Saturday, March 03, 2007

Why We Are Here

"The Internet, of course, is more than a place to find pictures of people having sex with dogs."
Philip Elmer-Dewitt, Time Magazine
With the birth of my daughter and the requisite 3-hour feedings, green poops, and lack of sleep, I began to ponder the birth of the Internet.

Where did this ride start and who changed the diapers in the beginning?

We go back to before I was born, and I'm old...

Back to the 1950s... while computers were not a new concept then, but they were not available in laptop form. Computers were the size of buildings, very slow, with little memory and in need of major air conditioning to keep them cool.

The advances in technology came from cryptography, radar, and battlefield communications out of World War II. Some say it was these government activities that led to the development of the Internet.

Cool - Thank you Sammy!

And then it happened... a great day in US history. An infamous day is perhaps a better way to describe it. On October 4, 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik. Yes Sputnik pushed us to the Internet age.

Due to the Soviets beating America into space, the U.S. government under President Eisenhower launched an aggressive campaign to surpass them with the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA).

ARPA was the U.S. government's research agency for all space and strategic missile research. In 1958, NASA was formed, and the activities of ARPA moved away from aeronautics and focused mainly on computer science and information processing.

In the 1969, the U.S. government created ARPANET, connecting four western universities and allowing researchers to use the mainframes of any of the networked institutions. New connections were soon added to the network, bringing the number of "nodes" from 23 in 1971, to almost 4 million in 1994. Happy Birthday Internet!

But what about Al Gore? (sic)

The Arpanet was based on the concept that there would be multiple independent networks that began with the Arpanet as the pioneering packet-switching network but would soon include packet satellite networks and ground-based packet radio networks.

Makes sense, eh?

Connecting everyone and everything via a common protocol and language. So as the size of the network grew so did its capabilities. In the first 25 years, the Internet added features such as file transfer, email, Usenet news, HTML, and eventually a place to view people having sex with dogs!

Ummm, or rather a place to read the paper, do your Christmas shopping and call Mom ALL from the comfort of your laptop.

It seems new developments pop up overnight. The Internet is now the largest growing commercial marketplace in the world, and better yet, it pays my mortgage! I love it.

So who owns the Internet?

Al Gore?

Ummmm... no.

No one actually owns the Internet... so I guess we all do. You see it's more of a worldwide arrangement of connecting computer networks. Looked after by many organizations, such as: Network Solutions Inc., Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), and the Internet Society (ISOC).

So there it is in nutshell form. From bassinet to full grown over achiever.

Now... back to my pink screaming tax deduction.


PS - Other Birth dates...

1972 - Electronic mail was created allowing computers to send, store and receive messages.
1991 - The HTML was created to write documents for the web.
2000 - Create Value or Die business model was born!