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The Internet Revolution

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Introduction to the History of Computing

Part of the book series: Undergraduate Topics in Computer Science ((UTICS))

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This chapter describes the Internet revolution starting from ARPANET, which was a packet-switched network, to TCP/IP, which is a set of network standards for interconnecting networks and computers. These developments led to the birth of the Internet, and Tim Berners-Lee’s work at CERN led to the birth of the World Wide Web. Berners-Lee built on several existing inventions such as the Internet, hypertext and the mouse to form the World Wide Web. Applications of the World Wide Web are discussed, as well as successful and unsuccessful new economy companies. The dot-com bubble and subsequent burst of the late 1990s/early 2000 are discussed.

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  1. 1.

    Licklider was an early pioneer of AI and wrote an influential paper ‘Man-Computer Symbiosis’ in 1960, which outlined the need for simple interaction between users and computers.

  2. 2.

    BBN Technologies (originally Bolt Beranek and Newman) is a research and development technology company. It played an important role in the development of packet switching and in the implementation and operation of ARPANET. The ‘@’ sign used in an email address was a BBN innovation.

  3. 3.

    Packet switching is a message communication system between computers. Long messages are split into packets, which are then sent separately so as to minimize the risk of congestion.

  4. 4.

    We will not consider the early work done by SAGE in the late 1950s.

  5. 5.

    The origin of the term ‘Trojan Horse’ is from Homer’s Iliad and concerns the Greek victory in the Trojan War. The Greek hero, Odysseus, and others hid in a wooden horse, while the other Greeks sailed away from Troy. This led the Trojans to believe that the Greeks had abandoned their attack and were returning to their homeland leaving behind a farewell gift for the citizens of Troy. The Trojans brought the wooden horse into the city, and later that night Odysseus and his companions opened the gates of Troy to the returning Greeks, and the mass slaughter of the citizens of Troy commenced, hence the phrase ‘Bewared of Greeks bearing gifts’. Troy is located at the mouth of the Dardanelles in Turkey.


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O’Regan, G. (2016). The Internet Revolution. In: Introduction to the History of Computing. Undergraduate Topics in Computer Science. Springer, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-33137-9

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-33138-6

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)

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