lecture19 - Lecture 18 Digital world without boundaries...

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Lecture 18. Digital world without boundaries: from ARPANET to WWW Informal and unedited notes, not for distribution. (c) Z. Stachniak, 2011-2012. Note: in cases I were unable to find the primary source of an image or determine whether or not an image is copyrighted, I have specified the source as ”unknown”. I will provide full information about images and/or obtain reproduction rights when such information is available to me. Fig. 1. The World Wide Web. Source: unknown Introduction For many people, the involvement with computing is reduced almost entirely to their use of the Web. They use it to get information (whether reliable or not), to stay connected with other people, to be involved in social media activities, to access multi-media resources (images, movies, music, TV pro- gramming, gaming, and other forms of entertainment), to conduct business. To them computers are Internet accessing appliances and the Web itself – the most significant computer application. 1
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But before the Internet became the ”information superhighway” for every- body, a lot of efforts were expanded to build knowledge and technologies about computer networking, that is about interconnecting computers both locally as well as at distant locations, so that information can be accessed and shared easily and inclusively. Even today, at a local IT office or at home, we can see the traces of these early networking technologies and solutions when we navigate the Web. In this lecture we trace the very many paths that eventually converged into what we now call Internet and the World Wide Web. The subject matter is too fresh and too dynamic to offer definite conclusions concerning even the early developmental stages of the Internet and the Web. Therefore in what follows, we shall concentrate more on facts than on drawing such conclusions. From ARPANET and Ethernet to Internet From the very beginning of the computer industry, computers were designed with interconnectivity in mind. Clearly, computers had to be connected to peripherals, such as printers, displays, and input/output devices (e.g. card and paper tape readers and punchers). Then, we had to figure out how to connect two and more computers together to share data and other resources. Such interconnectivity involved the devel- opment of special hardware for sending and receiving digital information, say, by phone line. It also involved the development of the so-called communica- tion protocols which regulated the entire process of communication between interconnected computers (e.g. how to request and transmitting data, how to confirm the successful receipt of data or request its retransmission in the case of detected transmission errors). As it is frequently the case in the history of technology, there can be a large number of solutions offered to solve a technological problem or necessity.
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  • Fall '12
  • ZbigniewStachniak
  • Computer network, Personal computer, ARPANET, CompuServe, The Known World, nabu network, Prestel

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