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Author Topic: Internet birthday  (Read 1660 times)

roycv

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Internet birthday
« on: August 06, 2011, 11:49:01 am »

Hi all, the Internet as we know it is 20 years old today.  All thanks to (Englishman) Professor Sir Tim Berners Lee, who produced the HTML (hyper text mark up language, please correct if wrong) system that enables files to 'talk to each other'. This was while working with CERN, What a gift to posterity he made, his boss at the time said something like  "interesting but so what".

regards to all, Roy
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malcolmfrary

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Re: Internet birthday
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2011, 01:58:46 pm »

Hi all, the Internet as we know it is 20 years old today.  All thanks to (Englishman) Professor Sir Tim Berners Lee, who produced the HTML (hyper text mark up language, please correct if wrong) system that enables files to 'talk to each other'. This was while working with CERN, What a gift to posterity he made, his boss at the time said something like  "interesting but so what".

regards to all, Roy
That's the difference between a visionary genius and a boss.  Thankfully, in all probability, no-one will remember the name of his boss.
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"With the right tool, you can break anything" - Garfield

Korky

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Re: Internet birthday
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2011, 09:04:20 pm »

 Admittedly Mr Berners-Lee and others to follow made great strides in the development of the internet, but please let's not forget the design, development and eventual deployment of Collosus, and the invaluable code breaking that it's operators undertook at Bletchley Park too, without which there is theory that they wouldn't really have had the hardware to work with in their research.

Korks
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roycv

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Re: Internet birthday
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2011, 02:09:06 pm »

HI Korky, yes I agree, but who remembers Tommy Flowers the GPO engineer who built the Colossus with very little help from disbelieving management and ended up funding a lot of it from his own pocket.  Alan Tourin who proposed the idea was hunted down by the state for his sexual gender, regardless of his worth to the nation, committing suicide as they put the pressure on him.

Tommy Flowers  got virtually no recognition after the war, I believe he even had trouble getting his expenses paid! and so the USA got the kudos for the first computer.  This was because the UK wanted the whole thing kept under wraps as they were using Colossus to spy on the rest of the world for many years after the war.

The Colossus was a very fast computer mainly because it had no software, it was hard wired to do the task.  This is what gave it its' speed of operation.  The input was from 7 bit paper tape that was read at 5000 characters per second and that was fast even compared to commercial use 30 years later.

My respect for Sir Tim is that he gave it all to the users for free.

Bill Gates had a very lucky break when IBM screwed up their very first PC called Peanut, they were recalled and a working operating system had to be written, DOS (Disc Operating System) as we know it now, being farmed out by IBM and written by Bill Gates.  I suppose having parents who were lawyers Bill Gates automatically went for the money!

Don't forget the very first computer programmer was a lady and English.

regards Roy

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Philipsparker

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Re: Internet birthday
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2011, 09:11:48 am »

To be pedantic - Tim B-L didn't invent the Internet, that had already existed for over 20 years to allow computers to communicate. He invented the World Wide Web (the WWW bit) which allows anyone to post information online. It uses the Internet in the same way your car uses a motorway.

He is a top bloke though, probably changing the world more than nearly anyone else in the world, yet he gave the idea away for free. If he hadn't we wouldn't have Mayhem !

(Oh and as for Colossus etc. Visit Bletchley Park http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/content/museum.rhtm and then wonder why we can spend money on bad art galleries than the Olympics, yet not on preserving this legacy.)

Phil
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roycv

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Re: Internet birthday
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2011, 10:17:45 am »

HI Phil, I did just say that he wrote the HTML language so enabling us all to use the Internet, my son used to use the university J net system before the Internet as such and got a job in Germany using it.

I had the pleasure of a tour behind the scenes at Bletchley Park on the day that the Japanese section was opened some time ago, so agree entirely with your thinking.

I very much remember about 40 years ago when Prof. R.V. Jones did a series of TV programmes on Bletchley Park, radar etc.  I went to lunch with 2 work colleagues the following day and was talking about it and one of them said.  "Oh, can we talk about it now?"
He had been working for Hollerith (later ICL) and all those engineers were drafted in to Bletchley Park to maintain the "Bombes" and associated equipment during the war.  There is a story at B.P. that all of the decoding Bombes had to be destroyed for security reasons, but in defiance of this order one of them was buried on the site.  Not been found yet as far as I know!

As regards modern art having been to Tate modern (twice, can you believe it!) I would like to have seen one of the big generators left in place to show how elegant good engineering can be!

Foolish and misguided and a waste of money is the best I can come up with.  After my first visit I mentioned it to a friend who was an amateur painter and she asked me what I thought of the place.  I thought only the truth is going to work here so I said my piece.  She said "Yes it's 'XXXX'  is'nt it!"

regards Roy

!
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deadwood

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Re: Internet birthday
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2011, 10:23:54 pm »

Though this has little to do with theWWW whose anniversary the thread should be about
I couldn't stifle the urge to draw your kind attention to another computer pioneer.
Don't forget Konrad Zuse and his Z3.
Unfortunately, or rather luckily (as it didn't prolong WWII) the Nazis weren't able to fathom the potential of Zuse's works and machines,
and after the war he made a few ill-fated decisions that displaced him and his firm out of the computer business and unfortunately never owned him the due credit for his exceptional achievements in the development of the computer, especially in the Anglo-American world.

Sorry, for this little aside.
Back to Sir Tim Berners-Lee's achievements.
As far as I know it wasn't the Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML) alone for the rendering of the originally intended exchange of plots of scientific data between scientists at CERN.
What in my view even counts more was the invention of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) the underpinning of the WWW and with it the programming of the first webserver.
HTTP was an ingenious invention. A totally open protocol consisting of pure ASCII that everyone could read and easily apply.
This has led to the exponential growth of the Internet (which beginning with the ARPA Net already dates back some 40 years) into the world's mind as we know and use it today.
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