The First Email Ever Sent!

Although you probably think of  emails as being a thoroughly modern way of communicating with each other, the first ever email was sent 45 years ago in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson. This is what I find most interesting with the history of the internet, because I always see the email as an invention of the 21st Century or the late 1990s.

So for the first email to have been sent almost thirty years prior to this is quite shocking. When asked what was the first email sent, Ray Tomlinson said he doesn’t remember because he thought it was that insignificant. He thinks it was something like “QWERTYUIOP”. But no one asked him to invent email – it was something that Ray Tomlinson was working on as a side project by himself.

Obviously, the emailing system that we all know today is far more advanced than what was in the 1970s. But what Ray Tomlinson invented when he was meant to be working on something else, helped changed the way we communicated with people forever.

With millions of emails being sent every day, it’s easy to take this method of communication for granted-like text messages and phone calls- but to be invented in the early 1970s when similar technology was invented is quite extraordinary.

 

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ARPANET to Internet: A Brief History of Data Mining

It’s hard to imagine a time when people didn’t spend most of their day looking at their smartphones or some form of technology that lets us access the internet. The idea of a ‘people’s internet’ must have also felt like a foreign concept to the creators of the ARPANET which was launched in 1969 to help universities in the USA exchange data and research.

This information prompted me to draw up parallels between the ARPANET and the internet today and how the governments use them to achieve their own agendas. In 1969 when ARPANET was launched the USA was caught up in the Cold War with the USSR and launched similar projects to surpass the Soviets by means of technology. Today however the internet is being used by our governments (but mostly the US government) to mine our personal data in the hopes of fighting the War on Terror and other threats to national security.

 

Cold War, hippies and the internet.

As a huge history fan myself i’ve never actually thought of looking at the internet as a piece of history – even though its one technologies greatest achievements. Shocking to me is that the internet was invented to serve as a military purpose during The Cold War. The Americans especially saw the potential this device could have in a military sense but scientists also knew if doable, they would be creating something truly groundbreaking which led to interests of the military and scientists overlapping in order to create the internet.

Although the internet not booming until the 90’s and early 2000, the internet was still around, with my uncle explaining “you had to wide it up, to get it going”. I think this statement just shows how much it has progressed over a decade or so. During the 90’s different currents within the counterculture which started taking place included an almost hippy subculture and a radical subculture of technology, seen with Steve Jobs being the “Billion dollar hippy”. Scientists came together with these hippies and worked out that they could free the internet from its original purpose and make it work for humanity. The internet now has been seen as a service to humanity offering knowledge, connection and understanding like never before. Timothy Leary – “The internet is the new LSD”

The internet was originally developed for security purposes but in 1991 the ban of public use was lifted and search engines such as Google took the internet to a whole new level. Having read about the history which is boring to some, it really does make you realise how great the internet and technologies alike really are.

 

History of the Internet: The Social Media effect

Everyone uses the Internet these days. Everyone talks about it. But does everyone really know how it was brought to us? How did it start in the first place?

This week we had the chance to discover the answers to these questions…

Most of us did not know that what we now call ‘Internet’ initially launched into the world through Arpanet, the technical foundation that ‘gave birth’ to the Internet in 1959. However, when you think about it, no one ever talks about it or have a clue what it is without doing some research.

If someone thinks of ‘the Internet’, the most fascinating topic that comes to one’s mind is, arguably, Social Media. Spending time on the internet is easy; you won’t realize when or how the time flies while you’re looking for a topic that raises your interest, especially when it comes to social networks, content is even more ‘catchy’ and addictive.

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Social Media did not start with MySpace, but with “SixDegrees.com” back in 1997, the first platform that allowed users to upload a profile picture and make friends. In the early 2000s MySpace and LinkedIn launched. YouTube, Twitter and Facebook followed these in 2005, 2006, and 2007 respectively. Nowadays, an average person has five accounts on five different networks. Imagine how much further this might expand in the next couple of years. Will MySpace be gone like SixDegrees? Will new platforms be invented?

I’m not even going to discuss MySpace. Let’s think about Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the most frequently used platforms today, and how they attract people into being addicted. How many people don’t spend hours scrolling through their news feed? How many don’t go on Instagram on a friend’s profile and end up on their cousin’s step sister profile?

