The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
Are you using the latest and most convenient technology available today? Or are you using an ancient Windowsaurus (an old personal computing device, from the paleo-vista era)?
The history of the Internet began with the development of electronic computers in the 1950s. The US Department of Defense awarded contracts as early as the 1960s for packet network systems, including the development of the ARPANET (which would become the first network to use the Internet Protocol). Numerous people worked to connect computers together in a collaborative manner. Early examples include ARPANET, Mark I at NPL in the UK, CYCLADES, Merit Network, Tymnet, and Telenet. All were developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s using a variety of communications protocols.
A major revolution began, however, when Tim Berners-Lee, an independent contractor at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland, posted a short summary of his implementation of something he called the World Wide Web project on August 6, 1991 in the alt.hypertext newsgroup, inviting collaborators. This date also marked the debut of the Web as a publicly available service on the Internet. The world was never the same again.
In fact, the World Wide Web was implemented and then has changed significantly over the years. We’ve really had 3 generations:
Web 1.0 existed from 1994 through about 2001. It included Netscape, Yahoo!, AOL, Google, Amazon and eBay. In those early days, the world Wide Web was primarily an information retrieval service.
Web 2.0 was the implementation of social network then made the World Wide Web more democratic: anyone could contribute information about themselves, their hobbies, their employers, or any other topic of interest without possessing technical knowledge in how to create Web sites and how to create web pages in HyperText Markup Language (HTML). Web 2.0 started around 2002 and continues to this day. Web 2.0 companies included Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google Plus.
Web 3.0 might also be called the Mobile Web or even “the cloud.” It started around 2010 and gained momentum as more and more hardware became available and higher- and higher-speed wireless networks became common place. No longer was the Web user confined to desktop and laptop computers that had to be connected to the Internet by wires. The invention of the “smartphones” soon followed by tablets, all of which connected to the Web by wi-fi and many also connected by cell phone companies’ wireless data networks, have now removed the handcuffs of wired connections.
The World Wide Web is now available with you wherever you go. New companies and new online services appear daily to take advantage of this new-found freedom.
“The cloud” appeared at about the same time as the Mobile Web although it can be argued that it is a separate entity. Separate or not, the Mobile Web and the cloud are commonly used together and the distinction between the two has blurred.
There is no one definition of “the cloud” that applies to all variations of this new technology.
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