The internet turns 52 this year with no grey hairs in sight. Talk about ageing well! This makes me feel old!
It’s given us half a century of delight and distraction with online shopping, instant communication, viral dance moves, memes, and more – forever changing the way we live, work, and play.
So, in celebration of the invisible information superhighway, we’ve picked out a list of its pivotal moments. Follow along on our nostalgic stroll through the internet’s history and, in the comments below, let us know which events you think we’ve missed.
1936: H.G Wells predicts the ‘World Brain’
Perhaps best known as the author of ‘The War of the Worlds’, futurist H.G Wells foresaw the advent of the internet in a 1936 collection of essays: “The time is close at hand when any student, in any part of the world, will be able to sit with his projector in his own study at his or her own convenience to examine any book, any document, in an exact replica.”
And that wasn’t the only prediction of Wells that came true – he also anticipated genetic engineering, lasers, and Meryl Streep as the next James Bond. Okay, maybe not that last one.
1969: ARPANET is switched on
In an event that is widely regarded as the web’s ‘first breath’, Leonard Kleinrock and his team succeeded in sending the first computer to computer message from UCLA to Stanford on September 2, 1969. The intended message was the word “login” but only the first two letters made it through before the system crashed.
1971: Birth of the computer virus
Written by Bob Thomas of BBN Technologies, Creeper was a self-replicating program that copied itself to computers connected to the ARPANET to display the message: “I’m the creeper, catch me if you can!”. It was eventually caught by Reaper – the first antivirus program.
1985: The first domain name
Symbolics.com was registered on March 15, 1985. Since then, over 359.8 million domain names have been registered – including Voice.com, which was sold for a record-breaking $30 million in 2019.
1991: The World Wide Web begins
Tim Berners-Lee, a British scientist working at CERN, invents the “World Wide Web” as an easy way to share information. Though we often use the “Internet” and the “Web” interchangeably, they don’t actually refer to the same thing. The Internet hosts the Web, which was Berners-Lee’s breakthrough.
1990: Online searching gets easier
While many of us spent our days at university avoiding lectures and frequenting the pub, Alan Emtage developed a software called Archie, which was the world’s first search engine. Clearly the guy you wish you had for your final group project.
1992: “Surfing The Internet” is invented
Jean Armour Polly coined the phrase in an article for the Wilson Library Bulletin, a monthly magazine for professional librarians. You can still read the original online here.
1994: First Online Order
A large pepperoni, mushroom, and extra cheese pizza from Pizza Hut is ordered online, becoming the first transaction on the Web. No word on how many have been ordered since (but we think it’s at least 5).
2001: Wikipedia opens to the world
The beginning of the end for encyclopedia salesmen. Wikipedia launched with its first edit on January 15, 2001, and fast became the go-to source of information. By 2006, the site had published over 1 million articles.
2004: Facebook makes (a lot) of friends
Before it became a platform for your distant family members to comment on your profile picture, Facebook began as a way for college students to connect with people at the same school. It went live on February 4, 2004, and gained 1,000 registered users in its first night.
2007: Apple reinvents the phone
With 91% of internet use conducted through mobile, we couldn’t have a greatest hits list without mentioning smartphones. The birth of the modern smartphone began in 2007 on a stage in California as Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone. It was a revolutionary design, swapping a stylus and keypad with a touchscreen.
2009: The Labor Government announces the NBN
The aim was to replace the nation’s ageing copper network with optic fibre to give Australian’s everywhere a fast, future-proof connection.
2014: The ALS ice bucket challenge
The ice bucket challenge was a phenomenon in the summer of 2014 in which people filmed themselves dumping a bucket of iced water over their heads in order to promote awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). More than 17 million people posted photos online and over $100m was raised worldwide in a 30-day period. A great example of the internet as a force for good.
2019: ‘Influencer’ joins the dictionary
The internet has even changed the way we speak. ‘Influencer’ is a term used to describe individuals with a large following on social media. Other words in the dictionary that originated online include ‘selfie’, ‘srsly’, ‘LOL’, and ‘OMG’.
As of November 2020, there were 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide – almost 59 percent of the global population. Ask any of them what life would be like without life would be like without the net and the answer will likely be either ‘unimaginable’ or ‘very, very boring’. We think both apply.
Here are some of my favourite photos and memories from our August 2018 holiday to the UK.
The Jacuzzi got a good workout, it was good to see Doris and Alex too.
Thumbs up kids!!
Peter Rabbit was the favourite movie it seemed,
We enjoyed some lovely walks in the countryside, this one was around ‘WhiteWays’ where I mountain biked a lot also.
My old mates, Paul Rumsey and Keith Highland.
Lunch at the Gribble inn in Oving near Chichester.
English barbie 🙂
Me fixing up my 20-25 year old Mountain bike, and Mike trying to fix the kids quad bike.
Catching up with old friends, Tim, Leo and Rich Earnshaw.
