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1969 and the Beginning of the Internet

Updated on September 1, 2009

The Beatle's Abbey Road LP and Let It Be LP had been out a short while, the first lunar landing had just happened, 8-track tapes were replacing the LP slowly, mini-skirts kept on getting shorter, fashion was defined by Carnaby Street in London and nobody really knew what "computer" meant.

Nobody except for some 20 people at a lab at UCLA in California. It was on Sept. 2, 1969, long before many reading this were even born, that these 20 people watched two huge, bulky computers passed junk test data to each other via a 15 foot cable. It was the first ever "computer network" called Arpanet. From this one network, many others slowly built on throughout the 70s, 80s. Stanford, UC Santa Barbara, and Utah University all "connected" to this embryonic network by 1970.

Things took on a life of their own within the "Internet" closed world of academia. Much of the original funding of the Internet originally began with the military which allowed their engineers to create an open network allowing a free flow of information. By the 70s, email and TCP\IP communication protocols allowed for multiple networks to which to connect to. But it was all very limited and was not user friendly. It was not until the 80s that addresses, such as, .com, .org, came into being. It was in the 80s that the public became acclimated to computers and what they can do, although, most still looked upon them a luxury. It was computer games that drove the technology, always needing better graphics, memory and CPU speed. Apple computers were very expensive and their use limited. The Commodore 64 was considered a "VW" of computers, it was cheap and could still be used for word processing and games.

It was not until the 90s that "Internet" became an everyday word when a British physicist created the first "web", which allowed it easier to link to resources from remote locations. America Online began then. From that, web browsers appeared by 1993 or so, which made it easy to go to other sites, although email continued to be a "command" driven hassle. The Internet as we now are use to came into being by 1996. By then, many businesses and government agencies provide web pages and info with a click of button.


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