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posted by janrinok on Monday March 10 2014, @01:52AM   Printer-friendly
from the happy-birthday-to-you dept.

AnonTechie writes:

"For those of you who remember Gopher, Minitel, and Compuserve, the article is an interesting reminder of what once was, and for those born more recently a chance to read about a time before 'http' and 'www' had any meaning."

From an article by phys,org,

Twenty-five years ago, the World Wide Web was just an idea in a technical paper from an obscure, young computer scientist at a European physics lab. That idea from Tim Berners-Lee at the CERN lab in Switzerland, outlining a way to easily access files on linked computers, paved the way for a global phenomenon that has touched the lives of billions of people. He presented the paper on March 12, 1989, which history has marked as the birthday of the Web. But the idea was so bold, it almost didn't happen.

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Luke on Monday March 10 2014, @06:54AM

    by Luke (175) on Monday March 10 2014, @06:54AM (#13766)

    I'm sure everyone (who was around and old enough at the time) will recall their first experiences of the new-fangled Interweb thing when it came out.

    Like a number here I was used to text-based communications (news, email and bbs/radio messaging), beginning in 1986 for me personally. However in '93 I well recall having my first browser experience with NCSA Mosaic on a Mac.

    This was at a Uni where I was both a student and employee, and the comment at the time was that the small amount of browsing I did probably cost several $$ per page. While that was most likely exaggerated nonetheless the cost of data was a significant thing for us down here for many years to come.

    Such was the culture then that one often had to go to the University, cap in hand, and almost sign away one's first-born in order to gain some sort of access. Such access was generally so grudgingly given, and with such strictures that there was a palpable feeling of almost committing a crime every time one dared use a terminal (despite the fact that one had to personally pay for the data used, on a Kb basis IIRC).

    Early semi-public access to the internet was conducted over elderly telephone lines at glacial speeds, and was jealously guarded. There were dubious machinations required in order to get data to and from the 'net that involved the electronic equivalent of sneaking into the Uni after dark and making a snatch and dash... connections often weren't exactly real-time, although I recall a radio link I once ran that worked surprisingly well :-)

    Naturally those of us involved often did these things (that would have been very frowned upon then) in order to provide access to such a wonderful resource, and in the true pioneering spirit of hacking and innovation. It's a pity it was so restricted but I guess the resource was obviously limited even to the Universities, and cost serious money to run.

    Perhaps this was a good thing since many people shone through with the amount of hard work and excellent ideas they came up with. A good number have gone on to bigger and better things.

    Once the 'net became more commercial there were various wild-west activities undertaken by new and existing Telco's/ISP's in order to make money. This was occasionally somewhat bizzarely implemented due to the curious interconnect regulations we had at the time. It was possible for a company to provide free accounts to the public, yet make money for themselves at the expense of the incumbent Telco.

    Once that anomaly was sorted things settled down a bit and we ended up with a more orderly progression to what we have today.

    I consider myself lucky to have been around at the early times, there were fewer people, and yet they seemed curiously closer despite it being text-only communication. There was a special feeling of uniqueness and togetherness that will, I suspect, never be felt again in this medium.

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