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Internet

Birth of the internet

Last Updated July 25, 2007

The internet was originally conceived for the U.S. military as a means of allowing a community of computers to share information over distance. It's generally accepted that its later development was spurred on as much for research purposes as for military applications.

The body in charge of setting up the network was the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). In 1967, ARPA enlisted the help of the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, Calif., to design the system. Within a year, Stanford researchers had designed a framework, which ARPA contracted out for implementation.

The first two nodes were installed at UCLA and Stanford Research Institute in August of 1969, but it wasn't until two months later that the machines made first contact.

On October 29, 1969, at 10:30 p.m., UCLA engineering professor Leonard Kleinrock and student Charley Kline attempted to send a message from one Honeywell computer to a similar unit 600 kilometres away at Stanford Research Institute in Palo Alto. The connection speed was 50 kb/s.

The first message was supposed to be the word "login," but the system crashed as they typed in the letter "g." The first message, then, was "lo." Although it was a bumpy – if not prophetic – beginning, the researchers were able to complete the message one hour later.

And so the ARPANET (the term internet was not coined until 1982) was born.




Evolution of the internet

Oct. 29, 1969
The first message (the letters "l" and "o") is sent over ARPANET.

December 1969
The University of Utah and University of California Santa Barbara now have ARPANET nodes, bringing the worldwide total to four.

1970
ARPANET has grown to 10 nodes and 19 host computers.

1971
The world's first network e-mail system is created.

1973
Hawaii joins ARPANET via the network's first satellite link.

1974
Telenet, the first commercially available version of ARPANET, is introduced by Bolt - Beranek & Newman (BBN).

1977
ARPANET grows to 111 hosts.

1980
A virus temporarily disables ARPANET.

1982
Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP) established as system by which different networks can communicate. These linked networks come to be known as the internet.

1984
ARPANET grows to 1,000 hosts.

1985
All Canadian Universities are now connected to a shared network known as NetNorth.

1988
Canada joins NSFNET, an international backbone of computing centres that enables more network connections.

1989
  • the World Wide Web (WWW) is created by Tim Berners-Lee of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN)
  • there are 100,000 internet hosts worldwide
1990
  • ARPANET ceases to function, giving way to the internet.
  • Tim Berners-Lee authors the first browser-editor, called WorldWideWeb. He also authors the communication language of the internet - Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) as well as the standard by which web pages were to be written, known as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML).
1992
The first audio and video are broadcast over the internet, which now has one million hosts.

1993
There are 15 million people online worldwide and the CBC's Bill Cameron reports, "The internet is growing like an embryonic brain at a rate of 10 per cent a month."

October 1994
Netscape releases the beta version of the world's first commercially available web browser - Mozilla 0.96b.

1995
  • Sun Microsystems introduces the Java programming language.
  • RealAudio is introduced, allowing users to listen to audio over the internet in near-real time.
  • ; CBC goes online with its website.
  • The Vatican goes online with its home page.
September 1998
The search engine Google is introduced.

October 1998
Open Diary, an early blogging service, is launched.

June 1999
Shawn Fanning launches the online music sharing service Napster, which popularizes peer-to-peer file sharing and draws the ire of the recording industry, which accuses Napster of massive copyright infringement. The original service would be shut down in July 2001.

January 2000
AOL buys Time Warner for $162 billion US, forming AOL Time Warner in the largest-ever corporate merger.

January-March 2000
The Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches a record of 11,722.98. Two months later, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Index also reaches an all-time high, marking the bursting of the dot-com bubble.

2001
  • Dave Winer, author of the RSS format, includes a Grateful Dead song in a blog post, demonstrating for the first time what would later be called podcasting.
  • The English edition of Wikipedia launches. The online encyclopedia, which invites users to edit and add entries, grows to include approximately 7.8 million entries in 253 languages in 2007.
2002

There are more than 150 million internet hosts and 840 million users worldwide.

2003
  • Apple launches its iTunes music downloading service.
  • Internet company eUniverse (later named Intermix) launches social networking website MySpace. A year later, competing site Facebook launches.
January 2004

For the first time since its launch, Amazon.com makes its first full-year profit.

November 2004

The Mozilla Firefox web browser is launched.

February 2005

Youtube.com, a video-sharing website, goes online.

November 2005

News Corp., the parent company of Fox, buys MySpace for $580 million US.

October 2006

Google Inc. buys YouTube for $1.65 billion US.

December 2006

In a nod to the popularity and influence of sites with user-generated content such as Wikipedia, MySpace and YouTube, Time Magazine names "You" the 2006 Person of the Year.

June 2007

Total worldwide number of internet users is 1.17 billion, according to InternetWorldStats.com.

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