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.
I’m officially an old man, I am 40 now! I received so many cards reminding me of the fact of course, why not. My 40th fell on a Saturday, perfect! Saturday 17th Nov 2018. Thankyou for all those cards, lovely to see them from my family in the UK wishing me well.
Sanna suprised me by organising my friend Ali whos into cars in a big way like me, to visit Porsche and then go look at the new McLaren Senna HyperCar, a $1.5m tribute to F1’s most famous driver. Lovely way to start the day.
After a couple of hours drooling over cars and having a good play with all the buttons on the Senna (surprised no one was around to tell us not to considering its the price of a small sydney house) we went back to our roof top garden where a surprise of 30 people were there for me.
This is my favourite cake, its called watermelon cake and is layers of watermelon, cream with Rosewater and almondmeal sponge, topped with strawberries and edible flowers, it’s so super yum!
All bubbles gone Daddy!
Thank you to Mitra for a lot of these lovely photos. Thanks to everyone that made the effort to make the party happen and to all those that came to surprise me.
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.
Warning, a couple of photos and the text are a bit graphic if your squeamish.
Mon 11th June 1am
Its 1am in the morning, Sanna has started her contractions. She noticed a change today, it felt ‘different’ she said. We already knew from scans the baby is currently sideways (known as breech), not head down like it should be, let’s hope when we get to the hospital and they check, it has turned to the correct head down position.
Mon 11th June 1:55am
Oh wow what a rollercoaster ride! Fast forward 55 minutes it all happened so quick! The contractions started so quick and got faster and faster, after just 30 mins the waters broke and Sanna was shouting ‘the babys coming!!’
She was in the bathroom, I was in the bedroom next door and I replied “don’t worry you’re doing well it’s on its way”. Next thing, Sanna let out a large roar of pain and said in a panicking voice, “the babys legs are hanging out!!!” I rushed into the bathroom, looked, and I couldn’t believe it. Sanna was squatting in the bathroom and 2 purple legs were hanging out, blood everywhere and we were in our bathroom at home, not ideal!
I hung up the phone from the midwife who I was talking to about the contractions and phoned emergency 000. They despatched an ambulance straight away and talked me through what to do.
I was really scared of situation we were in, I knew a breech birth at home with no medical professionals around could be extremely dangerous for both mother and child, but I was determined to remain calm and not show my fear to Sanna who was very scared.
There was a guy and a women on the 000 phone, the guy seemed more experienced and they asked us to remain calm and explain everything that was happening very clearly as we were their eyes.
2nd push and the baby was out up to its waist, 3rd push and the left arm and half the chest out, 4th and final push and the head and other arm popped out onto the soft towel I lay beneath on the ground. In just 5 minutes we went from no baby showing to all the way out.
Baby Taylor wasn’t breathing and lay still and a deep purple colour on the towel, still attached to Sanna by the cord. The 000 staff on the phone told me to rub Taylors back to stimulate her to breathe. After a minute (which felt like 5 minutes) she took a tiny breath of air, then after 15 seconds another breath, then a 10 seconds gap and another breath, the gaps between the little breaths got shorter and shorter. After a few minutes she started to breath slowly and regularly and started to make a quiet wheezing sound which was GOOD the 000 person on the other end of the phone said.
I asked Sanna to get off the floor and sit on the closed toilet seat lid and I put baby Taylor in the towel in her arms and took this quick photo.
A few minutes later 4 ambulance staff and Hanna all arrived at my units door at once. Hanna saw all these ambulance crew and wondered what the hell was going on.
The ambulance crew looked at Taylor quickly and everything looked ok, and helped clamp the cord so I could cut it. It was a relief they said everything was ok and we had successfully delivered little Taylor.
Sanna was taken to the Royal Randwick hospital for women in the ambulance and I followed shortly in our car, after cleaning up the bathroom which was a right state.
Sanna and baby Taylor were completely healthy, and she weighed 3.5kg, larger than Zara who was 3.1kg. After reaching the hospital we could start to relax and the happiness started to creep in, and we could start to think back to what happened, what a night!
First time photo of when Zara met her little sister Taylor.
Eating time at the hospital.
Sanna is recovering well at the hospitable and the doctors think she will be home tomorrow.
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.