You’d be forgiven for feeling a sense of déjà vu over this week’s news that the internet has turned 40. After all, wasn’t it only recently that we were celebrating the birth of the World Wide Web? So what are today’s festivities about?
Courtesy of University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), here’s the ‘LO-down’:
“In olden times, a few giant computers ruled the planet. They were clever brutes, but highly territorial and socially deficient. They wouldn’t, couldn’t, didn’t know how to talk to one another.
Then came the internet.
LO and behold! The first message was supposed to begin with “LOG/IN’, but after the first two letters – an L and an O – the system crashed. The system was restored in a few hours and the rest is history.”
Arpanet, as it was then called, had a few teething problems – what IT project doesn’t? – but went on to create the foundations of an infrastructure that has arguably revolutionised modern society.
Summing up the extent of this ‘revolution’ is a little more tricky – certainly within the confines of a blog. That said, some key things stand out. The birth of online shopping, video sharing and search engines. Most notable of all, however, is good old trusty communication. E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, etc have changed not only how businesses operate, but also, how our personal relationships are conducted. Why pick up the phone and call someone, when you can poke them on Facebook?
And so I come to the moral of our blog today. If those two little letters hadn’t been sent, life today would have been very different. First and foremost, you wouldn’t have had the sheer delight of reading this blog... my, you are lucky.