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How much time a day is spent on social media? “Social media swallows more than a quarter of time spent online” (Lauren Davison, 2015).

I understand that social platforms help people in getting to know other people from all over the world, those who share the same interests, or it might keep them up-to-date bringing the most recent news right in your hands, without having to buy a newspaper or a magazine, but consider that “If you spend two hours a day on Twitter and Facebook, that is 25 percent of your day!” (Chaitanya Sagar, 2010). Couldn’t something else be done in that amount of time? Can’t we control ourselves when we are online?

Not to mention that in our case, as students, these platforms push us to procrastination and leaves us helpless.

So, is Social Media worth our time? Is it worth spending so many hours on a advanced gadget instead of using our passing time on something more important?

From TA to PA – purposes of the internet over the years

Let’s be honest for a moment: it is universally acknowledged that we all prefer to use the perks of the internet for certain things over others. When meant to revise online or do research for an essay, all of us can probably admit to ending up on Topshop’s new arrivals page, Netflix, JustEat, or even Tinder to successfully procrastinate.

 

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What probably doesn’t come as a surprise is that the National Science Foundation (US) feared that the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) – started 1969 as a network between science departments of universities in the western US – would lose its educational purpose and values in time, with access to the net becoming more universal.

The term ‘world wide web’, conceptualising our modern understanding of the internet and alluding to representing exactly that (only slower), might have been coined in 1990, yet it actually wasn’t until 1992 that commercial activity online became legal.

In fact, it took the US Congress passing the Scientific and Advanced-Technology Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1862, for the research networks to connect and merge with networks private clients paid providers for, kickstarting the era of vital technological services we are familiar with nowadays.

Imagine the things that wouldn’t be: it is claimed that nowadays 1 in 6 marriages occur after making contact online. Hours of time and travel are saved online shopping and making bargains; friendships can be maintained on the daily across continents; and detailed information about virtually anything can be obtained. Who’s to say that this is necessarily un-educational?

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I find it surprising just how fast the internet has evolved in such a relatively short period of time – from the ominous asset exclusively for the research sector, to an institution incorporated in modern society, enabling empowerment and education. It took 23 years for this important step be taken, just about as much time as the internet has been ours to use, exponentially increasing in diversity and functions.

What do you think – was it wise of researchers to demand for unlimited data researchers to be available to them only as commercial internet usage jeopardises their cause, and how different would things be nowadays if they’d gotten their way and the Act had never been passed?

History of the Internet – Data Storage

What I found to be interesting and actually surprising is how we stored data, this started off in the form of floppy disks which was used until the introduction of more sophisticated technology, which led us to USB flash drives. Due to the high demand of the use of internet more technology was introduced over the years which led to the birth of cloud storage which is a modern way of storing your data and is easy to access or change as you can access it through mobile phones. The evolution of data storage is easily explained through this image below.cloud_evolution

With the evolution of the internet also came the evolution of Data Storage which I personal think we take for granted since there is two different forms of Data Storage, our hand picked data which we store and the information such as our viewing habits which is recorded without our permission. Overall Data Storage is one of the many things which we do in our daily lives but we don’t really think about it too much we just use it as second nature and forget that some information we might not want to be saved is stored without our permission.

 

History of the Internet

Internet’s journey could be dated back to the year 1962, which was 54 years ago.

The internet has been an ongoing culture in our day to day society, without the internet, our culture would not be the same. Just imagine… we wouldn’t be able to talk or connect with each other from all over the world; our life would be so different without it. The birth of the internet transformed a whole century, generation and lifestyle of every person around the globe.

Till today the internet is still an ongoing journey and has amazed many people with its ways of making life easier and more interesting. The changes in technology have transformed the use of the internet as before only a few people were able to access to it, however, today almost everyone carries it in their pockets. It is a powerful tool, creating a hegemonic relationship between technologic gadgets such as the iPhone and the user.

Since the birth of the internet, people have always had the benefit of gaining information about anything; Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari are the most popular search engines and are used to do research.

Finally, the internet is the world’s largest marketplace and shopping centre. Web sites such as eBay, or ASOS use the internet to sell their products, and this has supported economic growth since it was introduced to the world.

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