You probably use it every day but how well do you
know your Internet?
Ever wonder how all this foolishness got started in the
first place and why? How big it really is? How many present
users there are? The average time spent on a website?
Here are 21 facts you might or might not want to know
about the Internet.
1. Who coined the phrase ‘World Wide Web’?
Tim Berners-Lee in 1990. He’s also considered by most
people as the person who started the whole thing rolling.
2. How did the Internet Start and Why?
It all started with the time-sharing of IBM computers in the early
60’s at universities such as Dartmouth and Berkeley in the States.
People would share the same computer for their computing tasks.
The Internet also received help from Sputnik! After this Russian Satellite
was launched in 1957; President Eisenhower formed ARPA to advance
computer networking and communication.
3. Who was J.C.R. Licklider?
Licklider is often referred to as the father of the Internet because
his ideas of interactive computing and a “Galactic Network” were
the seeds for the Internet. His ideas would be developed through
DARPA,(Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) in 1962.
Later he would help form ARPANET and the Internet was on it’s way.
4. What was ARPANET?
ARPANET stands for ‘Advanced Research Projects Agency Network’
Came about in the arena of Sputnik and the cold war. The military
needed a method of communicating and sharing all the information on
computers for research and development. It would also be a handy
communication system if all traditional ways were wiped out in
a nuclear attack!
5. What was the First long distance Connection?
In 1965 using a low speed dial-up telephone line, MIT
researcher Lawrence G. Roberts working with Thomas Merrill,
connected the TX-2 computer in Massachusetts to the Q-32
in California. The phone lines weren’t quite up to the task.
6. Who was Leonard Kleinrock?
Kleinrock came up with the theory of packet switching,
the basic form of Internet connections. With a group
of UCLA graduate students on Oct. 29, 1969, Kleinrock
connected with the Stanford Research Institute but as
they typed in the G in LOGIN — the system crashed!
7. What is an Ethernet?
It’s a protocol or standards for a set of computer networking
technologies for local area networks (LANs), the origins
of which came from Bob Metcalfe’s Harvard’s dissertation
on “Packet Networks”.
8. When was the first mouse introduced?
The first computer mouse was introduced in 1968 by
Douglas Engelbart at the Fall Joint Computer Expo
in San Francisco.
9. Did Al Gore really invent the Internet?
No, but give credit where credit is due. He did the most of
any elected official to actively promote the Internet. However,
he wasn’t even in Congress when ARPANET was formed in 1969
or even when the term ‘Internet’ came into use in 1974. Gore was
first elected in 1976.
Gore himself may be the cause of this Urban Legend or
Internet myth – during a Wolf Blitzer CNN interview on
March 9, 1999 – Al Gore did say: “During my service in the
United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating
Causing himself some ridicule but also paving the way for
such future one-liners as: “I invented the environment!”
10. Who coined the phrase ‘information superhighway’?
Wikipedia says Nam June Paik coined the phrase “information
superhighway” in 1974.
Al Gore popularized the phrase in the early 1990’s.
11. Which decade really saw the explosion of the net?
The 90’s. The Internet exploded into the mainstream with the
release of the first popular web browser Mosaic in 1993.
12. How fast is the Internet growing?
Very fast! It took 38 years for radio to reach 50 million users,
13 years for TV, and only 5 years for the Internet. Source:
13. Number of Internet Users and Breakdown.
The Internet is roughly 35% English, 65% Non-English with
the Chinese at 14%. Yet only 13% of world’s population,
812 million are Internet users as of Dec. ’04. North America
has the highest continental concentration with 70% of the
people using the Internet.
14. Country with the highest percentage of net users?
Sweden at 75%.
15. How big is the Internet’s surfing world?
Google’s index now stands at 8 billion pages.
16. What was the Net’s first index called?
Archie, other than library catalogs, this was the first
index created in 1989 by Peter Deutsch at McGill in Montreal.
Although it spouted such others as Veronica and Jughead, Archie
was short for Archiver and had nothing to do with the
Backrub was the original name for Google. Larry Page and Sergey
Brin used this term for their search engine in 1996, Google as we
know it debuted in 1998. The name Google is a twist on the word
Googol, a number represented as 1 followed by 100 zeros.
17. Who coined the phrase ‘The Web might be better than sex’?
Bob Metcalfe in 1995.
18. What does HTTP stand for?
HyperText Transfer Protocol — it’s the protocol used to transfer
content across the net; it requires two client programs. The HTTP client
and the server.
19. What is an ISP?
Internet Service Provider — This is the service or company you use to
access the Internet.
20. What is HTML?
Hypertext Markup Language — it’s the coded format language for
transmitting and creating hypertext web pages.
21. What are your average surfing habits according to Nielsen
Each month you usually visit 59 domains, view 1,050 pages allocating 45
seconds for each page and spend about 25 hours doing all this net activity.
Each surfing session lasts 51 minutes.
One last thought — Henry Edward Hardy in his Master’s Thesis (1993) on
The History of the Net stated “The Net is Immortal”. Ever wonder what
this baby will be like in a 100 years? a 1000 years? Just something
to think about as you keep your eye on that cursor.
Copyright © 2005 Titus Hoskins