Plyojump - Computer History
Computer History - Networks (1845-present), and The Internet Era (1994-Present)
Additional Resource at The Beacon - http://fios.verizon.com/history-of-the-internet/
"The Victorian Internet" by Tom Standage
"In the nineteenth century there were no televisions, aeroplanes, computers, or spacecraft; neither were there antibiotics, credit cards, microwave ovens, compact discs, or mobile phones. There was, however, an Internet..."
- Optical telegraphs were used by Napoleon in the early 1800s
- The first practical telegraph was developed and demonstrated by Samuel Morse in 1845
- By 1850, there were over 12,000 miles of telegraph lines in the United States.
- The first telegraph cable was laid across the Atlantic in 1858, and by 1960s there was a global worldwide network whose expansion rivals the Internet today
- Telegraphs, unlike the phones which replaced them, are digital devices using "1s" and "0s"
- By the 1850s congestion was a major problem for telegraph offices. Bottlenecks were arising as messages were held up due to the enormous traffic. London solved the problem by using steam-powered pneumatic tubes to carry messages short distances. In Paris the system was extensive enough to often avoid sending telegraphs at all. In New York the tubes were large enough to carry large parcels and on one occasion a cat was sent from one post office to another by pneumatic tube.
- Computerlike mechanisms called "routers" were used to exchange telegraph data by the 1860s
Structure of the Victorian Internet:
- Telegraph wires to send short "texting" digital data
- Pneumatic tubes to send longer messages and small items - often across an entire city
- A mixture of human operators and mechanical devices were used to route digital data
- Mostly human operators until the 1870s
- Mostly mechanical "routers" (like Internet routers) 1870 and later
- Specialized output devices ("tickers") carried news feeds, stock quotes
- Images could be transmitted and printed by the 1870s - proto "fax"
Samuel Morse as an old man, along with an advanced version of a typing/printing telegraphic system
It's been done before...excerpts from "The Victorian Internet"
Trying to "multitask"
One New York businessman complained in a speech in 1868: "The merchant goes home after a day of hard work ... to a late dinner, trying amid the family circle to forget business, when he is interrupted by a telegram from London, directing, perhaps, the purchase in San Francisco of 20,000 barrels of flour, and the poor man must dispatch his dinner as hurriedly as possible in order to send off his message to California. The businessman of the present day must be continually on the jump ... He must use the telegraph."
IMing and online chats
"During quiet times and after business hours, operators on-line would break out the IMs and chatrooms. According to a contemporary account, "Stories are told, opinions exchanged, and laughs enjoyed, just as if the participants were sitting together at a club." One after-hours "meeting" was shared by hundreds of telegraph employees in 33 offices along a 700-mile "wire".
Some of these "tales of the wires" would be reported in newspapers - but the inventor Thomas Edison noted that far more went unpublished because they were too rude or
sexually explicit. The more things change, eh?
Even the so-called modern phenomenon of the socially awkward "internet nerd" dates back to those days: telegraphers in remote outposts often preferred on-line chat to socialising in real life with the locals.
By the 1870s, a third of the operators at the main telegraph office in New York were female. In Britain, female telegraphers were usually the daughters of clergymen, tradesmen and government clerks, and were typically between 18 and 30 years old and unmarried. As a result, in most offices, female operators were segregated from the men...but they were in contact with their male colleagues over the network throughout the working day. "Ordinarily an operator can tell a woman the moment he hears her working the wire," wrote one telegrapher in 1891. "He tells by her touch on the key. Women, as a rule, do not touch the key of their instruments as firmly as men do."
Many working relationships flowered into online romances. Some flourished; others ended when the operators met for the first time. A novel, Wired Love, about an online courtship, was published in 1879 - beating today's email romance novels by over a century. In the 1840s there was the first online wedding, with the bride in Boston and the groom in New York.
