History of Internet Documentary

Internet is perhaps one of the most
prestigious indispensable tools of modern times where people simply
cannot imagine a life without it, or even the world without it. It makes planet earth go round
and helps to move it forward. It is one of the primary essence
of technological evolution. Every era has had its own
indispensable tool – for us in these modern times, it is none other
than the world-wide web. Having such humble
beginnings in the university campuses of American
institutes in the 1960s, internet would soon become
a global phenomenon, a concept and a
medium on its own. Universities now teach the
origins of internet and how it has shaped mankind
in the last 60 years. It has its own nuances and the little
nuts and bolts that need to be known and be aware of if one aspires to
become a professional web designer. It is indeed a field of study and involves
continuous scrutiny and observation if one needs to understand how this
global phenomenon really became global in technical sense and how it governs
almost everything we see around us. A brief understanding of
the origins and evolution of internet will be
discussed and how it has grown to become one
of the foremost tools for almost everything
that surround people. In short, a brief, interesting history
of the internet, and its evolution. Internet, or in more technical words,
the world-wide-web (denoted as WWW in short), is a medium through which
the world connects and communicates. Yes, it is primarily just a mode
of connection and communication, similar (or in some sense, even
exactly the same) to mediums and inventions that have shaped our
world for the last five millennia. As the world became larger and
bigger, so did its communication needs and the mode through
which it communicated. No longer was it possible to simply
communicate everything on the telephone that once revolutionised the world in
the 19th and early 20th centuries. Now, the need of the hour was to develop
something even more revolutionary as letters became more complex and academia wanted
quick and efficient mode of communication. The revolutionary character of the internet
lies in its true nature and purpose. It is, as already said
above, just a mode of communication, but the
scale and the method through which it communicates
has what made it revolutionary, forever
changing human life. So much so, that the internet has
become an ideology in itself and governments across the globe decide
on the aspects they need to use on, whether it be finance or monetary
policies, law enforcement or even anti-terrorism
and general governance. Internet is a phenomenon
that even rulers depend on. Thus, in light of such
circumstances, it becomes important that people
understand what internet really is and how it has evolved
to become such a widely understood as well as a
misunderstood concept. As starters, we first describe
internet’s beginnings starting from the 1950s
when computing itself was a rarely heard concept and
most ‘computers’ existed only in laboratories and
government research. After becoming widely
popular in the academic and political circles,
internet started becoming popular in military affairs
and several western military organisations
started adopting it. Internet was never really
known as ‘internet’ as it’s known now, but through
special denotations. Lastly, internet started becoming more
accessible to the general public as computing itself was made available for
the local masses and people in general. Starting from 1980s, a new
technology was being allowed to the public under certain
licenses and regulations. Although during this time, internet
was still out of reach for most because of its unimaginable price
tag, starting from the 1990s, the revolution in internet
technology an availability took place that left a
legacy we see now today. The Beginnings As simple and straightforward it may seem, internet actually has one of the most
complex launches with its history of evolution being filled with
technological advancements and inventions not easy for the layman to
comprehend too quickly. What started out as a draft
paper to connect several computers in a workplace
only got bigger and bigger, so much so that the whole world-wide-web can
now be imagined as a single workstation with millions and billions of computers
loosely connected to each other. In fact, we might as well
raise an uncanny analogy here when the internet
was just being invented. Many of you might actually
be aware of several animated cartoons that showed
futuristic infrastructure. Cartoons like The
Flintstones or even Richie Rich that originated
during the 1960s. Several episodes of these popular TV programs
showed people connecting to each other, talking and observing on a display screen
and chatting with another character. Might have seemed very out of
place but several technocrats and inventors of those times predicted
that there actually will come a time when people will connect
directly through electronic devices and do
lots of stuff with them. One of these individuals was
the late Dr J.C.R Licklider. The very first beginnings of our
modern internet can be traced back to the 1960s when he was the head of
computer research program at MIT. Several research papers by notable
scientists and technicians suggested new technologies in
computing and interconnectivity. These ideas were primarily based on existing
inventions like the telephone and the much earlier telegram services, which was the
