Tuesday, 27 April 2004, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Allan Davidson – FBCS

This meeting featured a substitute for the advertised presentation, the original speaker becoming unavailable at short notice.

The Internet concept is essentially the connection of computers worldwide. The original network was funded by the US Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). After various experiments it became clear that a distributed network configuration with digital communications was required.

The next component was packet switching. The origins of this came from the UK’s National Physical Laboratory in 1965-6. It was adopted and developed by ARPA in 1967. The final major component that enabled the Internet to become a reality was the TCP/IP protocol, developed in 1974-7.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) was developed in 1970-2 and is an essential component for the secure transfer of files over the Internet. However the dominant application for the Internet has been electronic mail. It is light on resources and provides fast, world-wide communication.

Internet addressing is facilitated by the domain system. This was originally defined by Jon Postel in 1984-5; he then founded IANA, the body that originally governed the system. IANA handed over to ICANN in 1998.

The simplification of browsing and the World Wide Web, along with Hypertext, grew out of work by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN. His concept was released into the public domain in 1991. Another key application concept, essential for the information explosion on the internet, is the search engine, examples of which are Google and Yahoo.

The Internet has had an immense effect on society as a whole and the way that it interacts across the world. Closer to home for the IT profession, the Internet has had a major impact on the software development community, not least in facilitating Open Source software.


The Thistle Hotel
St Albans, Hertfordshire


Free for members and non-members

Last updated 16th November, 2020 at 4:44pm