Remembering the Early Internet: Developments That Made it Happen

In today’s world, just about everyone is online. But there once was a time when the Internet was nothing more than a vision shared by many computer scientists and software developers.

Long before you could trade stocks from your smartphone or buy digital currencies, the Internet was simply an idea. And this idea began a full century before the first email was ever sent.

The truth is, our Internet history is a long one, pockmarked with innovations and developments that led it to become what it is today. And without just one of these innovations, you probably wouldn’t be reading this post at all.

We owe the convenience of “Googling” any question we can think of to the development of the Internet along with an array of other information-sharing tools that many take for granted today.

Here, we’ll take a tour back into history and explore just a few of the developments which made the Internet possible.

The World Wireless System

Perhaps the first of all theories to introduce the idea of wireless communications was from none other than Nikola Tesla.

Tesla, in the late 19th century, proposed an idea to J.P. Morgan for a world wireless communications system that would be powered by the Earth’s conductive properties as well as conductive properties within the atmosphere.

At the time, the telegraph, telephone, and radio were among the most sophisticated technologies in 1890. But Tesla’s idea was far beyond what most scientists at the time could conceive of.

Further, Tesla also wanted to position transmitters around the globe to offer the world free and abundant wireless electricity–an idea that Morgan opposed which prompted him pulling funding for the entire project in 1906.

Still to this day, many computer developers credit Tesla with the first applicable theory of electronic wireless transmission.

The 1980’s

Nearly a century after Tesla’s defunded project, the Internet was born on January 1st, 1983. But this only came on the heels of another obscure development in the network known as Usenet.

Usenet was developed by two Duke University grad students in 1979 as a means of communicating with colleagues. Subsequently, this resulted in the first online message board powered by Unix-to Unix proxy servers using a dial-up connection which went online in 1980.

Usenet gained popularity among academics and early computer enthusiasts of the early 1980s and remained a preferred way to communicate and share messages via computers. And the network still exists to this day; You just want to be sure to use a quality Usenet service provider to access the network.

The iPhone

Though there were several developments which built upon and enhanced the Internet’s ability to be used effectively for sourcing and indexing information, most notably by Tim Berners-Lee who developed the protocol language for the World Wide Web, Internet usage as we know it would be forever changed by one lone invention.

In 2007, Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone. This powerful handheld device left everything else that had been created prior in the dust with its touch-based interface and the screen development which allowed a user to browse the Internet in the same fashion as with a laptop or desktop computer.

The iPhone operated on AT&T’s Edge GSM network exclusively in the beginning. But as its popularity quickly intensified, Apple released its 2nd Generation model which would run on the much faster and robust 3G network in 2008.

Once the iPhone went mainstream, more carriers would offer the phone along with access to the 3G network. And this subsequently changed Internet usage for everyone, along with just about every tech and marketing industry on the planet.

Our Internet history is a long one, spanning the length of a century. However, it wasn’t until the later half of the 20th century that the technology for developing the Internet was able to be pieced together. And if history offers any clues, still today, the Internet is far from being complete.


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