‘electronic’ mail service of the 19th century. Since a lot of stuff was
going on in the world of science just after
the great war ended, the community that filled it
wanted innovative methods by which they could connect and communicate
instantly as and when required. In light of this, one of the first
known internet services was the DARPA, designed and implemented in 1962 upon
the recommendations suggested by J.C.R Licklider himself, in his paper
‘On-Line Man-Computer Communication’, published in the same year. Dr Licklider also published
several books on the same topic. Licklider was the first head
of the computer research program at DARPA that started
in the October of 1962. The innovative concept and the pace through
which DARPA functioned as one of the first known networks resulted in his program
receiving much acclamation and popularity and perhaps laid the foundation
stone for the next four decades where the internet would become
the latest wonder of technology. Dr Licklider had several
colleagues and fellow technicians and innovators
working alongside him. DARPA was primarily meant to connect
all its staff through a network but Licklider took one step
forward by developing it further. One of these individuals who filled up
the DARPA staff was Leonard Kleinrock of MIT and he published his first paper
on packet switching in July of 1961. This was another major step forward
for the evolution of the internet and perhaps one of the first known documents
to explain packet networking, which is still the primary mode
of internet transmission today. Kleinrock would also go on publishing books
on networking related topics, one of them becoming a popular read among researchers
and inventors and released in 1964. This packet switching
concept would soon become an applied reality in
the DARPA program. Packet connectivity was indeed a very
innovative addition to networking but it still needed time and
implementation to actually work. Kleinrock convinced Lawrence
Roberts, another member of the DARPA program to
think on switching to packet connectivity rather
than the traditional circuitry if long range
networking was to exist. Roberts agreed to the concept. Another need of the hour was the
requirement of ‘talking’ between two computers, borrowed from the
concept that made telephones work. For this, in 1965, Roberts
connected two computers, the TX-32 and the Q-32 in California
with a single telephone line and made history by developing the first ever
dial-up connected wide area network. The experiment became a success and Roberts
was able to ‘talk’ between these computers. However, the realization that
two computers could connect to each other and work in coordination
was in direct conflict with the circuit method owing
to circuits’ inability to process millions of data
in a matter of seconds. The traditional circuit method
was thus totally incapable of allowing two or more computers
to fully connect to each other and it also stood as a total
hindrance towards further development of networking
and DARPA in general. On the other hand, packets allowed for swift
movement of data and made it possible for computers to smoothly transmit
communication without much loss and noise. Packet switching was also more
desirable considering that circuits were more prone to
industrial hazards like overheating and high maintenance and needed
regular replacement of electronic components like cables and
boards for it function fully. Kleinrock’s suggestion to switch
to packets was really the need of the hour and the next
big step towards networking. DARPA and ARPANET After DARPA’s founder, Dr
Licklider, the next big member of the MIT program was
Lawrence Roberts himself. He would become the pioneer of the
ARPANET, the second stepping stone on the history of internet, and perhaps
one of the biggest stepping stones, given its wide implementation and
several technological advancements added to it starting from late
1960s till the middle of 1980s. In fact, the predecessor of our modern
day world-wide-web was ARPANET itself. In late 1966, Roberts went to develop
DARPA further by making it ‘wider’ and providing it more speed for the members
to connect with more swift and less lag. In 1967, he published his
paper describing the idea behind ARPANET and how
it would be implemented. DARPA was now becoming ARPANET. The latter would also incorporate for the
first time and for its full potential, the packet switching concept
that was the primary need of the hour for successful
and efficient networking. It also so happened that during
a conference that Roberts was attending, where
networking was the hot topic, several other researchers
from notable universities of UK also presented their
versions of networking. Donald Davies and Roger
Scantlebury of the NPL also presented their papers
on packet connectivity. That networking was solely being invented
by Americans was not true at all. One of the members of the NPL communicated
Roberts about the packet connectivity concept that was developed in 1964
independently by the British military. It appeared as a coincident,
but the work at MIT, at NPL and the
RAND group, which was a group headed by Paul
Baran and his colleagues pretty much coincided
in the same timeframe. Roberts was inspired by others too researching
on this ground-breaking concept and borrowed a few of their ideas that were
presented by them during the conference. He would go back and since
full fledged networking was being developed only at
