Week 1 – What I didn’t know about the Internet

As I entered the class for my first COM 125 lesson, I wondered what I could possibly not know about the basics of the Internet. I pretty much grew up in the Internet age and Internet has become an indispensable part of my life. What could I possibly not know about the Internet that I had to take a module called Introduction to the Internet?

Alas, I was wrong. I had not known everything about the basics of the Internet. There is still so much to learn about the Internet.

For instance, I did not know that the Internet (back then it was known as the ARPANET) first went live way back in 1969! I thought it was launched only in the 1980s or 1990s. I guess I got it mixed up with the launching of the World Wide Web (more on that later).

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gif credit: tumblr

Anyway, the project was first started by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the US Department of Defense. First established in 1958, the agency was formed to carry out research and development projects for national security and military purposes. In 1962, J.C.R. Licklider started writing about his Intergalactic Network concept. This concept entails everyone to be connected and able to access any data from anywhere around the world.

Long story short, several people and several organisations including MIT, UCLA, and Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN) were involved in the project. In 1969, four sites: UCLA, Stanford Research Institute (SRI), University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and, University of Utah were selected to establish the first network of computers. Each site worked on a software to make its computers and Interface Message Processors (IMPs) to communicate. ARPANET finally went live when the computers of these 4 sites were successfully connected to each other.

ARPANET was eventually shut down in 1990. In the same year, the Internet was officially launched to the public.

“Who’s the father of the Internet?”

“ARPANET”

~ Mr Abel Choy, my COM 125 lecturer

As much as this joke was punny, it was strangely accurate. The Internet would not have existed if it wasn’t for ARPANET. (Note for those who didn’t get the joke, ARPANET is pronounced as “Ah Pa Net”. Ah Pa means father, so ARPANET basically translates to “Father of the Internet”.)

Moving on to a few decades later, the concept of World Wide Web was first introduced by Tim-Berners Lee in 1989. It is basically a system of interlinked hypertext documents on the Internet. People can access anything on the web pages through using a web browser. The World Wide Web, which I initially confused it with the Internet, was launched in 1991.

Two more things I didn’t know about the Internet:

  • Extranet. I never know that existed. Basically it’s kind of like the intranet but it also “provides controlled access to authorized customers, vendors, partners, or others outside the company”.
  • .org. I thought it basically stands for “organisation”. It was only during this week’s class that I learnt it actually stands for “non profit organisation”.

Until next time peeps!

Sources:

http://www.computerhistory.org/internethistory/1960s/

http://www.darpa.mil/about-us/darpa-history-and-timeline

http://www.ijcsit.com/docs/Volume%205/vol5issue06/ijcsit20140506265.pdf

https://axerosolutions.com/blogs/timeisenhauer/pulse/165/intranets-vs-extranets-what-s-the-difference

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