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How the Internet was born: a brief overview

origins of the internet

These days, the Internet plays a vital role in our everyday lives. We use Internet networks to send enormous quantities of data from one part of the world to another in the blink of an eye, and many modern activities rely on this exchange of information.

The Internet has taken gigantic evolutionary steps over the course of its relatively recent history. We’ve compiled a selection of intriguing facts and figures about its history and evolution.

What do we mean by the “Internet”?

In everyday modern speech, the words “Internet” and “World Wide Web” are used interchangeably to describe a set of websites that can be accessed using a browser, i.e., a dedicated programme installed on an electronic device (computer, tablet, smartphone, etc.).

In reality, the two concepts are not entirely the same. The word “Internet” technically describes the physical infrastructure that allows us to exchange data, while “Web” and “World Wide Web” describe data on the Internet which users can access.

The history of the Internet and a few key dates

In the 1960s the United States came up with the theory for an innovative telecommunication system that could transmit key data for national defence purposes

In 1969, the first four Internet nodes were created and used to connect four universities in the USA. This first network was called ARPANET and formed the basis for the Internet network developed in the 1970s and ‘80s, which crossed the borders of the United States into Europe.

At the time, however, there were no websites as we know them today. Data packets were simply exchanged on the network. The first website was created at CERN in Geneva in 1991 and the first browser arrived two years later, in 1993.

In that same year, CERN made its Internet technology public and from that moment on, the Internet experienced unstoppable growth and has since been embraced and developed by both private individuals and businesses.

Interesting facts about the origins of the Internet

The first name given to the communication network by theorists was the Intergalactic Computer Network, hence the abbreviation “Internet”.

In these early stages, Italy was at the forefront of the technological revolution and was the fourth European country to launch its own Internet network.

But when did people actually start using the Internet in Italy? The very first Italian Internet node was switched on by the University of Pisa in 1986, where leading researchers were stationed at the time.

What is a programming language?

Programming languages form the basis of human-computer interaction. They are formal languages that allow humans to give instructions to machines so they can process incoming data packets and send outgoing data packets.

Today’s programming languages are “high level” and need to be “compiled”, i.e., translated into a language that computers can understand using special software programmes known as compilers.

The origins of programming languages

The first programming language was created by a woman named Ada Lovelace in the 1800s. Lovelace developed a programme for a machine invented by Charles Babbage, which was the ancestor (though never actually built) of the modern computer.

This basic computer language was used as the foundation for high-level programming languages in the twentieth century, the most popular one being BASIC, which was invented in the 1960s.

The most popular programming languages

Today, programmers around the world mainly work with three programming languages: Python (used by Instagram), Java (which has stood the test of time, seeing as it was launched in 1995), and Javascript, which is used to program interactive websites and animated features, and forms the basis for apps and games.

A programming language can be used on any computer, in any part of the world. That being said, in order for international users to make use of them, programming products need to be translated. Find out more about EuroTrad’s app and software translation services and reach as many users as you can on the World Wide Web!

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September 23, 2021

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