Monday, March 10, 2014

The internet turns 25

In March 1989 the internet made its debut as an invention by Tim Berners-Lee and remains the fastest growing means of communication. While other forms of communication have evolved and modernized over time (mail, telegraph, telephone, etc), none have seen the endless amount of innovation that the internet has produced in such a short period of time.

The use of computers has vastly changed since 1989, which was a time when most computers were manufactured by IBM (who developed the IBM PC Jr.), had monochrome screens, and were usually stand-alone systems and not part of any network.

The early days of the internet not only used primitive machines, but also very slow means of communication by today's standards. When we mention the internet, most computer users think of the World Wide Web (, which the internet is not. The Internet is a global system of interconnected networks that use a standard protocol (TCP/IP) for communication. The internet is literally the connection of millions of private and public computer networks that consist of schools, businesses and government agencies, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies.

Today's internet use in simple terms consists of social uses, financial transactions, research, and sharing of data. While use of the internet did not go mainstream until 1995 with the release of Microsoft Windows 95 (the days when we all used dial-up modems), its use has rapidly developed and evolved, and has reshaped how we live our lives. This evolution will continue, and I'm sure future generations will look back on today's internet uses as primitive.