The Internet Past, Present, and Future
Whether easily recognized or not, the internet has changed the way the entire world functions. Innovations as simple as how a businessman in New York acquires his daily schedule, to how a teenager in Japan searches the internet for the next purchase. The internet has simplified many tasks of everyday life, and for many jobs. Anything from obtaining lunch, to filing tax returns can all be done from home with a computer and internet. These tasks are possible because of what started in 1966 by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, innovators such as Robert Kahn, the NSFnet, and modern day technology (Internet History from ARPANET to Broadband). With the Internet being a part of 75 percent of homes in just the United States today, the impact that it has had since 1969 is unignorable (Computer and Internet Access in the United States: 2012).
Before there was the World Wide Web allowing anyone with internet to access information and communication in the click of a button, communication and interaction was limited to face to face contact or mailing letters. The ways of communication have been innovated by society and changed by time. Before the internet, there were two other major innovations in distant communication, the printing press and telegraph. In the early fifteenth century Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, allowing for mass production of books and letters. From the 1400s until around 1832 sending letters was the main method of communication other than direct conversation. One of the earliest inventions that can closely relate to the methods of a internet network is the telegraph (Imagining the Internet). The telegraph changed the world just as the internet did. A letter being sent from a writer to a recipient could take weeks or sometimes even months to arrive in that time period. “After the telegraph cable was stretched from coast to coast in the 1850s, a message from London to New York could be sent in mere minutes, and the world suddenly became much smaller” (Imagining the Internet). This advancement sparked ideas for innovation to even further improve upon communications. Innovators such as Paul Baran and Robert Kahn brought forward the methods that would allow the creation of advanced technology and a worldwide network (Zakon). Paul Baran developed the idea of a distributed network and packet switching, Baran described a distributed network as one that is connected with all nodes by many different paths, allowing for communications between nodes even if a path is broken or unavailable (Packet Switching). This distributed network envisioned communications and transfer of information in the case of attack and nodes being destroyed. Later in 1966, Baran’s idea of a distributed network was put into effect not for wartime security, but for communications between all nodes placed through America (Objective Analysis Effective Solutions).