select American universities, much of the credit during this
evolving timeline went to campuses of MIT and later on, the
University of California (UCLA). Roberts tested these
‘packets’ by increasing the speed of ARPANET from a
mere 2.4 kbps to 50 kbps. This small step was successful
prompting Roberts of the importance of packet connectivity
and further developing it (which would lead to such components like the
TCP/IP, first invented in 1980s and still the primary mode of identification through
which computers are assigned IP numbers). Since ARPANET was going through several
developments and refinements, new individuals and technicians started
replacing the existing and the old. Members like Bob Kahn, Frank
Heart and Newman would soon start developing ARPANET in
coordination with Roberts. At MIT, a new component of the
ARPANET was being designed and this was the Interface
Message Processor (IMP). The IMP was first coined by Frank
Heart and Newman and this was now being incorporated in the
overall structure of the ARPANET. Roberts was now working with a lot
of small groups and independent people on further developing
the technical core of ARPANET. Bob Kahn helped him with
designing ARPANET’s new architectural design and
economic efficiency while existing members like Kleinrock took
control over developing the measurement system that according to him would support
the packet concept he devised earlier. In 1969, Kleinrock’s
campus at UCLA was first selected as the Network
Measurement Centre, to be functioned as a node through
which Roberts would connect his computer at MIT and that
of Kleinrock’s system at UCLA. In September of 1969, the
finalisation of ARPANET came into play when
this node in the UCLA campus was made operational and a second node
at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI). Elizabeth Feinler and
team made it possible for the second node and
funded its establishment. The first ever host computer was
thus connected at the UCLA campus. Several other such institutes followed. A month later after connecting
SRI with Kleinrock’s system, the first host-to-host
message was transmitted. Several other such nodes were
added to the ARPANET network, the third being the campus of UC Santa
Barbara and University of Utah. Professors and researchers in these
last two campuses also added their own small contribution that would
matter big in the coming decades. Glen Culler and Burton Fried of the
UCSB researched methods on displaying mathematical functions by adding
display storages to their systems while Robert Taylor at the
Utah campus investigated methods of refreshing the
net on 3-D representations. At the start of 1970, there
were thus four major universities and their campuses
connected over the ARPANET. The groundwork was complete and the rocket
was now ready to launch from its site. With the four campuses successfully connected
without any errors, it was now fully possible for ARPANET’s founders to transmit
simple email messages and notifications. 1970 onwards, several systems
and computers outside these four campuses were added
in the ARPANET coverage. Work proceeded further
to make ARPANET a fully functional host-to-host
connecting system. In 1970, the Network Working
Group (NWG) working under the guidance of S. Crocker developed
the first ever protocol that would allow computers
to fully communicate and allow individuals to develop
software over ARPANET. This protocol was called the
Network Control Protocol (NCP) and could be considered as the first
complete host-to-host protocol. The project came into full play in 1972
when Lawrence Roberts held a major networking conference at the International
Computer Communication Conference (ICCC). There, he and his team would showcase the
first ever email message and was also the first ever public demonstration of the
networking concept and the potential it held. Roberts simply sent a simple message
through email that was received by one of his team member,
resulting in an instant applause. The first ever email application
included read, forward and send functions and
was an instant success. What would follow in the coming decades
starting from 1972, would be the first era when internet really evolved
from ARPANET to the prototype of the
world-wide-web we know it now. The Birth of Internet The next big player and pioneer of the
ARPANET technology was Bob Kahn himself. Lawrence Roberts and others
remained in the team for much of the 1970s but it was
Kahn who was now designing and developing further the
ARPANET technology that gave way to full fledged wide area
networks as we know them today. In 1972, after the successful
conference was held and for the first time, the
public saw how email worked, Kahn taking with him his knowledge and idea
for further developing the packet system, started to refurbish the whole
technology at its core with new protocols being designed
by him and for the first time, algorithms inserted in
the networking pipeline for ‘automatic
networking’ technology. Since ARPANET was primarily designed for
a select few individuals to connect, most of them belonging to the academia
of select universities of America, Kahn now decided to take this a level
further by reinforcing the existing technology that could allow more
individuals to connect at the same time without any error or
disturbance to the overall flow of packets
and thus the network. But ARPANET still had its
own limitations when it came to connecting
wide area networks. One of these limitations was the existence
