Internet: Past, Present & Fut
Past, Present & Fu
Technology Today March 2008
Special Pullout Section
Part of the ongoing
series looking at the The Internet—everyone’s friend?
technology from its
invention to future When the Internet was part in the lives of so For more details about the
uses first created, it was never many people—email, the history of the Internet,
intended to be used as it is WWW, file transfer and so turn to page 2 and see how
today. Its sole purpose on. it all began!
was as a military tool to
Introduction: Without the Internet, all
allow for communication
of these things would not
This is the next in the se- in the event of a nuclear
be possible. We would
ries of pullout sections. war.
have to return to using
This issue looks at the Developed by the military libraries for research; let-
Internet—its history, its for use by the military, ters to send messages; the
present state and what who would have thought Royal Mail for transfer-
the future holds. This that it would play a major ring files…
pullout should give you a
broad understanding of
the Internet and what it
is. The here and now
In the UK, a large propor- mation at your finger tips
Inside this issue: tion of households have 24/7 means that we are
access to the Internet. more aware of world
The increase in the use of events than our ancestors.
A brief history 2 email for both business Is this a good thing? Who
and personal use has can say. However, choice
Heroes of our time 2 made far away places is good and we have more
seem much closer. choice than ever before.
So what is hypertext? 2
Access to a wealth of infor- See page 3 for more...
What is the Internet 3
John Doe—a case 3 The Internet crystal ball
The Internet around 3 The future always con- make it to the European
the world tains unknowns. How- markets.
ever, with the Internet,
New technology on its 4 Of course, other develop-
the near future can be
way ments will occur over time
predicted by looking at the
making the future much
The future in our 4 far east.
more exciting for many
hands Many new technologies people.
Will you get left 4 already exist in countries
Read more on page 4...
behind? like Japan and have yet to
Page 2 Internet: Past, Present & Future
A brief history
There is no clear date to indicate 60,000 in 1988 and 100,000 in 1989. hosts and 50 of them used HTML to
when the Internet was actually form websites.
The Internet was revolutionised
created. However, the first time one 1993 saw huge progress with the
though in 1990 when the WWW was
computer ‘talked’ to another was on launch of the first online shopping
October 26th 1969. malls and Internet banking. Sadly,
In 1991, the Internet was “released”
The first email message was sent in it also saw the introduction of
to allow commercial traffic. One
1971 by an engineer working for the SPAM.
year later, there were over 1 million
Advanced Research Projects Agency, By 1997, it was even possible to
using the ARPANET. access the Internet from a mobile
The ARPANET was created to allow phone.
the US military to communicate in The new millennium was marked
the event of a nuclear attack by the with over 1 billion webpages existing
Russians. on the Internet and a range of
By 1977, ARPANET had over 100 damaging viruses.
hosts connected to it; 10,000 in 1987; A long journey in a short time!
Heroes of our time
The development of the Internet and computers. Such was working at CERN in Switzer-
the WWW has resulted in a number forethought led to land and suggested a system based
of key figures, many of whom are the creation of the on the concept
relatively unknown. ARPANET, later of hypertext.
becomin g th e He went on to
Do you know who first thought up
Internet. create this
the idea of the Internet? Who
created the WWW? Well maybe now The inventor of
is the time to learn about them. the WWW itself,
what we now
John Licklider, an American working know as the
part of the Internet, was a British
for the ARPA, wrote a paper describ- WWW.
scientist called Tim Berners-Lee. He
ing a globally–connected network of
So what is hypertext?
Hypertext, in its simplest form, is However, hypertext is not only found them together.
text that when clicked, is linked to on the Internet. It is
other text. possible to have a word-
processed document that
The most commonly used incarna-
contains links to differ-
tion of hypertext is on the World
ent parts of the docu-
Wide Web. Webpages contain links
ment or even different
to other pages or other websites and
documents or webpages.
this is done using hypertext.
Without hypertext, the
In fact, webpages are generally writ-
WWW would simply con-
ten using HTML (HyperText
tain a set of pages with-
out the ability of link
Technology Today Page 3
What is the Internet today?
