This is a brief article on Internet fundamentals written especially for the beginner. You are encouraged to read other detailed articles on Internet fundamentals such as email and the world wide web which would provide a stepping stone for learning web development.
The Internet started as a small government project in the United States of America back in 1970s. The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) linked their computers to ease the transfer of data. This network came to be known as ARPANET and is the birthplace of the Internet.
The Internet is now a huge global network of computers. It is not just one network but consists of thousands of other networks worldwide. No one knows how many computers are connected to the Internet because each day several new machines are added and some old ones taken off. The Internet, you see, is always in a state of flux.
Numerous people and organizations around the globe own the different computers linked to the Internet. Hence, no one is actually in-charge of the Internet. Private companies (government agencies, in some countries) own the Internet backbone through which information flows and various organizations develop the technical aspects of this network.
The rapid development of the Internet can be attributed to the immense popularity of email. Email has been the most used Internet application because it has revolutionized the way we communicate. Email messages can be received almost instantly and can include images, video and sound in addition to text. Furthermore, interactive emails can be created using HTML.
With video conferencing and wireless applications, the Internet is ready to take us to the new realm of communication and information exchange.
In 2005, Opera CEO, Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, announced that he would swim across the Atlantic from Norway to the US if the version 8 of web browser received a million downloads in 4 days. The number was reached in just 2 days and Tetzchner went ahead with the challenge, though in vain. [more...]