With only 1000 or so networks in the mid 1980's, the Internet has become tremendous technological change to society over the past few years. In 1994, more than twenty-five million people gained access to the Internet (Groiler..). The Internet users are mainly from the United States of America and Europe, but other countries around the world will be connected soon as improvements of communication lines are made.
The Internet originated in the United States Defense Department's ARPAnet (Advanced Research Project Agency, produced by the Pentagon) Project in 1969 (Krol). Military planners sought to design a computer networking system that could withstand an attack such as a nuclear war. In the 1980's, the National Science Foundation built five Superconductor Computer Centers to give several universities academic access to high powered computers formerly available to only the United State's military (Krol). The National Science Foundation then built its own network chaining more universities together. Later, the network connections were being used for purposes unrelated to the National Science Foundation's idea such as the universities sending electronic mail (today, it is understood as Email). The United States government then helped pushed the evolution of the Internet, calling the project: Information Super Highway (Groiler..).
In the early 1990's the trend then boomed. Businesses soon connected to the Internet, and started using the Internet as a way of saving money through advertising products and electronic mailing (Abbot). Communications between different companies also arose due to the convenience of the Internet. Owners of personal computers soon became eager to connect to the Internet. Through a modem or Ethernet adapter (computer hardware devices that allow a physical connection to Internet), home computers can now be made to be accessible to the Internet (Groiler..).
New Internet servers have evolved since the National Sciences Foundation's basic idea back in the 1980's (Krol). The majority of the home users subscribe to services such as Netscape, Prodigy, America Online, and CompuServe. These services are connected to the Internet and provide user-friendly access to the Internet for a reasonable monthly fee. These services are connected to a main server called the World Wide Web. The World Wide Web is a service that is defined as global international networking (Abbot). The Web makes all of the systems from other countries work together with compatibility. Thus, allowing the Internet to be internationally user-friendly. The United State's stock market has greatly benefited due to sudden interest and popularity in the Internet. Stock holders with share of Internet related companies have noticed a skyrocket in the prices over a short period of time.
The Internet holds an endless amount of information. From Chia Pets, to vacation sites, to the anatomy of a bullfrog, the Internet covers information on and about anything. For example, I was very interested in the sport Broomball when I played my first game at Iowa State's Hockey Rink. Not knowing much about the newly experienced sport, my interests grew to find out more about it. Using my computer, I typed in "Broomball" into Netscape. To my surprise, forty sites that contained the word "Broomball" popped up, and I was able to find out much more about the sport. One of the sights that I visited happened to be down in Australia, another up in Canada! From there, I now know that Broomball leagues can be found all over Canada, and that Broomball was first invented in 1981.
Millions of college student's lives have be effected because of the Internet. To college students, the Internet is a twenty-four hour library that can be accessed through various computer labs across campuses. To others, it is a way of electronically sending in homework, or sending a letter to a friend who is enrolled to a different college. It is also an exciting, growing spot to visit when boredom casts over. From obtaining information to Emailing, uses of the Internet can be endless for students.
With my personal computer set up with Netscape service along with a thirty dollar Ethernet Card, I am able to browse through the Internet in my dorm room. I often Email friends at the University of Northern Iowa, to my cousin in Chicago, and to friends back in my hometown Dubuque. This is quite handy because I quickly found out that the cost of phone calls can be ridiculous, and the wait for a computer to free up in the labs to be quite frustrating. In a few computer science classes of mine, Project Vincent is a system used with the Internet during class. In class, we use it to gain entry into different programs and software. I also use it weekly to submit my Computer Science 227 programming class homework, which is handy because I do not have to leave my room in order to do homework. In my English class, we often head over to a computer center and discuss previous readings though networking. Here, we can join each other in group discussion individually logged onto computers at the same time. From my point of view, the Internet has drastically changes my life since my arrival at college.
The lines once constructed for nuclear protection, have now proven to be a source of useful information and means of mass communication (Krol). The Internet aids education and makes the amount of resources endless. In the future, more and more colleges, high schools, and grade schools will soon be connecting to the Internet. Those who are currently connected, will definitely stay connected. From my point of view, the Internet will continually be the exciting road towards information and communication in the years to come.
Abbot, Tony. On Internet 94: An International Guide to Journals, Newsletters, Texts,
Discussion Lists, and Other Resources on the Internet. 1994.
Krol, Edward. The Whole Internet. 1992.
The 1995 Groiler Multimedia Encyclopedia. "Internet." 1995.
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