The Internet Before the Web

Last night we surveyed the development of computer technology throughout the twentieth century.

  1. The fundamentals of all computers, including bits and bytes
  2. Storage media, including punch cards, magnetic and optical media
  3. Processors to count the bits, including diodes, transistors, and microprocessors
  4. Computers from military mainframes, corporate minicomputers, and personal microcomputers
  5. Networking platforms, including military LANs and WANs, ARPANet, Ethernet, Bulletin Board Services of the 1980s, and the Internet

By 1993, a dedicated base of computers, ranging from military personal, university researchers, and computer hobbyists were using personal computers, networked together through a large computer network of networks, the Internet. The World Wide Web wouldn’t take off until after the first graphical browser, Mosaic.

But that’s not to say that some popular uses for the Internet weren’t around. People were exchanging vital documents, they were shopping for music, they were forming communities, they were accessing libraries of information, they were producing asynchronous radio programs, and they were even video conferencing.

In this 1993 episode of a long-running television series, The Computer Chronicles, we see some of the early uses of the Internet before the World Wide Web.

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