On March 13, 1989, the internet was born. A physicist named Tim Berners-Lee proposed to his boss at CERN (the world's largest particle physics laboratory) a concept of using hypertext—those still-familiar underlined links, which, when clicked, take you to another page of content related to that link, to facilitate sharing information among researchers. By Christmas of the following year the world wide web was up and running on two computers. Eventually CERN put the web in the public domain, ensuring the world would have a single system for accessing the internet. Today it is hard to imagine a world without websites, Google searches, video streaming or music downloads. Happy 21st Birthday World Wide Web!

Here are some interesting facts about the World Wide Web:

  • Early names for the Web: Information Mesh, Mine of Information, The Information Mine (But Berners-Lee thought the acronym, TIM, was too egocentric!)
  • The first code and web browser were developed on a computer called NeXT, by NeXT, Inc., founded by Steve Jobs, who had started Apple Computers earlier and returned to it later.
  • The first White House website was launched during the Clinton administration on October 21, 1994.
  • As of August 22, 2009, the most popular website according to alexa.com and ranking.com is Google.com. Next is Yahoo.com.
  • The oldest, still working .com website belongs to symbolics.com. It was registered on March 15, 1985.
  • 1 million domain names are registed every month.
  • The first Web browser was called WorldWideWeb. It could edit Web pages as well as access them. It worked only on the NeXT platform.
  • It took the web only 4 years to reach 50 million users. Radio took 38 years while TV made it in 13 years.
  • An image search on Google for “241543903” will show heads in freezers.
  • First server address: nxoc01.cern.ch (NeXT, Online Controls, 1), with an alias of info.cern.ch
  • First full demonstration: Christmas Day 1990, operating over the Internet from Berners-Lee's NeXT machine to the NeXT computer of his office partner and now Web co-developer, Robert Cailliau.
  • Content of first Web page: The CERN phone directory.
  • First U.S. Web server: April 1991, hosted by the Stanford University Linear Accelerator lab.

Hits (pages viewed) on the info.cern.ch server:

  • August 1991: 100 a day
  • August 1992: 1,000 a day
  • August 1993: 10,000 a day

First Web browsers:

  • WorldWideWeb, December 1990, for the NeXT platform, by Berners-Lee
  • Erwise, April 1992, for Unix, by students at Helsinki University of Technology
  • Viola, May 1992, for Unix, by student Pei Wei at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Samba, summer 1992, for Macintosh, by Robert Cailliau at CERN, finished by intern Nicola Pellow
Stephen Mandala

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This entry was posted in Did You Know and tagged google, robert cailliau, samba, steve jobs, tim berners-lee.