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World Wide Web is 25 Years Old

     
1:58 pm on Aug 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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It was 25-years ago that Sir Tim Berners-Lee created the World's first Web Page at CERN. How time flies, and how much the Web has changed over time.
I was looking back and my first site was actually in Intranet page with links to staff and company info. I can't be precise about the date, but it pre-dated my first web site, which went online in 1995.



Within a year and a half, just before Christmas in 1990, Berners-Lee had built the infrastructure for the web and designed the first web page. He wrote the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which outlined how information would travel between computers, and HyperText Markup Language (HTML), which was used to create the first web pages.

He also wrote the text for the first website that described the project and how others could get involved.

The site went live on August 6, 1991, and was housed on Berners-Lees' NeXT computer, the first server, which had a note taped to the front that said: "This machine is a server. DO NOT POWER DOWN".
World Wide Web is 25 Years Old [telegraph.co.uk]
2:45 pm on Aug 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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It's staggering that anything could have come from the idea of one man 25 years ago to what it is today.

If development is exponential, what will the situation be in another 25 years time - mind boggling.
5:21 pm on Aug 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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The Web is a layer on the Internet, the conduit, in the way that e-mail, usenet, etc, was a layer. Perhaps layer is the wrong word. Apps are becoming yet another layer. What about the IoT as being yet another layer.

There's no question, the WWW really gave the Internet a life.
7:15 pm on Aug 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I bought my first PC back in around 1998 and was offered a modem.... Nearly said no.

Took it home ad thought lets take a look at this internet thing then, its 7pm then I noticed that eyes were red raw and I felt soooo tired it was 4am. Yep I was hooked.

First used internet banking in 2003 now used it daily.

First item I bought was a shirt and arrived in teh wrong colour but I was so pleased that id received it, I kept it !
7:30 pm on Aug 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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It was 25-years ago that Sir Tim Berners-Lee created the World's first Web Page at CERN.

Two days later he received an e-mail that started, "Hey Tim, I noticed your site is not ranking in the top results of major search engines..."
7:34 pm on Aug 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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essex_boy you beat me by a year ... as a (young) middle aged guy i bought my first computer in 1999, i'd seen the internet at my friend's house a few times - once i got in the driving seat myself i was totally hooked.
also banged out my first website in '99 just before the millenium - has given me bragging rights ever since! ... there's not many (except here of course) who were at it in the 20th century!
a year or so later i remember signing up for one of the very first 'always on' connections, (not dsl/adsl - still dial up speed but at least not billed by the minute) at a cost of 50 a month ... which at the time saved me a packet.

agree with nomis5 - can't wait to see where it goes in the next 25 years.

i think layer is a good analogy, engine, it works for me anyway.

... may i wish everyone here success during the next 25 and hope you're still here to celebrate 50!
8:19 pm on Aug 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I got my first computer in 90. Some kind of machine from Radio Shack. Took two 5-1/4 floppies to run it, if I recall right. I kept it only a few days. Then went down to a local surplus place and pieced together a machine with a whole 20mb of hard drive. Can that be right ?

My first website was 96 or 97, a complete flop, but I learned a few things in the process.. Ahh yes, those 300 baud modems and the little screech while connecting on dial-up. What fond memories!

may i wish everyone here success during the next 25 and hope you're still here to celebrate 50!
I'll only be 95 then so that might happen.

Speaking of 95 and windows.... my brother had a hard time dragging me from 3.1 to 95.
I may be getting too old for the nostalgia threads, my mind doesn't seem to want to dig thru that many memories anymore. So it just pops up the first bit of trivia it comes too, knowing I;ll probably fall for it.

.
8:35 pm on Aug 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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In today's modern world this would have been patented with countless rounds of investment under their belts!
9:10 pm on Aug 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Wasn't it Al Gore that took the initiative in creating the Internet?
9:14 pm on Aug 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Ah yes -- those days of sending an email for site submission and waiting weeks to have your site looked at so that it could be added to directory or search -- leading prehistoric bot utilities around by the nose -- I could actually shop for myself at (name-your-location) and pr0n on every third listing -- Oh, and how about those nasty little BHO's that IE seemed to become infected with every few minutes -- Those were the days indeed
10:46 pm on Aug 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I remember racking up a $2,000 phone bill on dial-up (and keeping the line busy) when I was about 15. My father's employer paid the phone bills, and we never heard anything about it. Wasn't too long after that we got a DSL line.

I also recall my parents' hesitance when I wanted to sign up for my first affiliate network (Cyberbounty). Before I could enter my name and address, they called an older cousin of mine who worked with computers. He okayed it, and I soon began showing up at the bank with these checks from the U.S. that most of the clerks had never handled before.

My first website was hosted at Tripod, I still remember the (long) URL. The Internet Archive dates it back to 1998. I see I was part of a banner exchange program. :-)
2:17 am on Aug 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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In the category of Mr. Ripley's believe it or not, I first saw an early example of the WWW back in 1979 on a connection through a telex machine.

