April 7, 1969 is considered to be the symbolic birth of the Internet. It is the day the first Request for Comments about the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), was published, outlining just how computers would talk to each other over a host to host network. The system originally consisted of only four IMPs (Interface Message Processors) the University of California at Los Angeles, the Augmentation Research Center at Stanford Research Institute (which would later become NIC, the Network Information Center), the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah’s Computer Science Department.
From this small beginning the Internet grew and developed until it’s hard for many of us to remember how we ever got along without it. It’s hard to imagine any business nowadays without a Web page, or communicating with distant friends or family without email or Skype or texting. We do research, keep in touch, do shopping, follow the news, create blogs – the Internet is pervasive in our lives.
For some reading this, you will not be able to remember a time without the Internet. For other older folks like me, you can remember not only before it existed, but the excitement of being able to access distant databases over a 300 baud modem. How far we have come! Without the Internet it would be much harder for me to keep in contact with my family across the country, or my friends who live all over the US and Europe and beyond – or to do this blog!
Here are a few quotes about the Internet.
The Internet is the world’s largest library. It’s just that all the books are on the floor. ~John Allen Paulos
Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use the Internet and they won’t bother you for weeks. ~Author Unknown
We’ve heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true. ~Robert Wilensky
The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had. ~Eric Schmidt
First we thought the PC was a calculator. Then we found out how to turn numbers into letters with ASCII — and we thought it was a typewriter. Then we discovered graphics, and we thought it was a television. With the World Wide Web, we’ve realized it’s a brochure. ~Douglas Adams
The Internet is an important cultural phenomenon, but that doesn’t excuse its failure to comply with basic economic laws. The problem is that it was devised by a bunch of hippie anarchists. ~Thomas Nolle
The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow. Bill Gates
I think that the Internet – and I do love the free flow of ideas on the ‘Net – is like the wild west of the information world. Vince McMahon
As a source of innovation, an engine of our economy, and a forum for our political discourse, the Internet can only work if it’s a truly level playing field. Small businesses should have the same ability to reach customers as powerful corporations. A blogger should have the same ability to find an audience as a media conglomerate. Al Franken
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