Introduction to the Internet 1

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<INTRO>Yeah, I'm on the Web</INTRO>

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<TD align="RIGHT"><LINK h2g2="A139600">On to Introduction to the Internet 2</LINK></TD>
<TD valign="MIDDLE" align="LEFT"><LINK h2g2="A139600"><IMG width="40" src="" height="32" align="ABSMIDDLE" border="0"/></LINK></TD>

<BR/> Actually you're not. You're on the <B>Internet</B>, which is a completely... well not completely, more a moderately different thing in that the <LINK h2g2="A139565">World Wide Web</LINK> <FOOTNOTE>That's WWW for those up on your TLAs. Tisk. Three Letter Acronyms...</FOOTNOTE>... yes. Hang on. Let's start from the beginning, shall we? </P>

<P>The Internet was first conceived of in the late 1950s, and it's all Sputnik's fault. See, Sputnik was first and while the Americans were admiring the fine ingenuity of the Russians (sending flowers, bonbons and dancing girls into space, I'm sure) they had a single iced-trousers moment when it occurred to them that if the Russians could do that sort of thing with space, then maybe they weren't so gormless after all despite their questionable political malarkey. And in an admirably short time for a political thought, it also occurred to folks that while the Russians might be the first with space stuff, the Americans had still been first with nukes. And, in yet another surprising leap, it was surmised that a nuclear war might knock out a phone line or two, and thus a more scatter-shot approach to communication would be called for to ensure that the politicians in assorted underground bunkers would be able to play phone chess without fearing a break in the line. It was no more than a twitch of an eyebrow between that and the coinage of the term 'online'. </P>

<P>The Internet (or <LINK h2g2="A139673#ARPAnet" popup>ARPAnet</LINK> as it was first called) was the baby of the defence department. And as computers were big, expensive, hard to make and often theoretical, the best places to go for a good one were the dark and blinky corridors of fresh and pink-eyed university <LINK h2g2="A139673#IT" popup>IT</LINK> departments. Which, for today's Internet community, was just about the best thing that could have possibly happened. The geeks took over, and within a very short time the Internet had more to do with science fiction, <LINK h2g2="A139718">online gaming</LINK> and bare naked skin than it did with defence. </P>

<P>Which brings us up to 1990 when the <LINK h2g2="A139565">World Wide Web</LINK> was born. </P>

<P>The Internet refers to the whole canole, the <LINK h2g2="A139565">WWW</LINK>, <LINK h2g2="A139808">email</LINK>, <LINK h2g2="A139880">chat</LINK>, <LINK h2g2="A139970">usenet</LINK>, <LINK h2g2="A139673#FTP" popup>FTP</LINK>, and the rest of it. The term 'Internet' refers only to the mass of connections that allows the whole thing to hum like a bee banging its head against a screen window. You see, anarchy, even organised anarchy like the Internet, is given to fits and starts and, increasingly, encounters with brick walls. </P>

<P>And the only thing on the World Wide Web is <LINK h2g2="A139673#Hypertext" popup>hypertext</LINK>. And if you, my friend, are hypertext then you have no need to be reading this. </P>


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