A World Wide Network


The Internet grew out of US efforts to build the ARPANET, a network of peer computers built during the cold war. The two major players were military and academia. The military wanted to build a robust network that could survive attacks, and the academia for economic reasons. Computers were expensive so sharing them in a network was desired.

The network was simple and based on a revolutionary idea: packet switching. Any content is broken into packets that are sent over the network and then assembled on the other end. Each packet is routed through number of computers connected together. No effort was put into security or social responsibility. The early Internet community was mainly highly educated and respectable scientist.

In this lecture I cover the brief history of this global network:

1969-1995 Computer Networking: Simple network run by pioneers. Most users were academics or scientist.

1995-2000 Commercialisation and Growth: Enter the ISPs and the public.

2000-2005 Stretching the Limit: New applications, peer-to-peer communication and digital media.

2005-2010 Reinventing the Network: The New Internet emerges, with Web 2.0 and new businesses that are built on the web.

2010-2015 The App Internet, Smart and Local: Mobile takes over the internet

In the early 1990s the World Wide Web, a hypertext system is introduced, and soon browsers start to appear, leading the commercialization of Net. New businesses emerge and a technology boom known as the dot-com era.

Now 45 years after the first nodes were connected, the network continues to be stretched. Problems such as spam, viruses, antisocial behaviour, and demands for more content are prompting reinvention of the Net and threatening its neutrality. Add to this government efforts to regulate and limit the network.

In this lecture we look at the Internet and the impact of the network. We will also look at the future of the Internet.

Lecture L16 A World Wide Network, part 1:

Part 2: