Chronologies of Telecommunications Developments and Policies


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Supporting & Related Pages:

Internet History:

Hypertextual Writing & Organization; Hypermedia Resources
  • 1932/1945: Vennevar Bush, (the "Memex")
  • 1963: Douglas C. Engelbart, "A Conceptual Framework for the Augmentation of Man's Intellect," in: P.W.Howerton and D.C.Weeks, eds., Vistas in Information Handling. Washington.D.C.: Spartan Books, 1963, (vol.1, pp.1-29)
  • 1965: Ted Nelson, ("Xanadu")
Computer Hardware
Networking Technology
  • Packet-switching A method of fragmenting messages into sub-parts called packets (which can routed separately), routing them to their destinations in the most efficient ways (by multi-user sharing of connections), and reassembling them at the destination. "The development of packet-switched networks has some precedent in the earlier timesharing systems operated by IBM and other companies and universities. Of particular relevance were the services offered in the 1960s by GE and Tymeshare which allowed remote dial-in access to computers." (Hardy)
  • Bandwidth: A measurement of the volume of information that can be transmitted over a network at a given time.
  • Backbones
Networks and Network Organizations
  • BITNET (Because Itís Time NETwork (or Because Itís There NETwork)) -- A network of educational sites separate from but linked to the Internet. Listservsģ, now the most popular form of e-mail discussion groups, originated on BITNET. BITNET is probably the only international network that is shrinking.
  • Government
  • Business Organizations
  • Non-Profits
  • Department of Defense (DoD)
    • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
      • ARPANET: developed in the 1960s as the first, large scale, packet switched network. Still in use, it connects a large number of universities in the US and Europe, as well as commercial users. Split into ARPANET and MILNET in1983; ceases to exist in 1990
  • National Science Foundation
    • CSNET (Computer Science NETwork) built by UCAR and BNN through NSF seed money to provide networking services (specially Email) to university scientists without APRANET access. (Hapner, p.240ff)
    • NSFnet: Created in 1986 by NSF with help from NASA and DOE to interconnect newly established 5 super-computer centers (APRANET (DOD) too bureaucratic). Backbone upgraded to T1 in 1989. Funding and operations were terminated in April 1995 due to commercialization of the Internet.
  • Internet 2 [University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development]
Two-Way Communication
  • E-mail In 1972, the first electronic mail delivery involving two machines was arranged by Ray Tomlinson at BNN (Bolt, Beranek & Newman, originally an acoustics consulting firm founded in 1948). The program was written in two parts, SNDMSG was used to send messages, READMAIL to receive them.
  • News Groups Discussion groups on Usenet devoted to talking about a specific topic. Currently, there are over 15,000 newsgroups.
    • 1979: USENET established using UUCP (Unix-to-Unix CoPy developed in 1976 at AT&T Bell Labs and distributed with UNIX in 1977
  • IRC: Internet Relay Chat - the system allowing Internet users to conduct online text based communication with one or more other users.
Network Protocols
  • Gopher ... was released in 1991 by Paul Lindner and Mark P. McCahill from the University of Minnesota. During the early 1990s, a widely successful method of making menus of material available over the Internet. Gopher is a Client and Server style program, which requires that the user have a Gopher Client program. Gopher spread rapidly across the globe in only a couple of years. It was supplanted by Hypertext, also known as WWW (World Wide Web). Occasionally, one still encounters Gopher sites on the Internet.

    FTP (1973)

    Telnet: Specifications released in 1972

1993 WWW (World Wide Web) In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee at the CERN atomic research center in Switzerland proposed software and networking protocols that would make it possible to browse information on the Internet. (Reid, p.xxiii) Also: Scientist's modest proposal spun into World Wide Wed [Seattle Times, June 7, 1998] and Tim Berners-Lee Director, W3C Consortium || WWW Consortium

"Webbing the Internet": "Technically, 'the World Wide Web was originally proposed in 1989 and the first implementation appeared in 1990. The Web, however, did not gain any widespread popular use until NCSA Mosaic (browser software) became available in early 1993'." (Reid, p.xxiii, quoting from a report by Matthew Gray of MIT in 1994)

  • Lynx: popular text-only Web browser written by Lou Montulli, a University of Kansas undergraduate
  • Mosaic: The first graphical World Wide Web browsers developed at NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications, headquartered at the University of Illinois. Researchers here created the Mosaic browser and HTTPD [HyperText Transfer Protocol - a set of instructions for communication between a server and a World Wide Web client]).
  • Netscape
Directories and Search Engines
  • Veronica (1992) a gopherspace search tool is released by University of Nevada
  • Yahoo (1995)


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