I was visiting a client of my electronics business, the client was the Australian Overseas Telecommunications Commission. The OTC back then was responsible for all international calls in/out of Australia. I was primarily visiting their engineers/technicians to gauge their component needs. Yes, they did have their own pet projects. One they were working on was this new fangled communication system invented by the US military but was regarded as redundant.

At the time, those technicians were communicating with like minded people [Geeks?], I think it was Berkeley University in California. They were using a keyboard, and had an early monitor fabricated from a Cathode Ray Oscilloscope tube.

Ian: "So what? All you have is a glorified version of your own telex service, mate us amateur radio operators have been doing that for years, so have news services - we call it RTTY, Radio Teletype."

Techs: "Ah, but Ian this is the way of the future..."

Ian: "Yeah right, where's your beer fridge?"

At the time [1979] I thought they were day dreamers, computers to me [I had one] were incredibly expensive devices. Mine cost me just under $50,000 at the time including business software, it was manufactured by Honeywell. To put that price into perspective, I had purchased another home some months earlier for $32,000.

Yes, my business was that big so I could justify the cost.

Putting things into further perspective - with my technical knowledge - if anyone had said then they would eventually have a pocket device which would allow sending/receiving telephone calls, messages etc AND operated in the Gigahertz region? That you could also transmit data at high speed over rubbish copper telephone lines?

I would have declared them as mad, and defying the laws of physics.

See, that all proves I don't know everything. But the embryonic WWW was alive and well in 1979. Yes Hypertext Markup Language came later, and may have made the vast difference, along with all the protocols.

More useless olden day trivia, well not exactly useless - trivia that has always funded many free cartons of beer from disbelieving IT techs who would take bets with me on a range of technical trivia.
4:12 am on Aug 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I sure don't miss that torturous dial-up modem sound :(
6:41 am on Aug 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@keyplr
You are most definitely not a romantic, nor do you pine for the olden days.

Dial up modem sound? Were you around for 300 baud? Then I gave it all away being too busy in a new career. When I came back? I upgraded to a 56K modem, or the one before that?

Now while awaiting NBN this month, likely next month - I currently get ADSL at around 18,000 mbps [why do they still talk in bits?]. The only difference between way back then then and now?

Web pages are now bloated with even more rubbish which has absolutely nothing to do with black type on white background - called "words"...

High speed internet, my web pages will load microseconds faster than now. Marvellous.
10:01 am on Aug 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I was reading retro gamer magazine the other day and was thinking that someone should bring out a retro web magazine. I would love to see screenshots of all those old sites again, with all their counters and webrings and guestbooks. It would be interesting to look back on it all and see how 'rubbish' it was
11:01 am on Aug 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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londrum, wayback machine will give you some of those. :)

Also, there's the [wonder-tonic.com...]

For keyplyr [youtube.com...]

Have fun.

I used to have an old rtty machine way back and would use it for communications via radio. It was around 50 baud, and I would experiment sending images which were typed and stored on punched tape offline, and then, when connected to the other party, I would run the punched tape through the reader, and, hopefully, the image, retyped using the letters, would appear at the other end on their paper readout. Epic!

My first access to a computer was using a mainframe that belonged to the local university. There'd be a similar setup to the rtty machine, with pre-punched tape. Once the program had been written, we'd connect via a 300 baud modem and the old cup-style modem where the handset would be pushed into the rubber cups. Once the mainframe had acknowledged the program, we went offline. The following week the program had been run and posted via snail mail back to us on music-ruled paper and punched card. That was early seventies.

Although the Internet had been invented, it was not open to our use.

I owned various micro computers, but still had no Internet.

It wasn't until the early eighties that we got a personal computer at work, which was an IBM, and it connected to others via a rudimentary peer-to-peer network. There was a mainframe in the office building which was in use for most of the company's business.

On a personal front, later, I used bulletin boards in the '80s where people would dial-in to connect.

Still no real Internet as we know it, but the concept of sending an image via the slow modem was still an attraction. We were all crying out for better connectivity, such that the Internet would offer.

Graphics were improving all the time, and yes, getting a color screen, wow! It really took us forward.

As soon as I discovered the potential of both the Internet and the www I was onto it as soon as time would permit. At the time, '94/95 there was no holding me back with web sites. The first sites were rudimentary and certainly weren't something i'd want to show off now. I no longer have the code, and they just don't appear anywhere online any longer. They may be archived somewhere, but I certainly don't have them.

It was an exciting time, and opened many, many possibilities, and there's still a great deal of opportunity today, although the content discovery has changed from the early days of altavista. It's certainly become far more commercial and less like a hobby over the years. I still have a few personal hobby sites I maintain for the legacy of information.

Where next? I'm not sure if AMP is the answer as most people like a full and rich experience, although I can see the need AMP fulfils. For the Internet, I believe IoT, Vr and AR has yet to show its full potential, however, the WWW will remain for a long time yet.
11:14 am on Aug 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I saw this server 2 years ago at the London science museum, it has been shipped there from Cern to mark the 25th Anniversary.

