Brief history of the Internet and Web browsers

The Internet has transformed the computer and communications world in a way never experienced before. The earlier communication innovations such as telegraph, telephone, radio, and computer set the stage for this unprecedented world-wide broadcasting capability.

The history of Internet can be traced back to about five decades ago. It all began with the establishment of The Advance Research Project Agency for the US department of Defense in 1958. This agency created ARPANET. In 1963, a standard code called ASCCI was developed for computer from different manufacturers to exchange data. After the communication path was established, further thought went into redundancy. So, by 1964, a new network scheme was developed with multiple paths so that if one communication path was destroyed, the rest of the network would still be able to communicate. Due to the effort of Kleinrock’s early development, in September 1969, the first host computer was connected at UCLA to send the first message via network computers to researchers at Stanford University. On that platform, in 1972, Ray Tomlinson wrote a program to send email over ARPANET and develop the “user@host” convention. A significant leap forward came in 1973 when Vincent Cert and Bob Khan developed a set of communication rules – TCP/IP – that allow different types of computer to communicate. Thereafter, the hosts on ARPANET continue to grow, by 1978, there were 111 hosts on ARPANET. There are other protocols developed such as UUCP – Unix, BITNET- IBM but the Internet matured as a result of the TCP/IP architecture. In 1991, Tim Berners-Lee developed and made public HTTP protocol and the World Wide Web. The impact of WWW was so strong that by 1992, there were 1 million hosts on ARPANET. In 1993, Marc Anderson and his team at NCSA gave the HTTP protocol a boost by developing the graphical browser Mosaic, later he help develop Netscape before Microsoft came with Internet Explorer. In 1995, the NSF ended its sponsorship of the Internet backbone, and all traffic relied on commercial networks. AOL, Prodigy, and CompuServe came online to follow the path of Delphi. Microsoft’s full scale entry into the operating system, browser, server, and Internet Service Provider market completed the major shift over to a commercially based Internet.

A current trend with major implications for the future is the growth of high speed connections. 56K modems is now a thing of the past, new technologies such as cable modems and DSL are prevalent now. Wireless has grown rapidly in the past few years but the next big thing is a surge towards universal wireless access, Internet of Things and mobiles devices which bring about social networking and collaborative services.

The importance of the browser to the web cannot be underestimated. None of the activities for which we use the web could happen without it, a web browser. It is software that lets you locate, view, and navigate the web. Most browsers today are graphical browsers, meaning they can display pictures (graphics) in addition to text and other forms of multimedia such as sound and video. The most common browsers in market to today are Internet explorer, Firefox, Chrome etc.



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ii. Methods of communication

Social Networking

A social networking is an online service, platform, or site that focuses on facilitating the building social relations among people who, for example, share interests, activities, backgrounds, or real-life connections. A social network service consists of users profile, social links, and a variety of additional services. Most social network services are web-based and provide means for users to interact over the Internet, such as e-mail and instant messaging. Social networking sites allow users to share ideas, activities, events, and interests within their individual networks. The most famous social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.



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Email also known as electronic mail is the transmission of messages over electronic networks like the internet. Email is as simple and straight forward as letter writing but in electronic form.



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Wikis and Blogs

What are Wikis?

A wiki is software used to create a website that can be accessed and edited by multiple individuals from any web browser. Teachers can use a classroom wiki page to allow students to collaborate on a group project. Students and teachers can login to a single locations and add or edit content on the page to their classroom wiki. Teachers or administrators can create an educational wiki that would allow multiple teachers to add and edit content dealing with a specific topic.

A Wiki is a collaborative online space for students to view, contribute, and edit content


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What are Blogs?

A blog is a shortened version of a Web Log and an online interactive journal. Teachers can use classroom blogs to engage students in discussions during and after the usual school day such as Kaplan Discussion board. They can post topics for discussion, additional classroom notes or information, classroom assignments and much more. A classroom blog will allow students to interact with their peers and teachers on a continual basis beyond the usual 45-90 minute class period. Students today use social networking blog sites such as “my space” and “facebook” to talk to their peers about life in and outside of school. Teachers can capitalize on this by bringing blogging into the classroom. The point is to have students using a medium that appeals to them to increase their understanding of a given topic or discuss a topic that may not have been adequately covered in class.


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Podcast and Webcast

A podcast is a series of digital media files, usually digital audio or video that is made available for download via Web syndication. The syndication aspect of the delivery is what differentiates podcast from other files accessible by direct download or streaming: it means that special software applications, generically known as pod catchers (such as Apple Inc.’s iTunes or Nullsoft’s Winamp), can automatically identify and retrieve new files associated with the podcast when they are made available, and that these files can be stored locally on the user’s computer or other device for offline use. This is done by the podcatcher accessing a centrally-maintained Web feed, which lists files associated with a certain podcast.


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A webcast is a media file distributed over the Internet using streaming media technology. A webcast may either be distributed live or on demand. Essentially, webcasting is “broadcasting” over the Internet.
The generally accepted use of the term webcast is the “transmission of linear audio or video content over the Internet”. A webcast uses streaming media technology to take a single content source and distribute it to many simultaneous listeners/viewers.


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Streaming Media

Streaming media is video or audio content sent in compressed form over the Internet and played directly, rather than being downloaded to the hard drive, a user does not have to wait to save the file to play it. Because the media is sent in a continuous stream of data, it can play as it arrives. Users can pause, rewind or fast-forward, just as they could with a downloaded file, unless the content is being streamed live.


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iii.  eCommerce and mCommerce

eCommerce and mCommerce are two types of electronic commerce to conduct commercial transactions online. The end result of both services is although same but the way of doing is entirely different from each other. The main difference between eCommerce and mCommerce is that in eCommerce any trading or transaction is performed via computer networks like internet, provides an online marketplace, business-to-business (B2B) buying and selling platform. In mCommerce, any trading or transaction is held via wireless devices such as cellular phones as use today in eBooks, software, banking, pharmacy, traveling, food and beverages, decorative, advertising, trading communities, etc.


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