As we have learnt in Mr. Faisal’s lectures thus far, before the Internet there was the morse telegraph, telephone and the radio. However, the first concept similar to the Internet we know of today was theorized by J. C. R. Licklider of MIT in August of 1962, known as ‘Galactic Network’ (Leiner et al. 2012). He was the first head of computer research program at DARPA in October of 1962 and convinced his successors of the importance of this concept.

J. C. Licklider

J. C. Licklider

Image URL: http://www.dipity.com/kanem/History-of-the-Internet/

Although only in 1969, was the ARPANET developed – it was the first network to run on packet switching technology, which connected computers at Stanford and UCLA for the first time on October 29th of 1969. In the same year, UNIX – an operating system who’s design was heavily influenced by Linux and FreeBSD, was developed. Then, in 1970 the ARPANET network was established between Harvard, MIT and BBN, just before E-mail was first developed by Ray Tomlinson a year later. Also in 1971, was the birth of free e-books on the site ‘Project Gutenberg’. In 1972, there was the CYCLADES, which was the French version of ARPANET and though eventually shut down, it pioneered the idea of the host computer being responsible for data transmission. 1973 saw the first trans-Atlantic connection with the University College of London, and 1974 was the beginning of TCP/IP, which links all ARPA-like networks together into an ‘inter-network’. 1977 saw the first PC modem, developed by Dennis Hayes and Dale Heatherington being introduced and in 1978, there was the Bulletin Board System (BBS) and Spam. In 1979, MUD (Multi User Dungeon) and Usenet was formed, which were respectively the first multiplayer game and an internet-based discussion system (Chapman 2009).

In 1980, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) launched ENQUIRE, which is a hypertext program allowing scientists to keep track of people, software and projects using hypertext (hyperlinks) (Chapman 2009). ENQUIRE was written by Tim Berners-Lee, who “is currently the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium” (Bellis 2012). In 1983, ARPANET computers switch to TCP/IP protocols (developed by Vinton Cerf). The Domain Name System (DNS) was developed in 1984 and 1985 was the birth of virtual communities. In 1988, IRC (Internet Relay Chat) was developed and in 1989 saw the proposal of the World Wide Web, before the first webpage was created in 1991 (Chapman 2009). [Funfact: 1991 was also my birth year! :)]. From this we can see that the Internet is clearly a vast space used for various reasons.

The Internet belongs to everyone and no one. – Sterling, B 1993

I find the quote above to be very true, as many different people contributed to the development of the Internet, so it does not belong to just one person, and everyone in society is able to utilize it because it sllows people to share information with efficiency and ease, which shows the convenience of the Internet. There you have it, a cramped history lesson on the Internet!

Leiner, B, Cerf, VG, Clark, DD, Kahn, RE, Kleinrock, L, Lynch, DC, Postel, J, Roberts, LG & Wolff, S 2012, Brief History of the Internet, accessed 18/8/2012, http://www.internetsociety.org/internet/internet-51/history-internet/brief-history-internet/

Bellis, M 2012, the History of the Internet, accessed 18/8/2012, http://inventors.about.com/od/istartinventions/a/internet.htm

Chapman, C 2009, the History of the Internet in a Nutshell, accessed 18/8/2012, http://sixrevisions.com/resources/the-history-of-the-internet-in-a-nutshell/

Sterling, B 1993, A Short History of the Internet, accessed 18/8/2012, https://vista.uow.edu.au/webct/urw/tp0.lc20663/cobaltMainFrame.dowebct