familiar with technology.

1994 – Netscape: Netscape Navigator was the largest competitor to the Mosaic web browser. This was newer and therefore people thought it may be better than the already existing Mosaic system.

1995 – JavaScript: JavaScript (originally named LiveScript by its creator is a now widely used programming language which can allow interactive objects to appear on webpages. This was developed in as part of the Netscape browser.

1996 – First web-mail website invented: HoTMaiL (the upper-case characters as a homage to HTML) was the first web-based mail service. This was the first ever e-mail service.

1998 – Google: Many of us use google nowadays; some of us even think it has all the answers. However in 1998, the website known as Google had just begun. It still allowed people to search for anything on the internet; however it wasused on a much smaller scale.

1998 – Napster: In the same year as the start of Google, the audio file-sharing service Napster began being used. This opened way to all mainstream file-sharing websites today.

2000 – ‘The dotcom collapse’: ‘The dotcom collapse’ resulted in thousands of companies being forced to close down, some without creating any money for investors.

2001 – Wikipedia: ‘The free encyclopaedia’ Wikipedia was launched in 2001. This website led to the creation of information sharing and social media websites.

2003 – Skype: Skype is a service which many people use themselves, allowing users to speak to each other. This gave users a friendly interface in which to speak to people over the internet.

2003 – Myspace: In 2003, Myspace opened its doors to the public. It then instantly became the top social network (but was soon stripped of that title by Facebook).

2004- Social media: In 2004, the term ‘social media’ was used to define a mainstream concept. Social media sites that let us share information began around this time.

2004 – Digg: The social news site ‘Digg’ launched in November of 2004. This allowed sites like ‘Reddit’ and ‘Yahoo! Buzz’. This started up the use of creating and finding web content.

2004 – Facebook: Also in 2004, the large social media site Facebook launched; however it was only open to American college students. It was originally named ‘The Facebook’ however this title was dropped later on in favour of ‘Facebook’.

2005 – YouTube: YouTube, the popular video streaming website, began in 2005. This sparked many of the internet’s most famous, and infamous, cat videos e.g. ‘Nyan Cat’ and ‘Keyboard Cat’.

2006- Twitter: Twitter is an extremely popular website used for telling people what you do or what you think of a certain topic. Users can ‘follow’ others and can see what they ‘tweet’. It is mainly used for following celebrities. It was originally named ‘twittr’ to follow ‘twittr’ and the first ‘tweet’ was ‘Just setting up my twittr’

2007 – Hulu: Hulu is a website in which the television companies ‘ABC’, ‘NBC’ and ‘FOX’ joined together to allow popular television shows to be seen online.

2007 – iPhone: the iPhone is a mobile device which has grown in popularity over the years. It generated interest because of its web applications and mobile internet capabilities.

2014 – Tablets: The launch of Microsoft’s ‘Windows 8’ has moved the home computer market on to touch-screens and mobile devices. Mobile internet is now just as fast, if not faster than home internet and it is estimated that soon all devices will be touch-screen.The internet has had a very long history for the short period of 45 years. I’m sure the internet will continue to grow over many more years to come.


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