According to this article at CNET, the Web turned 20 last Friday.
It was 20 years ago today: The Web | Coop’s Corner – CNET News
Tim Berners-Lee proposed “a distributed hypertext system” in a paper published on March 13, 1989. Here it is in a nutshell:
Amazing to think of the change that this little idea provoked. In 1989, all that Sir Tim was proposing was an idea to deal with the loss of corporate information at CERN, due to staff turnover and a mess of incompatible data systems (that’s government for ya!). Sir Tim’s modest idea was to create a “… linked information system, in which generality and portability are more important than fancy graphics techniques and complex extra facilities.”
Fast forward to 2009, and we’ve got this vast instant information ecosystem, churning out new data 24-7, 365 days a year. ‘Course nowadays, those fancy graphics techniques and complex extra facilities are pretty embedded in the functioning of the Web … ah well, at least the generality and portability aspects of the original idea are still somewhat intact.
(Found this via Doug Halsam – like his reaction:
The Web is 20 years old? All that means to me is it still needs a fake ID, but at least it’s old enough to vote. Maybe the Internet did elect Obama after all.
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So here I am obsessing over the iPhone coming to Canada. Wondering whether I should wait for the official release from Rogers or to ask an American friend to ship me one that I can jailbreak. As if I need another tech gadget, another way to get online.
Reality check time – Computers are finally (legally) available in Cuba. They went on sale there last Friday. But Internet access will still be unavailable to the home user. Here’s the Washington Post’s take on the story.
And here’s a vid from the BBC:
Now I should tackle some serious questions, like “why tower PCs and not more energy efficient cheapo laptops instead?” or “will these new economic freedoms to buy computers or cellphones in Cuba ultimately lead to unforseen political consequences?”
But no. Cuz this story made me nostalgic — it made me recall the very first PC I ever owned. It was an Apple II clone that I built with the help of my dad when I was about 10 years old. My science teacher in grade school was selling kits with all the parts and we assembled it in the science labs at school on a Saturday morning. Looked a lot like these shots.
(source: Apple II History)
I spent hours and hours playing with this thing. At first I had no internet BBS access, so I remember trading those 5.25″ floppies with my geek friends at school to get the latest games and such (A cracked version of Castle Wolfenstein took something like 10 floppies – man, installing that was a pain). I learned to make simple little proggys in Basic. I learned about hexadecimal codes and how to make simple graphics and animations. I can still picture that classic green-on-black display.
I didn’t do much homework with it. Actually, because of this thing, I did a lot less homework generally. Watched a lot less TV too. So you get some good with the bad.
This little machine had a hugely formative impact on me. While I didn’t end up being a real ‘geek’ — I took anthropology and literature at University, not computer science — I have always found ways to indulge my inclinations and tendencies in this direction. And ever since my introduction to the Apple II, I’ve always spent waaay too much time interacting with the computer, rather than, uh, people and life and stuff like that.
This little toy set off a chain of events that culminated in the post you are reading now. I’m sure the Cubans are ready for this, but is their government?
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