The Real History Of The Internet

therealhistoryoftheinternet2

The Real History Of The Internet by Chris Green

The Internet was invented by Pablo Gonzales in 1492. There are competing claims to the technology behind it, but Pablo was the one who established the Internet protocol suite (IPS). You may have seen pictures of the early personal computers but in case you have not, they were the size of the average drawing room. The prohibitive cost of them, not to mention the expense of early MODEMs meant that few could afford the technology. As a result of this, the internet spread slowly.

Internet connections too were slow. Using the original Columbus browser, it could take two to three hours to bring up the Catholic Church’s home page and up to four and a half weeks to download a full sized pdf document with pictures. Power cuts were frequent back then and this meant you would often lose your work and have to start again from scratch. Booting the computer alone could take several hours. By 1520, there were only about thirty internet users worldwide.

Bit by bit, new technology was put in place. Faster processors came on to the market, some delivering speeds as fast as a kilohertz. Email named after its pioneer, Viscount E was introduced in 1532. Henry the Eighth’s Chief Minister, Thomas Cromwell sent the very first email: to The Pope. In this, he said that unless His Holiness granted Henry a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, the English Church would sever its links with the Church of Rome. Unfortunately, Pope Clement did not get to see it, as it went into Trash.

Around this time, Donald Face came up with the idea of online internet chat and social media and by the end of Henry’s reign, everyone who had a computer was posting on Facebook and putting their idle thoughts down on twitter. The Columbus browser was by now a little clunky but with timely intervention, the celebrated mathematician, Max Google came up with a new faster web browser.

The shortcomings of dial-up were also becoming apparent. The rise in pornography in Shakespearean times brought with it a demand for a faster service, something that could handle multiple images and video streaming. Miles and miles of fibre optic cables were put in the ground of the streets of towns and cities to facilitate a new service, which became known as broadband. A race ensued between rival entrepreneurs, John Virgin and Grayson Sky to roll out broadband to the masses. In the first half of the seventeenth century about half the western world’s labour force were employed as diggers or cablers. Armies of vans with the increasingly familiar Virgin and Sky logos emblazoned on them roamed the streets and persistent salespeople knocked on doors to sell their product.

Users became more and more dependant on the new technology. As they began to see new uses for it and to develop new tastes, they became dissatisfied with the service they were getting, especially in rural areas. People wanted to stream television programmes and watch music videos. Gaming, in particular, needed higher specification PCs and faster broadband to deliver the high definition 3D graphics. Virgin and Sky began to see competition as other providers entered the market to satisfy the need for speed.

The English Civil War was the first war to actually be fought as a computer game. As the reader will know, wars ever since have been fought using CGI. Thanks to continued developments, the French Revolution and The American Civil War were spectacles enjoyed by millions. As CGI technology improved so did the scale of the conflict, with creators becoming ever more ambitious. Dozens of books have been written on how realistic The Second World War was, and the CGI used to stage the second Iraq war was so elaborate that it cost a figure with nineteen zeros on the end. The current race is to see which company will win the prestigious end of the world franchise.

© Chris Green 2015: All rights reserved

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