of packet loss and uncontrolled noise that resulted in slow connectivity and even no
connectivity at all at some instances. So the next big job was to ask
the question on how to redesign or develop the existing protocols
and hardware technologies that would allow for a smoother
experience and connect people with more ease
and less complications. Kahn thus set himself to work again. Recall that Kahn was also the pioneer
of the packet switch system that forever replaced the circuit system
in the early days of the DARPA. Kahn was now again convinced that
it is only the packet receiving and transmitting mechanisms that
required some major overhauls for the internet to become
simpler and smoother and without the requirement for
major hardware requirements. One of these key areas was to develop what
is known as Open Architecture Networking. Recall that ARPANET and its
predecessor were designed with open contribution
and development in mind. Since these were experimental
developments, technicians and engineers designing his
technology required contribution not just from their teams but anyone who
could contribute his/her part in it. Open Architecture
Networking is still one of the core areas of 21st
century networking. If technicality were to be ignored,
it would be very sufficing to say that internet with its database of
millions and billions of websites, are designed in a customised manner
and there are no rules and set codes to define how things over the
internet need to be developed, except of course security
measures and standards that everybody has to
rely upon and maintain. Kahn in 1972 already had
open-architecture networking in mind and he was probably one of the first
to introduce it to the ARPANET. The key to this architecture
was maintaining an open end-to-end protocol and developing
a packet radio program. The packet radio program was in
existence during the final days of DARPA and Kahn only developed
and advocated it further. This system required new protocols that
could allow packets to transmit easily and smoothly between two computers and allow
users to have a smooth internet experience. Back then, this was
also initially called ‘internetting’ because
of the concept that the network was like a spider’s
net, with each node connected to a host
computer for transmission. As the radio program developed,
new protocols were designed as well that were to function with
the refurbished radio systems. The Network Control protocol
(NCP) which was earlier used by all the members and all
the four nodes of ARPANET, was incapable of smooth transmission
of these packets and had no algorithms to deal with the noise and disturbance
caused in its packet flow. After several tests and experiments,
it was concluded that the NCP needed to be designed further
to allow for more computers than just the ARPANET members for the
internet to actually start existing. Also recall that ARPANET
was not the internet as we know today, but only the
beginning of it, a part of it, since the evolution of internet after
ARPANET involves altogether new technologies and advancements
unrelated to the former technology. Since the purpose of networking
was itself evolving to include a vast community of
academia and technicians, the technology upon which
RPANET functioned was found to be incapable for
further ‘expansion’. Technically, ARPANET required
additions to the protocol system (through which it
communicated among its users), in addition to requiring
additional hardware and systems for the new protocols
to work efficiently. Why the NCP was unable to
transmit vast numbers of packets over wide areas and
long ranges was quite clear. The ARPANET was designed with
a single purpose in mind, and it was designed very robustly
to satisfy that purpose. However, as needs of it grew
and as networking’s purpose also evolved, so did ARPANET’s
demands for an overhaul. The NCP was never really designed to handle
a vast number of packet transmission. And since every node was connected,
the NCP’s job was clear and simple. However, as the concept of networking grew
outside the corridors of ARPANET, its protocols that controlled the transmission
and reception of digital packets started to see terminal
limitations that posed a hindrance to the overall
growth of ARPANET itself. Kahn observed that when a
computer tried connecting to ARPANET that was outside
the preregistered node, the NCP failed to provide
packet transmission and the whole system collapsed for
the connecting computer. In this manner, the ARPANET could
only be functioned for the registered members that were
running ARPANET’s protocol. This was too rigid for everyone to adopt
and thus required some major changes. NCP also lacked the
capability to handle packet errors, that is, anytime
during a minor packet loss, the NCP would collapse altogether
and immediately and the connection to the host computer
would come to a forever halt. The NCP thus had no end-to-end
error control mechanism. To sum up the requirements that were
needed to actually introduce the internet to the world, then could
be done so in the following manner: Redesigning the protocol system
that could handle a larger network of computers and allow for
packet control and efficiency. Devising new hardware and
algorithms that would allow these computers to connect
with the host computer. Making communication with the host computer
not only feasible but efficient and simple. New techniques for
host-to-host flow control and requirements for
