The World Wide Web: the beginning and now

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ARPANET cont...

[ Image, Arpanet Design of 1970 ]

At the same time, the military had great concern about the growth of the ARPAnet. They wanted to restrict access to it, in order to limit its size. In the meantime, ARPAnet was transferred to the control of the Defense Communications Agency in 1975. UNIX was gaining popularity due to its utilization of the TCP/IP protocol, its multi-user multitasking system, and effective user interface (Lecture). With the widespread use of UNIX, development of LANs and WANs (Wide Area Networks), the development of Ethernet at Xerox PARC, and the introductions of PCs in the late 70's and early 80's, the table was set for the soon to arrive Internet.

In 1982, TCP/IP was adopted as the standard protocol for ARPAnet. The following year, the growing concerns of the military caused ARPAnet to split into MILnet and ARPAnet. "Internet" was first defined in 1982 as a connected set of networks using TCP/IP, and would thus, connect TCP/IP internets (Lecture). NSFnet (National Science Foundation Network) was created in 1984, as a way of connecting researchers and universities across the country. Access was guaranteed to campuses that would promote use, and give access to all "qualified" users. However, its use was limited to education and research only, but this would not limit its growth. Its usage would surpass that of ARPAnet in the late 1980's (Segaller, 225) after management was handed over to the Merit Corporation(Lecture). By 1989 the number of Internet hosts exceeded 100,000, and in 1990 ARPAnet ceased to exist.(Lecture).

ARPAnet had paved the way for networking technologies, and in turn, these technologies contributed to its growth and widespread acceptance. Most of the software utilizing the Internet at the time involved a command line and non-graphical user interface. In the late 1980's and early 90's however, there was a popular belief that the every day citizen without much computer knowledge should be able to use the Internet - just as easily as the computer nerd down the street. It was this popular belief that would ultimately lead to the development of the World Wide Web.


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