The Internet - Intro Notes - Back to Index



I started using the Internet back in my days as a graduate student at Dartmouth College. My earliest Usenet post archived on Google is 10987@dartvax.Dartmouth.EDU posted from a Sun 3/160 in November 1988, almost three years after the first meeting of the Internet Engineering Taskforce. Fast forward to 1992 and the publication of the first edition of Zen and the Art of the Internet. This was a pretty comprehensive guide and is still a useful document although it does not even mention the World Wide Web which was at that time still waiting in the wings (see this potted history of the Web).

But what about the present - and indeed the future? The information is out there just waiting for anyone with spare time and a web browser. I normally use Google for searching but have been trying out alltheweb as an alternative. Other useful points of reference are the Open Directory Project, Wikipedia and Internet Archive. For news I recommend getting to grips with RSS and if you are involved in creating web content do us a favour and follow W3C recommendations!

I use the Internet for many things but am also fascinated by the technical, political and philosophical issues. Foremost among the political issues are the rights to Privacy and Freedom of Information which are always under threat from powerful forces motivated by ideology or greed. Speaking up for the good Netizens are organisations such as the Electronic Freedom Foundation. Other progressive organisations include the Free Software Foundation and the Open Source Initiative. As William Gibson put it "The future is already here; it's just not evenly distributed yet." Ian Gregory 2010