Happy Birthday Internet!

By Sarah Sorensen
December 10, 2009 | Comments: 2

I love a celebration (who doesn't like cake) - especially for those who really deserve to be recognized. The Internet, as you probably know, turned 40 this month. Maybe it's the mother in me, but I would like to take a moment and reflect on how far it has come since its infancy:

1969 - Leonard Kleinrock, a computer science professor at the University of California in Los Angeles and a group of graduate students, connected to a computer at Stanford University and tried to send it some data. Theirs was the first real world attempt to make the concept of Arpanet, which was the idea to connect computers over phone lines led by the Department of Defense's Advance Research Project Agency (DARPA), a reality.

In 1970 - Douglas Engelbart received a patent for a "computer mouse." (I know that it's not specifically the network, but I like this fact becausee I am always amazed that years later Douglas learned that it had been licensed to a little company called Apple for "something like $40,000." Ever heard of it!? )

1972 - After a lot of work by luminaries, such as Vinton Gray Cerf and Robert E. Kahn, and many innovations later, the first public demonstration of Arpanet was successfully conducted between forty machines.

1981 - Arpanet had 213 hosts, with a new host added every 20 twenty days.

Sarah Sorensen is the author of The Sustainable Network: The Accidental Answer for a Troubled Planet.

The Sustainable Network demonstrates how we can tackle challenges, ranging from energy conservation to economic and social innovation, using the global network -- of which the public Internet is just one piece. This book demystifies the power of the network, and issues a strong call to action.

1982 - The following year, the term Internet was first used to describe these interconnections between hosts, by 1990, the Internet was the defacto name for this network, particularly after Arpanet was decommissioned.

1991 - The Internet became much more friendly for people like you and me, with the introduction of a "point and click" way of traversing the Internet (Gopher) and the first graphical browser (Mosaic) for the World Wide Web (www).

1995 - The Internet was in entirely commercial hands, with 6.5 million hosts and 100,000 "www" sites.

1996 - Microsoft officially entered the Internet market with its introduction of the MSN browser; there were 40 forty million people connected to the Internet.

1999 - Google puts out its first press release, announcing it received $25 million in equity funding and revealing its ambition to the be leader in online search

2007 - The Apple iPhone is launched, 3 million are sold within 3 days - the mobile network is the way of the future.

2008 - There are 4 billion mobile devices in the world.

2009 - There are almost 1.7 billion users connected to the Internet.

It's hit quite a few milestones! With the promise of many more connections and innovations to come. All that will enable us to access more and more people, information and resources, and find more and more uses for this platform that can improve our personal, business and civic lives.

Again, maybe it's the mother in me, but I very excited and proud to be one of the nodes it's connecting. I know that with a little nurturing and protection, it will continue to grow and create sustainable change the world!

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History in the making !

I became connected in 1993. I first saw the internet in action when studying for 2 weeks in Camden in Maine. AOL seemed so amazing. On arriving back in NZ, nobody had email, I knew I had just experienced the next generation in communication technology. Thanks for the reminder where it all started. Kevin htpp://tweettwins.wordpress.com

Thank you for this timeline. I think people in their day-to-day lives take the Internet for granted, and either forget or don't know that it had relatively modest beginnings. I think the Internet is a prime example of why government funding of university research is so vital and needs to be increased.

Like Kevin, my first experience on the Internet was through AOL and the World Wide Web. I'm amazed at how integral it is to my daily life now.

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