Public commercial use of the Internet began in mid-1989 with email capabilities being brought to only 500,000 users of the Internet. Just months later on 1 January 1990, a company called PSInet launched an alternate Internet infrastructure for commercial use; one of the networks that would grow into the commercial Internet we know today.
As a child growing up in the early 90s, nothing excited me more than the sound of the crinkling of our 56.6k modem. The sound of the fax machine line and the inevitable pick up interruption by one of my family members remains one of my fondest memories. Ok, maybe not my most exciting memory. But it was fascinating wasn’t it? The Internet. A global system of interconnected computer networks and protocols that link computers worldwide.
Next to the crinkling of the modem in the line of excitement was probably receiving an email from the only dork (other than me) in my grade 7 class who also had email. But a few years later, Napster may have been the most exciting of all. So my 16-year old brain thought. The longer the wait to receive a file and the more kb the file was (256k may have taken all day), the more exciting the wait was.
The fact of the matter is, history was in the making, and I wasn’t the only one typing in complicated URLs hand by hand because there were no proper search engines and getting a kick out of it.
In the 1960s and 70s research into packet switched networks resulted in the development of internetworking, by which multiple separate networks could be joined into a single network of networks. The early years of internetworking were documented in the 1972 film Computer Networks: The Heralds of Resource Sharing.
The Internet has changed the way people communicate. It has enabled new forms of social interactions, social norms, activities, social associations, the birth of new careers and even new fields of scholarly research such as the Sociology of the Internet.
The Author is an SEO specialist with a BA in psychology from Melbourne University. Today she lives in Tel Aviv with her almost 2 year old daughter and husband, and enjoys reading books, travelling to medieval towns in Europe and dancing to Latin American music.