[theinquirer.net...]
11:23 am on Aug 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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The last time i went to the science museum they had a BBC micro and an amiga on display i used both of those. That made me feel old.
11:33 am on Aug 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Gee thanks engine
6:40 pm on Aug 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I remember seeing my first email address, I just couldnt work out how to use.....
9:20 pm on Aug 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Those of who really want to date ourselves might wax nostalgically about the pre-Internet days- accessing BITNET through the university and, ahem, FINGERing people remotely.

I (fondly?) remember spending hours on BITNET Relay (which was the inspiration for IRC).

I had been playing around with that WWW thingee for a few months when I sat in on a presentation by a professor from the Univ. of Colorado (around the end of 1995, I think) about something called e-commerce where he described being able to use the Internet to go to a site and select an item to buy and enter payment information, then the information would be sent to another server that would instruct a robot to pull the item out of inventory, take it to be packaged and help for pickup by a shipping service for delivery to my doorstep, all without an human intervention besides the delivery and possibly the packing. (Unfortunately, he passed away before the advent of Amazon delivery drones.)
2:01 am on Aug 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I sure don't miss that torturous dial-up modem sound :(


A friend of mine in Surrey has that sound as his smart phone ringer -- every time he gets a call it sounds as if he's connecting ;)
2:15 am on Aug 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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The first sites were rudimentary and certainly weren't something i'd want to show off now. I no longer have the code


Wow -- I still have stuff on 3 1/2 inch floppy's from 1997 - I've got one Parallel port box with win 98se that I've been using to bring all of it into the modern age. Some of them have been corrupted over the years of storage, but most can still be read - putting stuff on to usb sticks just because.
8:00 am on Aug 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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mcneely, I might ask why you retain material from that far back?
9:44 am on Aug 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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mcneely, I might ask why you retain material from that far back?

Personally, I could answer by saying - when time permits [almost never] I have a plan to resurrect olden day email from backups disks, absolute pearls of wisdom from friends now departed.

One stand right out in my mind, from an American friend to a list, who is also the same age as myself, reflecting upon the history of his town back in 1957 which hadn't changed much since his grand-father founded the place with a huge cattle ranch on tens of thousands of acres back around 1880.

His version of going to town every second Saturday, as a 15 year old with Grand-Dad, Dad on their horses was pure Gold. The only real change was a few businesses such as the hardware were using new fangled motor trucks [1930's].

Resurrecting stuff like that, if you can, is worth every minute of effort.

Oh from that kind of improbable background? He went on the become a navigator on a nuclear submarine during the Vietnam War and later. The family homestead was reduced down to around 640 acres and was purchased by the State as of historical significance. He was also proudly part Cherokee Indian. His paternal grand-mother.
8:20 pm on Aug 16, 2016 (gmt 0)

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For all of the last 25 years I still miss my GeoCities page. I copied the markup from a page, modified it for my use, and posted all of my poetry. Well, my poetry would still make a Vogon cringe, and my markup is marginally better, but at least now I write my own.
10:52 pm on Aug 16, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I still miss my GeoCities page.
Yeah, but I don't miss their online mark-up editor; had a real issue with caching. I moved to Angelfire, then eventually Tripod. Then stand alone WYSIWYG editors came out and I could do everything on my desktop. Funny now because I do everything in a bare-bones text editor.
1:08 pm on Aug 18, 2016 (gmt 0)

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mcneely, I might ask why you retain material from that far back?


I've got some coding and writes from back in the day that failed spectacularly -- and some .jar (jdk) menu libraries that when deployed would drip like water when moused over (as I recall, I got lots of traffic, but only for the kids just dropping by to play with the menus) -- scripting so old and tired that only internet explorer 4 would dare to load it.

And a lot of what @IanCP had said -- Memories man - sheer unadulterated memories -- I look back on this stuff with some sense of muted amusement sometimes, while at other times with sheer horror -- all the while enjoying the trip down memory lane just the same.

I'm reminded of the "anything goes" nature of the net at the time -- It was wide open and wild .. and not the series of walled gardens that the net of today is.
8:31 pm on Aug 23, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Ahh I remember running a BBS probably around 89 called the Shadow's Realm. It was a learning experience making the menus using ASCII symbols and doing some ASCII graphics and animation.
5:38 am on Aug 25, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I was one of the lucky kids, because my dad was with the military back in the day and he managed to bring home a computer that was left for dead in the storage. The almighty machine had 1 MB ram and 80 MB HD, sporting Windows 3.11 . First thing I did was to fire up Trumpet Online and see what I can do with it. Since there ware like 2000 webpages all together at the time that were mostly US government fronts, like FBI and CIA etc. I started browsing and reading things. I can only imagine the conversation "Who is behind this Eastern European IP address? Run a background check NOW! Oh..It's a 9 year old kid?!"


Or even before that, the punch-card computers. Strangely in the capitalist countries (how we framed the Western World) getting access to a punchcard computer or mainframe was very hard and reserved for scientists. We had one in our school (and it was common piece of technology in most schools too). Granted this was before the "Internet", however we did have "local" connection to a bigger machine that executed our commands. Later on, I remember some strange tech that using 5 inc floppy disks that were used to connect to "the storage" basically a repository filled with texts on various subjects.

Ah... fond memories.