It’s interesting to trace the historical development of the Internet which is now consuming a great part of our daily life – socially, commercially, politically, militarily & just about every sphere. There are several versions of the story going around.
I find the Fabled Version both amusing & funny:
In ancient Israel , it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dot. And Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she was often called Amazon Dot Com.
And she said unto Abraham, her husband, “Why dost thou travel so far from town to town with thy goods when thou canst trade without ever leaving thy tent?”
And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load, but simply said, “How, dear?”
And Dot replied, “I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale, and they will reply telling you who hath the best price. And the sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah’s Pony Stable (UPS).”
Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums. And the drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever having to move from his tent. To prevent neighbouring countries from overhearing what the drums were saying, Dot devised a system that only she and the drummers knew. It was known as Must Send Drum Over Sound (MSDOS), and she also developed a language to transmit ideas and pictures – Hebrew To The People (HTTP).
And the young men did take to Dot Com’s trading as doth the greedy horsefly take to camel dung. They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Sybarites, or NERDS.
And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were going to that enterprising drum dealer, Brother William of Gates, who bought off every drum maker in the land. And indeed did insist on drums to be made that would work only with Brother Gates’ drumheads and drumsticks.
And Dot did say, “Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others.” And Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel , or eBay as it came to be known. He said, “We need a name that reflects what we are.”
And Dot replied, “Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators.” “YAHOO,” said Abraham. And because it was Dot’s idea, they named it YAHOO Dot Com.
Abraham’s cousin, Joshua, being the young Gregarious Energetic Educated Kid (GEEK) that he was, soon started using Dot’s drums to locate things around the countryside. It soon became known as God’s Own Official Guide to Locating Everything (GOOGLE).
But the Real Story, which is all so technical & dry, is this:
The Internet started in 1962 as a project for the Department of Defense. Originally it was designed to allow remote control of nuclear weapons in the case that the city they were located in was destroyed. It was simply a network of computers that were spread throughout the country.
Research continued throughout the 60’s and into the 70’s when the first email program was developed. After this university researchers saw the value of this new form of communication. This led to the creation of a second, non military, network in 1984.
In 1990, http (HyperText transfer Protocol) was established. This allowed for more information to be transferred more efficiently over this now almost 30 year old computer network. Http was quickly followed by the actual creation of the World Wide Web and the release of a graphical interface (the first web browser). This development allowed the Internet to grow tremendously during the mid to late 90’s. The Internet was transformed from a research tool into the commercial virtual world we know today.