The Evolution of the Internet


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Business today is a combination of communication, computer, and
software systems. Despite the fact that the Internet has only been
popular in the past few years, it is difficult for us to imagine a world
without its presence. We now consider the Internet part of our desktop
for the most part and have to negotiate how to deal with it. We want
our kids to use it for research, but are wary of the consequences of
them traveling to unplanned or undesired destinations. In an instant it
seems that the Internet has become a center for commerce and global
swindles.

The US Government started the process, as they laid the framework
for the Internet in the 1960s. A decision was made to fund a network
of computers that would all talk the same language. This connected
researchers, government workers, and contractors (providing systems
and data to the government agencies) using common protocols. Most
computers at this time had very different communication systems to
talk to each other, known as protocols, and a new system was also
developed. The network was known as ARPAnet. and it incorporated
the now very popular TCP/1P networking protocol. The standards in
this protocol permitted reliable transmission of data from one computer
to another, and the networked communication of data between each
computer connected to the ARPAnet This provided the foundation for
the Internet as we know it today.
Another major US Government requirement was that the system
should be secure and allow continued communication between sites
and computers in the case of nuclear attack. Thus the serious requirement for redundancy was built into the Internet system from the word
go.

As the Internet evolved from a military focus towards non-military use, the first "killer application" of the Internet was born, electronic
mail. Despite the fact that the ARPAnet had been built for the transfer of
data between computers, electronic communication became the first
wave of adoption. Over this same period of time, office productivity
applications were developing and firms such as Wang were making
millions from specialized computers providing office functions across a
proprietary network. These networks were very useful for medium to
large-scale organizations, but still not affordable to smaller businesses.

 

 
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