Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Happy Birthday Internet! World Wide Web Turns 25

Some of us remember what the world was like before the web and have seen how much it's changed things. Many younger people today have never know a world without the web. On March 12th, 1989, Sir Tim Berners-Lee put forth a proposal to make information sharing possible over computers, using nodes and links to create a "web" that would eventually stretch worldwide and become the modern internet.

As the Web turns 25 today, people who remember those early days have been reminiscing about life online in the early to mid-1990s. One word that comes up over and over again? “Slow.”

A 1995 survey by the Pew Research Center found that just 14% of U.S. adults had Internet access, and among them, only 2% had access via a top-of-the-line 28.8k modem.

“That was screaming (fast),” said Lee Rainey, the director of Pew’s Internet Project. “Now, that would make people riot in the streets, it’s so slow.”

I remember the first time I used it in the mid 1990's. Huddled around a monochrome computer (1-color monitor, it was yellow) I had to dial up with a 14.4k modem. The page might take a minute or two or three or five to come up. It's amazing how far it has come today.