January 1, 2013
Internet Turns 30 Years Old, But Don’t Thank Al Gore
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
While you sift through Craigslist in hopes of finding used workout gear to kickstart that New Year's resolution, or check on Instagram to ensure no pictures from last night of you showed up on the site, wish a happy birthday to the very reason for it all, and no it's not Al Gore.
The Internet is celebrating its 30th birthday today, January 1st, evolving into a necessity for our everyday lives since 1983.
January 1, 1983 was known as "flag day," during which the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) commissioned the Arpanet network to fully switch to use the Internet protocol suite (IPS) communications system. In other words, the Internet was turned on.
In 1973, engineers began working on the IPS and Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) technology, which helped usher in a new era of communication.
The new systems helped replace the Network Control Program (NCP), ensuring that the network was not exposed to a single point of failure, making it safer and more reliable.
Chris Edwards, an electronics correspondent for Engineering and Technology magazine, said that he doesn't believe everyone making the switch 30 years ago would've been able to predict how the piece of technology was going to change our lives forever.
''The internet means there is nowhere and no one in the world you can't reach easily and cheaply," Edwards told the Telegraph.
It wasn't until English computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee stepped into the picture that making the switch to IPS began to take shape in our daily lives.
Berners-Lee was able to use the IPS communications system to host a system of interlinked documents he invented in 1989, creating the World Wide Web.
Since the infamous "www." came into existence, getting online has gone from a slow computer with a dial-up connection, to a 3-inch device in your pocket without wires.
In just a matter of 30 years, and only 23 years since the World Wide Web, the Internet has evolved into a beast, and is almost as much a necessity in our daily lives as electricity, with the only reason it not being as much so being because electricity is needed to power the Internet.
So, as you surf Facebook today on your new iPhone or iPad device, or check your email, or listen to your new favorite band on Spotify, remember it all wouldn't have been possible without that switch being flipped on 30-years ago today.