Internet and World Wide Web


A map of computer networks

 

Since the Internet and the World Wide Web are such an important part of our Rotary club and the way we communicate and collaborate with each other, I thought of putting together a program on it.

 

The Internet

The story of the Internet should start as early 1957 with the launch of the Russian satelite, Sputnik, which kicked off the space race between USSR and USA. This quickly led the US to start the DARPA (Defense Adranced Research Project Agency) project in 1958. One of the things DARPA was reaseaching on was packet switching, a digital networking communications method that groups transmitted data, in order to better share knowledge between groups of people. Other organizations and nations began a similar research and several packet switched networks were developed as a result. One of these networks, ARPANET started in 1969 by connecting 4 computers together. The rest is history.

So what is the Internet anyways? Well, it is simply a network that allows different computers to transfer information with one another around the world.

Sounds like a skipped a few important details? I did, as I believe it would be better to watch them in the following video quickly outlining the history of the Internet and explaning it further.

 

History of the Internet: 8:10 min

 

The World Wide Web


Sir Timothy Berners-Lee (2008)
Photo curtesy of Wikipedia

So what is the history of the World Wide Web (WWW) and what role does it play? Well, keep in mind that since 1969 up until 1990 the internet networks have been expanding and growing in different parts of the world. In 1990 you could say the world has been set for Timothy (Tim) Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, that allowed him to come up with a new application of the internet, a new way of using it. In effect he invents the HTTP, URL, and HTML, and builds a web browser amongs others which are all the basis of our current web sites and the World Wide Web.

As a side note, only in 2004, Berners-Lee was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his pioneering work and only as late as 2012, at the Summer Olympics opening ceremony he was honoured as the "Inventor of the World Wide Web".

Now back to our short history lesson. In 1993 the Mosaic web browser came into effect which was far nicer, easier to use and user friendlier than other existing browsers, and as a result everyone started to take note of the Web. In 1994 is when the Web started to grow seriously and it has continued to grow ever since.

The Internet and the World Wide Web have become synonyms, though technically the World Wide Web is just an application of the Internet. Here's a quick video on WWW:

World Wide Web: 3:10 min

 

So what is, the thing we call the "Internet" really?

Andrew Blum: What is the Internet, really?: 12:00 min

 

Did you know?

  • Every month, the Google search enginge handles 100 billion searches. That is almost 40k every second.
  • The world's first website and web searver was launched on August 6th, 1991 and it was this one: http://info.cern.ch/
  • Apparently the weight of all information on the internet is 0.2 millionths of an ounce. That is similar to the weight of the smallest possible grain of sand.
  • If you type Rotary in Google, it will find about 164 million search results.
  • The first webcam was created at the University of Cambridge, UK in order to monitor a coffee pot.
  • There were 2.4 billion Internet users as of June 30, 2012.

 

Both the Internet and the World Wide Web definitely have a great impact on this group of people and allows all of us to come together, communicate and collaborate within our great Rotary e-club of One World. How else did the Internet and the World Wide Web change your world?

On the other hand, could you live without the Internet? What would you do during the time you would otherwise spend online?

 

 
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