network pipelines that would allow multiple
packets to transmit to and from the host
simultaneously and at the same time reducing any
chances of major packet flow errors in this
‘multiple lane’ pipeline. New technologies like gateways
and hardware that would allow to provide an identification
to a connecting computer. These would later become
things like the routers and IP addresses that
everyone uses by default. Introducing new protocols and
replacing existing ones that could govern these newly thought
about ideas and implement it in a manner that would allow the
least control over global networking while still keeping computers
connected at the very best possible. Last but the not the least, the capability
for networking with several other operating systems since at least
during the 1980s, several operating systems were
already coming up. Thus, Kahn was facing major challenges
for developing ARPANET further to include several other computers
used by scientists and innovators who wanted quick access to communication
with the academia community. Because of the nature of the
challenges as well, Kahn also accepted them as part of
developing networking further since ARPANET was definitely
not the end of the story of internet as some
might have once thought. Kahn thus proposed a totally
new protocol that was to be designed from scratch
and this he would call it the Transfer Control Protocol or
Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) that would altogether change how internet services
communicated with each other and worked. However, Kahn had no immediate knowledge
in interfacing and protocol design. He was aware of how NCP worked but designing
a new protocol and incorporating it in ARPANET demanded an all new technique that
required additional knowledge and skill. Accepting this, Kahn set out to call
technicians from leading universities to design new protocols that would
allow for efficient communications regardless of the operating
system a user is operating in. That is, this certain protocol had to
be operating system efficient as well. In 1973, he thus teamed up
with Vint Cerf of Stanford to initiate and think on the newly
arrived topic of TCP/IP. Vint had immense knowledge
of interfacing in several operating systems and skills
to develop new protocols. This knowledge teamed up with
Kahn’s know-how on implementation and architectural design resulted
in a very productive solution. The TCP/IP was finally
at place and was ready to start functioning
with several computers. The initial protocol
allowed for some 256 connections and worked
at 32-bit transfer rate. The TCP/IP was unveiled at another
conference where Cerf was also invited. The International Network Working
Group (INWG) was set up at a conference a Sussex University
in 1973 and Cerf was invited to head this group with
his all new protocol that would power up
ARPANET further. Upon meeting up with several
key players and innovators in the field of networking
design and implementation, the following points emerged
as to how TCP/IP would work and replace the
existing NCP of the ARPANET: TCP/IP would allow for packet
control at the host computer through acknowledgements
and packet flow control. This internet protocol would function
through a series of long streams of bytes. TCP/IP would remain open when deciding
upon the parameters that would allow the protocol windowing, which was required
to control the flow of these packets. TCP/IP would function through a 32-bit
assigned IP address of which the first 8 bits designated the network
while the remaining 24 bits signified the host
computer’s network. These features had a major
motivation behind them. The creators and ARPANET and of
course TCP/IP wanted much more than just sharing small sized
emails and simple voice transfers. Kahn and Cerf intended to
design the new protocol for various new topics that
networking could handle. These included techniques to share files,
folders, accessing the time sharing resources on the ARPANET and further
in time, even bigger tasks like sharing
printers and devices. The very first release of
this new protocol was put to test and it did not include
the IP section to it. Thus, in its initial beginning,
it was only TCP that worked. Kahn and team put the TCP to test
and observed different behaviours and algorithms by which two connected
computers now shared packets. It should be noted however,
that this was only the initial release of TCP and it was tested
out through a virtual circuit. This initial release was good
for file transfers and sharing between two computers but certain
roadblocks still lay open. There was certain amount of packet loss
observed and was concluded that a certain amount of packet loss correction be
left out for the computer to deal with. This led the team to develop its
integrated section – the IP address. This address was to remain
as an ‘identification number’ for the computer to
be connected to the host. This led to a final
reorganisation of the TCP to include the IP address
and thus became TCP/IP. The protocol was innovative
and revolutionary in handling packets from the
host to the node computer. It also incorporated the IP
address now that the problem of certain packet loss by
TCP was now also solved. The problem of packet radio system
seemed to have finally rested. An alternative for those
machines that were either not compatible with TCP or did not
want to use the TCP was the UDP, designed and implemented by Kahn and
team and was not very different from the original TCP in that UDP was more
