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A Brief History of the Internet

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The Internet consists of a network of interconnected computers that transmit data using standard internet protocol (IP). Most people believe that the internet began in the mid-1990s, but in reality, it began much earlier than that.

In 1958 AT&T introducted the first commercial modem. It converted digital computer data into analog signals for transmission across its long distance network. This invention allowed computers to communicate over normal telephone circuits used for standard voice phone calls.

By the end of the 1960s, the Department of Defense constructed one of the first physical networks of computers by linking nodes at the Email University of California at Los Angeles, SRI (in Stanford), University of California at Santa Barbara, and University of Utah. This was known as the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), and it grew quickly in the early 1970's, reaching 57 interconnected nodes in the network by July, 1975.

It was only a couple years after ARPANET began that the first e-mail program for the network was created by Ray Tomlinson in 1971. Tomlinson is also credited as the one who decided to use the @ symbol in email addresses. He sent the first email that same year. Five years later, in 1976, the Queen of England sent her first e-mail from a British Army base as a part of a demonstration of networking technology.

It wasn't until 1974 that the term "internet" was first used. The first documentation of the term was in a paper by Vinton "Vint" Cerf and Bob Kahn on Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). TCP is a fundamental protocol for Internet communications, allowing networked computers to create connections to one another, which can then be used to exchange data. WWW These days people sometimes refer to the Internet as cyberspace, and the term "cyberspace" was coined in 1984 by William Gibson in his book, Neuromancer.

Many people think that the World Wide Web (WWW) is synonymous with the Internet, but the WWW is actually just a service that runs on the Internet. Other commonly known services operating over the Internet include email and FTP (File Transfer Protocol), but there are others such as Gopher and Usenet, which are not very popular or well known these days.

The World Wide Web was invented in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee, in an effort to link scientific research. At the time he was a scientist at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. As part of the WWW he developed the HyperText Markup Language, better known as HTML, which is the language used to create web pages. In addition to HTML, other specifications such as Uniform Resource Locator (URL) and HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) had to be developed to allow the Internet to expand to handle WWW communications. Continued...

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