In the mid and late 1960’s, the CIA wanted a way to network and communicate around the world with computer data and other information that wasn’t a part of the “regular” phone system so it couldn’t be accessed without permission. As time moved on, the infrastructure for this network was shared with universities and other government installations to speed the sharing of research and other critical data. Thus, was born the Internet.
While not specifically for the public, students and professors became exposed to the resources available on the net, and as students graduated, they wanted to maintain access. As more and more business connected to the net, even more people became aware of its existence for “instant” communication via email and the Usenet newsgroups. With the development of the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) and the development of the web browser, and further openness to the general public, the brainchild of the CIA had become easy enough to use so that anyone who had access could use it. All of these advances have led us to the point where if you don’t have internet connectivity in your home, you’re almost lost.
Except for the points where satellite transfers are necessary, all the communication between computers had been through wires. From networking cables within the institutions where the computers were located, through telephone exchanges, and through regular phone lines to connect to modems. Until the internet was opened to the general public, all home users had available were local bulletin board systems, or BBS’s. But once the net opened, the same modems users had could also be used to connect to the internet. But these modems were slow! Read the rest of this entry »