In one famous case, the telegraph operator at an Army base in Arizona was unable to get leave to attend his own wedding in California, so he invited his fiancee to the camp and they were then married by their chosen minister, who was 650 miles away. The manager of the California and Arizona lines arranged for all of them to be cleared so that the marriage could go ahead smoothly, and invited all operators along the line to "attend" the wedding. At the appropriate time, the couple tapped out "I do" in Morse code. For years afterwards, the groom would be greeted by strangers who turned out to be operators who'd been present at his wedding.
|Internet = "Information Superhighway"||Telegraph = "Highway of Thought"|
|Bits and bytes (1s and 0s)||Dots and Dashes (1s and 0s)|
|Social Networks like Facebook link people into worldwide chats||Up to 1500 telegraph operators at a time participated in worldwide "chats" via the telegraph|
|Due to network limitations on cellphones, users develop their own cryptic code of "smileys" and abbreviated words||Due to network limitations of telegraph transmissions, users develop their own cryptic code of "smileys" and abbreviated words|
|The Internet, by linking everyone in a worldwide network, is expected to promote peace and democracy (think YouTube and Iran)||News of the first transatlantic cable in 1858 led to predictions of world peace and an end to old prejudices and hostilities|
|Presidential Candiate Barak Obama uses the Internet to reach his supporters. Working through websites, social networking sites, and virtual worlds, the received an enormous amount of support and contributions||
Abraham Lincoln's "T-Mails" 1860
"...Abraham Lincoln became president of a divided nation during a period of both technological and social revolution. Among the many modern marvels was the telegraph, which Lincoln used to stay connected to the forces in the field in almost real time. No leader in history had ever possessed such a powerful tool. As a result Lincoln had to learn for himself how to use the power of electronic messages. Without precedent to guide him, Lincoln developed his own model of electronic communications -- an approach that echoes today in our use of email..."
|Internet allows money to be sent via the network, creating e-commerce and online shopping||Telegraphs allow banks to send money via wire, leading to the foundation of Western Union (think "moneygram")|
|Stories and articles warn of the dangers of online romance, and weddings are in virtual worlds like Second Life||Stories and articles warn of the dangers of "racy words" exchanged via the telegraph, and online weddings are performed|
|You've Got Mail (1998)- a movie about an email-based Romance||"Wired Love" (1879) - a movie about a telegraph-based romance|
|People check their Twitter feeds and "friends lists" 6 times a day||Postal mail is so efficient that people send and receive written letters six times a day from their friends.
|Online gaming is popular worldwide, especially in Asia||One if the first uses for the telegraph was to play online chess and checkers matches between distant opponents.|
"The Machine Stops" by E.M. Forrester (1909) - maybe it's not "all good"
- Instant email-style messages appear onscreen
- Projected images
- Skype-style international videocalls
- You wouldn't want to live there
What happened to the Victorian Internet?
- The telephone (developed around 1880) was easier to use than the telegraph, and did NOT use digital technology
- Babbage's computers had been ignored, so there was little reason to advance sending digital data via wire
- Machines began to replace online human operators
- Telegraph-style communications continued to be used for commerce and business
- Babbage's computers had gone into widespread use
- The Victorian Internet had continued to grow and expand
Answer: "Steampunk" - a vision of a computerized world, 19th-century style
Origin of the modern Internet
- By the early 1960s, custom networks linked computers (e.g. SABRE network) managing the US nuclear response
- These networks were controlled from the "top down" - failure of the central computer would crash the network
- Fears of computer control of networks materialized in the movie "Fail Safe" - where a short-circuit in a computer board starts an atomic war
- The call went out to design a computer network that could handle massive disruption without failure
- In the 20th century, one-way "mass media" (radio and television) replaced the Internet-like communication of an early era.
In 1962, Dr. J.C.R. Licklider , a computer visionary, and a key figure in developing ARPANET. He realized that computers and networks were becoming powerful enough to create Vannenr Bush's vision of the Memex
It seems reasonable to envision, for a time 10 or 15 years hence, a 'thinking center' that will incorporate the functions of present-day libraries together with anticipated advances in information storage and retrieval.
The picture readily enlarges itself into a network of such centers, connected to one another by wide-band communication lines and to individual users by leased-wire services. In such a system, the speed of the computers would be balanced, and the cost of the gigantic memories and the sophisticated programs would be divided by the number of users.
- J.C.R. Licklider, Man-Computer Symbiosis, 1960.
