They said it would never catch on, but 30 years later the world wide web has infiltrated into almost every facet of our lives.
The internet was switched on when a private US military network was opened to the public by making live a TCP/IP connection that is still used in some format to this day.
TCP/IP was the created by Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn that developed out of the military ARPANET network.
“When the day came, it’s fair to say the main emotion was relief, especially amongst those system administrators racing against the clock,” said Cerf.
“There were no grand celebrations—I can’t even find a photograph. The only visible mementos were the “I survived the TCP/IP switchover” pins proudly worn by those who went through the ordeal!”
Invention of the world wide web
Later came the event which many consider the true invention of the world wide web – on March 12, 1989, the first message was sent between a computer across http (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to a remote server.
This was when Sir Timothy Berners-Lee coined the phrase ’browser’ and the internet really started to take-off as a communications medium for the masses rather than a slow and ponderous system between universities and the military.
Veteran internet users will remember the crackling beeps and tones of the dial-up modem and those free sign-up disks for Compuserve, Alta Visa and AOL.
Browsers and going online
Just to clear up a misnomer – the internet is the international network of computers storing and exchanging information ‘online’.
The world wide web is how the internet is accessed.
Berners-Lee was the guy that linked the two by jotting down an information management protocol based on hypertext links that allowed users to sort and access data stored on servers.
The design is a one to many relationship allowing browsers on remote machines to access data stored on a single server.
Of course, the web has moved on a bit since 1989, but the original Berners-Lee idea is still at the root of how modern technology works.
Google, online shopping and banking, email, chat, social media and the rest is history… with plenty of pages still yet to be written.