The internet celebrates its birthday this week, on Thursday to be precise, and would you believe that it’s turning 46?
Student programmers Charley Kline and Bill Duvall are perhaps not as famous as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, who just months earlier had become the first and second men to walk on the moon; but something they did at 10.30PM on 29th October 1969 had a monumental impact on mankind.
The two men were working on the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), a network funded by the US Department of Defense that connected four independent terminals installed at UCLA, Stanford, the University of California-Santa Barbara and the University of Utah.
The internet was born when Kline, under the supervision of Leonard Kleinrock, attempted to send the first message over the ARPANET from a computer at UCLA to one at Stanford, where Duvall was waiting to receive it.
The intended text was “login” but unfortunately the system crashed after the first letters “l” and “o” had been transmitted, so actually the first message ever sent over the internet was “lo” and it was another hour before the full word was eventually sent successfully.
It would be another 20 years before the World Wide Web became a possibility, thanks to British scientist Tim Berners-Lee’s invention of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), and it wasn’t until the release of Windows 95, Microsoft’s first operating system packaged with Internet Explorer, that use of the internet became commonplace in people’s homes.
Five minutes ago there were 3,230,981,720 internet users in the world, browsing 945,305,419 websites. Between them they send 10,377 Tweets every second, post 2,860 Instagram photos, add 2,309 posts to Tumblr, make 1,908 Skype calls, search Google 51,175 times, watch 110,038 YouTube videos and send 2,436,860 emails (internet live stats).
Added to all that, the internet allows you to browse The Bristol Shop, finding 100% independent, 100% Bristol design from the comfort of your own home, any time, day or night – we think it’s the best invention ever!