Key technologies for creating a network with no center
- Leonard Kleinrock - the theory of "packet switching"
- Ted Nelson - concept of "hypertex" (cribbed from Vanevaar Bush's Memex concept)
- Automatic routing and message transmission without control by central computer control
- Internet (as ARPANet) was truned on Labor Day, 1969
1969 Interface Message Processor - an early Internet router, and a modern consumer home router (2010)
- In 1967, The US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) launched a project to create a distributed computer network using
- Packet switching to increase reliability
- Computers with different operating systems could still "talk" to each other
- Considered a "temporary" system for research only
- The first two nodes of the Internet went "online" on Labor Day 1969 at UCLA
- Stanford, USC, UC Santa Barbra, University of Utah, and the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica were connected soon afterwards
- Email - 1972
- FTP, Telnet - late 1970s
- Connections with other countries (including Russia) in the 1980s
The battle for openness
- The Internet was not owned by anyone - each member owned its own equipment
- Competed with the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) lines, owned by the telephone companies
- De-regulation of telephone industry shifted the balance in favor of the Internet
- Online services like AOL, Prodigy, Compuserve were still dominant in the 1980s
- Central mainframe model, instead of distributed network
- All business, commercial activity controlled by central company
- However, chat rooms, IM, email, image swapping all existed on these platforms
Internet design was always pushed in the direction of "openness"
- Resistance to damage led to easy growth
- Remove a computer - the Internet auto-adjusts
- Add a computer - the Internet auto-adjusts
- No central authority must "approve" adding a computer to the network
- Anyone can connect who can find a nearest neighbor willing to give them a line
- Information wants to be free
- Anyone could connect, no matter what they wanted to do
- Anyone could run any software they invented
- Software code was shared freely with everyone ("copyleft" instead of "copyright")
- No fees, tarrifs for bandwidth (UNLIKE cellphones)
- The network treated all packets as equal (UNLIKE cellphones)
- Many of the Internet's creators had extreme views on openess (crypto-anarchists)
dating from the 1960s
- Restricting access to knowledge is evil
- Copyright is evil
- Art and creative work does not belong to the artist - it belongs to everyone, for free
- Information has "rights"
- Networks like the Internet could be used to destroy Hollywood's "exclusivity" culture
Growth of the Internet in the 1970s and 1980s
A text-based world that nevertheless introduced
- Local networks connected by routers into a single global network
- Group discussion forums
- IM and chat
- Virtual worlds via Multi-User-Dungeons (MUDs)
A MUD (Multi-User Dungeon), and early multiuser virtual world
Movie of the Internet being used in 1981 to create an "e-newspaper"
The BBS (Bulletin Board System) - a competitor to the Internet
- A single mainframe computer stored all data
- Individual users dialed into the BBS via telephone modems
- Centralized control of all information
- AOL (before it went onto the Internet)
- The Source
The Internet's "near death" experience
- The US Military gave up control in 1987
- The Internet was run by the National Science Foundation (NSF) - another government agency
- Everyone still assumet it was a "research" network only
- 1992 - Bill Clinton comes to office - among cost-cutting measures he decides to eliminate funding - in other words, to "kill" the Internet
- But...commercial buying and selling would be allowed, now that it was not a research network
- Al Gore (a big Internet believer) traveled the country - and convinced universities and corporations to fund their Internet nodes out of their own pocket
1991-1993 - The rise of the Web
- The web is NOT the Internet
- The web is just one of 65,535 possible "services" on the Internet - email, online games IMing, are distinct from the web and can run without it
- The web was developed as a way of posting formatted documents online at CERN (a European physics lab)
- The "lab rat" escaped in summer 1993, when University of Illinois grad student Mark Andressen decided to add pictures to web display
A complete history of the web:
Concept map by Tim Berners-Lee for the Web in 1989
Link to the original proposal
Mosaic - the first graphical web browser (1993)
Marc Andressen, who created Mosaic as a summer school project at the University of Illinois in 1993
Netscape - the first commercial browser/dotcom company (1994)
Netscape was co-founded by Marc Andressen and Jim Clark (from Silicon Graphics). Their company pioneered many of the features of a modern Internet company
Ancient web browser downloads - http://browsers.evolt.org/
The dawn of the "Dotcom" era (1994)
- The Internet began growing rapidly in 1994 with the appearance of web browsers
- Netscape IPO - 1995
- Internet Explorer - 1995
- Apple drops the ball (and almost goes out of business a decade later)
- Hype exploded, matching the Victorian Internet 150 years earlier
Link to Kaleidospace Home Page - Spring, 1994
Kaleidospace (later renamed indiespace.com)
Web pages from the 1990s
Yahoo! in 1996
Hotmail in 1996
Napster in 1999
See billions of web pages from 1996 and later at http://web.archive.org
The Internet (and other networks) during 1990s
What was a dotcom?