preferable for ‘physical’ packet check instead of checksums that were being
provided and implemented by TCP/IP. The introduction of the
new packet handling protocol totally changed
the game of networking. Several challenges that lay prior to
TCP/IP were now resolved and perhaps the only thing left for networking
was its efficient commercialisation and further designing and
modification that could suit the requirements of
not just 256 connections but probably thousands
or even more than that as conceived by the
developers of networking. As simple as it might have seemed,
this was no easy job either. The new protocol that
was introduced still functioned for ARPANET’s
registered members, and since those had increased
over the years since the network’s inception, TCP/IP
functioned robustly well. However, how were the designers
planning on introducing and finally releasing this
technology for general purpose? This was still a question that had
its answer only during the 1980s when several technological changes
further led the idea of networking to become an even more ‘loosely
connected’ array of computers, all sharing certain characters and the
contents stored in those computers. The main idea behind networking that
was proposed in the 1960s was now becoming a reality, after consistent
effort laid down by its founders. Finally, in late 1970s, the real
face of networking started to emerge as more and more users started
using it for sending emails, small attachments, files and folders,
send voice communication similar to memos and an idea borrowed from telephony
but implemented in digital format. Thus, the idea of open
architecture networking was now truly making itself emerged
to the rest of the world. However, the story never ended there again. The newly introduced TCP/IP
was operable for a number of operating systems and
machines of those times but how was it to cope up with
time and increasing number of computing machines both
at the workplace and home? With the start of the new
decade, a plethora of operating systems and
business enterprises emerged. Firms like Microsoft and Apple,
among others were now increasingly competing against themselves to
capture computer market share. Each one of those empires needed
networking as one of their core areas of operations and the designers of
ARPANET had to face a new challenge – to make TCP/IP even simpler
and more flexible for it to exist for the several
coming decades to come. Contracts were handed to Stanford,
BBN and UCL California. Headed by Cerf himself, their
task now was different from their purely technical
background and work experience. The task now was whether TCP/IP
required major changes to its design or was it satisfactory enough for
several machines to operate upon it. Several experimentations provided
the conclusion that the ‘final’ release of TCP/IP was still too complex
and big for domestic machines, other than the workstations for which
it was specifically designed for. Cerf and his team thus set out again
to simplify the infrastructure of TCP/IP for upcoming major machines
to become compatible with it. Changes were introduced and were tested out
on machines like the IBM PC and Xerox Alto. New changes were successful
and both computers were able to operate with
TCP/IP with 100% results. The only task left, and which
required much time was how will the new and universally flexible
TCP/IP test the passage of time. This was a question that
required patience and gradual developments to the
protocol’s implementation and algorithm as computing
itself was evolving rapidly. Transition to World Wide Web In its final years of ARPANET,
the designers, both old and new were very excited and proud
on how their simple inception of connecting just a handful of computers
was now becoming a global reality. As if the whole concept had
changed altogether and become an integrated part of human life in
just a matter of years and months. In its early years of transition
to a globalised network, the transition phase could
be divided into two stages – technical transition and implementation
by networking agencies, scientific forums and academic community side-by-side
domestic computers and finally, the full scale commercialisation
of internet that had to have rules and regulations for its proper
functioning and smooth experience. The technical side of TCP/IP’s prior bugs
and hindrances were now fully resolved. Computing itself was evolving on an
unimaginable scale and these machines were not just now limited to university
campuses and academia personnel. Computing in general was undergoing a total
change in its purpose of existence and its overall objective to serve the general
public without any global restriction. The 1980s saw the very first
computer giants emerged. Microsoft and Apple were one of
those and still exist today as the dominant computer hardware and
software catering enterprises. Microsoft, under the guidance
and leadership of Bill Gates were fast becoming a
commercial empire of its own, and with the failure of Apple to
capture subsequent market share owing to its failure of its
revolutionary Macintosh computer, was now also making decisions
to making networking a default, in-built operation
in all of its machines. The emergence of TCP/IP simply
changed the wave of networking. The newly designed protocol was so innovative
that federal agencies and organisations were recommending its implementation
in all of its machines and computers. The once secretive and limited
