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20 years old and counting

The World Wide Web (www) was born on April 30, 1993

india Updated: May 04, 2013 03:39 IST

The World Wide Web (www) was born on April 30, 1993
*The European Organisation for Nuclear Research, or CERN, contributed technologies such as URL, HTTP and HTML to the royalty-free public domain
*These technologies were developed by British scientist Tim Berners-Lee (knighted "Sir" in 2004)
*He developed the www on a NeXT computer (below), created by Steve Jobs (below right) who had had to quit Apple in the 1980s
*The first web page on the internet, uploaded on April 30, 1993, was at http://info.cern.ch/ hypertext/WWW/ TheProject.html (right)
*The internet, then, had been in existence for about a quarter of a century but its reach was limited
*Prior to 1993, you could look for information or send emails only if you were part of closed networks run by governments and groups of academic institutions. For example, a bureaucrat on the govt of India network could not send an email to, say, the dean of MIT, who was on another network.

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The internet: a timeline
1969: Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), a US govt-funded communications project, goes online connecting University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, Santa Barbara, Stanford Research Institute and Univ of Utah
*The project was part of a US defence dept programme (DARPA) to develop a communications network that would remain operational even if a nuclear attack wiped out most other communication links
1972: Ray Tomlinson, a computer scientist at Cambridge, Massachusetts, develops electronic mail as well as the “@” symbol to distinguish between a person's name and network
1976: Queen Elizabeth (right) becomes the first head of state to send an email
1982: The word "internet" makes its debut
*The first computer virus, Elk Cloner, created by 15-year-old American schoolboy Rich Skrenta. It affected Apple II computers, which would display a short poem on every 50th boot
1990: Tim Berners-Lee (right) develops a text-based browser called WorldWideWeb
1993: Mosaic a free for non-commercial use graphical browser, makes its debut, sparking exponential growth of the web. Mosaic later became Netscape but was taken to the cleaners by Microsoft in a bruising browser war
2000 onward: Social networking, which began with sites like Geocities (1994) and Theglobe (1995), gain momentum with the popularity of companies such as Orkut, Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter
2010: The power of social networking become the driving force behind agitations like Arab Spring (above), Occupy Wall Street as well as Anna Hazare's crusade against corruption and the protests against the Delhi brave heart's gang rape in December
2012: The Prime Minister's Office tweets for the first time
2013: Google chairman Eric Schmidt (right) says a time might come in the future when govts, worried by free flow of information, will issue internet visas to regulate access