Shopping, banking, booking a holiday – even just staying in touch with friends – wouldn’t be the same without it.
So it seems hard to imagine it was only 30 years ago that the internet was born. January 1, 1983, was the first time the US defence department’s Arpanet network fully switched to use the internet protocol suite system.
Six years later, the world wide web would come into being and our lives were changed for ever.
Chris Edwards, an electronics correspondent for Engineering and Technology magazine, said: ‘I don’t think that anybody making that switch on the day would have realised the importance of what they were doing.
‘The internet means there is nowhere and no one in the world you can’t reach easily and cheaply.’
Based on designs by Welsh scientist Donald Davies (pictured), the Arpanet network began as a military project in the late 1960s. It was developed at prestigious American universities and research laboratories, such as the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Stanford Research Institute.
Starting in 1973, work on the powerful and flexible IPS and Transmission Control Protocol technology which would change mass communications got under way.
The new systems were designed to replace the more vulnerable Network Control Program used previously, making sure the network was not exposed to a single point of failure.
By 1983, the substitution of the older system for the new internet protocol had been completed and the internet was born.
English computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee was then able to use it to host the system of interlinked hypertext documents he invented in 1989, known as the World Wide Web. The rest, as they say, is history.
|Click image to enlarge|