A dot-com was an Internet business which relied on harnessing "network effects". It operated losing money while trying to build market share or "mindshare". The companies promised that they could build enough brand-awareness in the new world of the Internet to begin charging for their services later. During the loss period the companies relied on millions of dollars of venture capital to fuel their operations. Historically, the dot-com boom can be seen as similar to a number of other technology-inspired booms of the past including railroads in the 1840s, automobiles and radio in the 1920s and transistor electronics in the 1950s.
The Dotcom Crash - 2001-2003
- Many companies failed to deliver on their promise
- The Internet was less novel - less surfing to explore
- Sept. 11th caused a general economic recession
Accordint to George Stalk of Boston Consulting, 34% of the 109 pure-play dot-com fatalities were because of business models that didn't bring in enough revenue or were burdened with too many costs to have even a chance at survival.
The rise and fall of the technology-heavy NASDAQ, and a the icon for pets.com, a casulty of the dotcom crash
Some companies significant in the dotcom bubble (Wikipedia)
- Boo.com - high-fashion clothing sale
- Pets.com - pet food and supplies online
- eToys.com - toys online
- Peapod.com - deliver grocies to homes after they were ordered online
- Garden.com - garden supplies
- eBay - oOnline auctions
- Amazon - online book sales
- Media and Entertainment
- Netscape - the first dotcom, created the Netscape (now Firefox) web browser
- America Online - a BBS mutated to Internet content provider
- Broadcast.com - promised to download music and television
- American Cybercast - tried to create Internet television networks (proto-YouTube)
- Kaleidospace - sell music by indie musicians online
- Social Networking
- GeoCities - the first social network. Closed down in 2009
- TheGlobe.com - another social network
- Firefly.com - social network with "collaborative filtering" (like Facebook and Myspace today)
- Yahoo - Internet search, coupled with entertainment and news (portal)
- What were they thinking
- Digiscents.com - tried to transmitt smells over the Internet
- Startup.com - a dotcom for dotcoms(!)
The Social Network era - post 2004
- Social networks, facebook-like, were tried in the 1990s and failed (e.g. Firefly)
- But after 2004, a new "Millennial" generation which had grown up with the Internet came of age
- "Millennials" understood and used social networks immediately, triggering the "Myspace" and "Facebook" booms
Tne "new dotcoms" - which actually made money (search and social networking)
The Internet in 2010
Mobile devices like the iPhone become a primary means of communication
"Outsider" politicians like Barak Obama and Ron Paul use the Internet to gather votes and money. Obama becomes our first "Internet President"
Internet topology (connections of all the sub-networks in the world) Credit: Bill Cheswick, Lumeta Corp
Future Internet Trends
- Dominance of Google
- Blurring of all communication into one metaverse (e.g. Google Groups)
- Virtual Worlds
- Return to the mainframe
- More and more data is stored online, instead of local hard drives
- Computation itself is moving online - "cloud computing"
- Data controlled by companies, government, instead of the individual
- Netboooks and Google Chrome - small computers which put EVERYTHING online - no local applications
- Lifelogging or 'Total Recall" - record everthing (and share it)
- Gordon Bell's book on lifelogging - "Total Recall" - http://totalrecallbook.com/
- A funny take on 20-something lifelogging
- The dominance of Asia
- There are 300 million people in India who are "middle class" - more than the entire population of the US
- Adoption of new technology (e.g. cellphones, texting, virtual worlds) happens in Asia first
- Internet connections are often 10x faster in Asia than the US (e.g. South Korea)
- Interplanetary Internet (proposed)
The main problem - clicking on a hyperlink on Mars would take hours to download, even at the speed of light