protocol that was used only by a select individuals
and academic professors had gained global popularity and
computer producers were consulting, holding meetings and conferences with
the original designers of ARPANET and its revolutionary protocol
on how to implement networking as the default option in all
of its operating systems. UNIX was now a very widely
used operating system now and its developers came
up with quick solutions. TCP/IP was now included as the default
networking protocol to connect to anywhere it wanted; the rest
of the world simply followed. Microsoft released its very
first GUI interface and later on, the Windows operating
system that included all aspects of networking
right from networking software preinstalled on
every Windows machines. Apple never lagged behind
and incorporated the default version of TCP/IP
to its Macintosh system. Thus, in a span of just
five years, starting from 1985 till early
1990s, networking became an inbuilt feature of all operating systems
and machines that were fully operating. Thanks to the efforts laid by
its founding fathers, TCP/IP, teamed up with the ever evolving
infrastructure of ARPANET, gave way to our modern day world wide web. Several commercialisation
activities and networking firms started to appear
during the mid 1990s, when the DOS and newly introduced Windows
operating system was the dominant norm. Firms like Cisco, Asus,
Intel and AMD were one of the first computer
hardware start-ups. These were setup to
cater to all of the professional and domestic
computer community and thus came forward with several
hardware innovations and inventions that were to include nearly every
feature in just one motherboard rather setting up several
chipsets to make one computer. Intel and AMD were the first
ones to set up their processor units, and these were to process
TCP/IP calls on a default basis. The rest of the evolution
of the internet was now more of like making
networking a universal truth. Till the late 1990s,
LANs had become a common thing and no longer did
‘small networks’ exist. Network was now undergoing
physical change rather than in its technical infrastructure
or design modification (although those are
things that continuously keep expanding and evolving,
even to this day). Several new technologies
like satellite transmission and fibre cables were defining
networks on new levels. Users for the first time
witnessed increase in speeds up to ten times with the
introduction of satellite imagery and communication with fibre cables
providing speeds into megabytes per second rather than the
traditional kilobytes per second. Dial-ups that used to be the norm
in the 1990s were fast getting replaced by satellite connections
and hi-speed fibre connections. At the start of the new millennium,
internet had become a necessity. The world revolved with
the help of the internet. What started as a small, rudimentary
network of a handful of computers at an American institute
now was a global phenomenon, a medium through which the whole
world connected and communicated. Anybody who would never use it would
simply get disconnected from it. Internet has thus been the
most innovative and ground breaking medium of communication
in the history of mankind. It replaced telephony and telegram that
were the primary modes of communication for most of the decades even during
the time when internet was nascent. It is thus one of the most important
inventions in the history of mankind. You must have understood the importance
of internet and the impact it has had on normal lives of normal human beings and how
it has grown to be the thing we see today. And this is not the end of the story. Internet still evolves
and will keep evolving just like technology
has been for the past five millennia when
humans first started designing handcrafted
machines and simple tools. Like the nut-cracking stone that
first required sharpening and which ultimately led to its evolved
variants in the coming millennia, internet evolved just like every other tool
has done for the past thousands of years. New technologies and techniques
are being added every day before our very eyes as internet becomes
even bigger and more organised. Techniques like HTML, CSS and
Flash are just some of the most commonly taught subjects at technical
institutes and software design. Internet is the result
of complex computing and the technological evolution
we’ve reached so far. It is unlike telephony or
telegram simply because those never required computing or
even a computer to operate. With that in mind, internet will
forever keep evolving and will never halt ceasing if computing
itself has to remain relevant. With every new addition to
the world of internet, new challenges are recognised and
new results are dug out. We now have technologies
that were once thought to be purely imaginary and even
plain philosophical by many. A lot of these ‘prophecies’ turned out
to be true in the following decades. In fact, modern day networking has resulted
in a whole new concept of nomadic computing where an individual simply
does not require a physical connection to a router to
connect to the internet; rather that happens with technologies
like Wi-Fi or even Bluetooth. In the end however, as internet
still keep on evolving, the question will remain as to
how people will manage this gigantic invention that has
changed everything around them, rather than how it would evolve further.

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