Some traditional fish and chips at ‘Freds’ fish & chips in Littlehamton by the river side.
Mountain biking on my 20-25 yea old bike back where I rode 20-25 years ago. This area was called ‘The Pits’ and was where all the kids and teenagers when to ride their bikes. Now its a Private 4wd park.
Feeding the birds at ‘Swanbourne Lake’ near Arundel.
A lovely family photo near ‘Swanbourne Lake’ near Arundel.
We went ‘scrumping’ corn from the local farmers fields.
More fun in my parents hay barn. The hay is for all the horses over the winter.
I’ve just returned back from the adventure of a lifetime. To ride from the Queensland city of Cairns to the northerly most point in Australia close to 1000km’s by mountain bike.
I’ve been wanting to do this for years and my buddy Ian came along with me. The trip took 10 days, of which 8 were riding, covering around 100km’s off-road per day. We had a 4wd support vehicle, and a team of other riders to share the experience with. I have put together a video of all the highlights on YouTube. Watch on YouTube Here
and for those that were on the trip with me, you might like to watch the full over an hour long version to relive the experience. Watch on YouTube Here
Continuing my trend for 2018 of 1 MTB race a month if I can, this month it was ‘the Willo’ a 50km race in Wingello near Bundanoon, 1:45 South West of Sydney.
I rode with my friend Ian again who had technical issues 1/4 way in and had to retire at the 25km mark. This delayed me quite a bit as I waited for him at various points to see if he was alright, probably lost about 10 minutes overall.
Here I am at the finish line and I had used wet wipes to clean the much off my arms, look at the colour of my legs to see how my face and arms looked.
Well I finished at 2 hrs 47 mins, 42nd place out of around 150 odd in the 50km Male category. If it wasn’t for the 10 minute technical delay I think I would have climbed to around 20th place.
When I got home I had a parcel waiting for me from ChainReaction cycles in the UK. A new brake upgrade. Only a small size upgrade from 160 to 180mm, but this subtle difference will help me cope with the stepper gradients and longer downhills I’ve been getting into more as my skills improve.
I took part in a MTB race this weekend with my mate Ian. It was a team relay event where we each do a lap each in as fastest time possible. The winning team is who does the most laps in 4 hours. It was all setup in the bush near Newcastle, all the marquees are from the professional race teams with all their equipment.
I’ve never done an event like this before, their were more professionals taking part than other events i’ve been in. Normally you go from point A to point B getting across the ground in the quickest time possible, and its a long distance with no rest.
This event was good fun as you go as hard as you can for a lap and finish, eat and drink quick to fuel up, rest for 20 mins, then warm up and ‘tag’ the team mate coming in from their lap.
Sanna was our ‘team manager’ and she had to let us know how long till the other person was coming in from their lap by watching the clock. She did a good job but our transitions could have been a lot smoother! Good jump below:
Looks like i’m riding in a tropical rain forest doesn’t it, but this is just 2 hours north of Sydney.
One transition, Ian went off to warm up down the road and when I got back from my lap he was not there, he came back and it was a 30-45 second transition, doh! oh well. Photo of me after a lap, I pushed myself hard each lap.
We didn’t train much and came 16th overall and 3rd in our age group, so very happy with that! I’m sure a lot of it is down to having such a good bike. I hope to do more events this year, I really enjoyed it, and i’m thankful to Sanna coming to support me and joining in.
This weekend I completed the Highland fling mountain bike race which is the 4th time i’ve completed this race I think. It’s either 3 or 4 times, I loose track from the other races I’ve done. This is probably my 2nd favourite race after the Convict 100.
The course is quite technical through farmland and forest with lots of rocky sections and 3 river crossings, 2 of them so deep you have to wade through carrying your bike.
I had a cold just 2 weeks before the event so my training stopped 🙁 So my plan was not to try and get a good time but just to complete the full 55km (34 miles) distance injury free.
Here’s my riding partner Ian who was leading me and came across the line a few minutes quicker than me in the end.
At the finishing line after a hard, hot and dusty 55km’s (34 miles). My finishing time was 2:51:59. I would be really proud of myself getting under 3 hours because I stopped all my training because of my cold 2 weeks before. so to get in under 3 hours with no training I was VERY happy.
I think the new Ibis Ripley bike really helped me get a good time, it was the perfect bike for this type of event and gave me an advantage.
I really hope to do some more MTB race events with my mate Ian, we both really enjoy doing them. Its a real challenge, great fun, well run events and great exercise.
I got my first rides in on my new Ibis Ripley over the long weekend down at lake conjola. It still hasn’t got the dropper seat post in it yet as we havnt had time to install it yet, so it’s just running a normal seat post.
I was so impressed on how fast the bike is and how quiet it runs! I hope in my next race in a months time, if I train, I will do well.
Some great fun obstacles to get over on the trails I rode.
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