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Copyright © 2012 by Amanda Eliza Bertha
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express writtenpermission of the author or publisher except for the use of brief quotations in articles or reviews.
Table of Contents
Rather than go into a long explanation, here is a brief bit of background to the introduction of the World Wide Web to the general population. The reason for this is that without understanding how the internet developed, it is difficult to grasp the situation where seeking page one of Google means so much to the web business world.
To begin at the beginning we have to go back to 1980 when Tim Berners-Lee came up with the concept of hypertext as a way to share information. It was hard for scientists to share ideas across the country because they were limited to text and much of their exploration involved drawings and sketches. Eventually, Berners-Lee realized that the power of sharing information would increase immensely if he could find a way to share the information using the protocols that had become available for sharing communications.
Actually, the internet concept had been in use since the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 when the American government realized that having all their command information in one location was very dangerous. A single hit could wipe out communications and cripple the country.
Here is a tiny bit of background on the Bay of Pigs Invasion. It was an April 1961 invasion of Cuba carried out by Brigade 2506. This Brigade was a militia group that the CIA paid for and trained. The plan was for the Brigade to overthrow the Cuban government ruled by Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado. However, the CIA-trained Brigade 2506 was defeated by a Cuban army led by Cuba’s Prime Minister Fidel Castro. This defeat was a shock to the American government and focused attention on the need to protect the country in the Cold War that had been underway for several years.
With the possibility of more defeat, with communist Cuba hovering so close to the country, there was an acute awareness of a serious problem. What if the communication system was destroyed completely? And it could be because there was one central core to the communications. Brilliant scientists at the top universities studied the problem. Leonard Kleinrock, a graduate student at MIT, had discovered something called packet switching and in 1961, he wrote a paper about it.
Very simply stated, packet switching means that messages are divided up into packets that are sent in little pieces and when the packets all arrive at their destination, they are reunited. This was the heart of the solution to centralized communications. The US government’s defense research department set up the ARPAnet (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) which was built on using packet switching. ARPAnet was the grandfather of the Internet as we know it.