Most people assume that when they parts?
talk about the Internet, they are
File transfer simply allows you to
talking about the World Wide Web.
transfer files form one computer to
The WWW is actually just one part
another using FTP. Telnet allows a
of what the Internet is. Add email,
user to remotely login to another
file transfer, telnet access and
computer, possibly on the other side
newsgroups and you have a more
of the world. Newsgroups consist of
a set of machines that exchange
The Internet itself is simply a large articles about many varied topics.
network connecting many smaller They are primarily used by
networks. No one organisation owns governments, universities and
it or controls it. It is only thanks to businesses although anyone can
TCP/IP that the whole things works access them for free.
So next time you say “Internet”, try
Everyone is familiar with the part of and be a little more specific in
the Internet that is the WWW and exactly what you are talking about!
email; but what about the other
John Doe from BT’s Future Technologies Division
John Doe works in the high-tech to stay in contact with both together through the Internet.”
Future Technologies Division of BT. colleagues and family at the click of
Mark Willimott recently asked him a button.”
to sum up his use of Internet tech-
“At lunch I can connect to the
nology in an average day.
Internet on my mobile phone to
“I use the WWW both at work and at check my personal emails.”
home. At work, primarily for re-
“When out of the office, I access my
search or to send large files around
work email using my PDA. and I can
the world in the matter of seconds.
Telnet into my office machine.”
At home, I do the food shopping
online—it saves so much time.” “I simply could not live without
modern technology, all linked
“Email is important in allowing me
Interesting facts and figures:
The Internet around the world 1. The most visited sites on the
WWW are Google, Yahoo,
Asia currently leads the world in The UK risks falling a long way
AOL and MSN
terms of the number of Internet behind unless more money is spent
users (510m). Followed by Europe in upgrading key infrastructure 2. 17,000 new domains are added
with 348m users. ready for the future! every day
Currently English is the most used 3. The top 5 countries for Inter-
language on the Internet. It is likely net usage are USA, China,
that Chinese will overtake English Japan, Germany and India
before the end of the decade. 4. The Internet is the fastest
The fastest speeds on the Internet growing communication tool
can be found in Japan and Sweden. 5. Native English speakers make
This is due to a high level of up over 35% of the online
investment in fibre optic technology. population
Part of the ongoing
series looking at the New Technology on its wa
technology from its
invention to future us
Japan has the highest
number of broadband
users in the world. They
are currently working
on new technology that wil
l completely replace
the Internet as we know
it today. The u-Japan
initiative is working to put
microchips in every-
day electrical appliances
, all connected to-
gether. They are hoping
to create a society
where everyone and eve
rything are connected
together. Anyone, anytim
e and anywhere will
be able to benefit from
this “network” without
needed to physically connec
t to it!
We can expect the same
technologies to arrive
before the end of the de
The future in our hands
The Internet will continue to develop Different devices will become inter-
as long as we want it to. It keeps connected allowing users to run their
getting cheaper and faster and easier lives on the move.
to access because that is what con-
Imagine being able to use your mo-
bile phone text your heating system
To stay ahead of the game, the big from the train to turn it on; to turn
Internet players are having to invest on the washing machine; to turn the
huge sums of money to meet de- oven on.
This is isn’t too far fetched. Users of
It is predicted that by 2020, most Sky+ have long been able to text
mobile networks will run at one GB/ their set-top box to record pro-
second. This is a huge increase on grammes simply using their mobile
today’s fastest networks which oper- phones!
ate at a fraction of this.
We are not far from this utopia now!
Will you get left behind?
Most people in the UK will not get must lie with other countries that
left behind. Large numbers of the are not so well-equipped.
population already have access to
As e-citizens we have a responsibil-
and use the Internet on a daily or
ity to help those that are disadvan-
taged across the work to have access
As the years go by, today’s young to the same tools as us.
generation will become the pension-
The Internet is great and will be-
ers of tomorrow. They have, of
come greater. Just remember the
course, grown up with computers
famous saying “Knowledge is power”.
and the Internet. It is second nature
The Internet could provide a level
playing field for all the world’s in-
This means that the real concerns habitants.