Thirty-five years ago this month, computer scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) used a 15′ cable to link two computers, testing a new way to exchange data and ultimately playing a pivotal role in the development of the Internet (then called ARPANET). This link took place on September 2 1969.
Further development throughout the 1970s expanded the network, added e-mail and TCP/IP. The 1980s saw the birth of the domain name system (DNS) and in 1990, the World Wide Web was born.
I remember marvelling at the things I could find using FTP when I was at Uni’ in the early 90s, and a few years later experiencing online services like CompuServe and a very immature world-wide web. Without the Internet we would not have TCP/IP and Unix (arguably we would not have the Internet as it exists today without these technologies).
Since then, the Internet has become ever more pervasive. E-mail has become a globally accepted method of communication, supplemented by new technologies such as instant messaging (IM) and voice over IP (VoIP); breaking news is available globally in an instant; the web is the first port of call for researching information; and the growth in web services in recent years has been immense.
For more information on the development of the Internet, see the Internet Society (ISOC) website.