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1.9 Hardware Trends generate, create none none in none projectsdata matrix creating Every year, people genera none for none lly expect to pay at least a little more for most products and services. The opposite has been the case in the computer and communications fields, especial-. iPhone Page 10 Monday, December 10, 2001 12:13 PM Introduction to Computers, Internet and World Wide Web 1 . ly with regard to the cos none for none ts of hardware supporting these technologies. For many decades, and continuing into the foreseeable future, hardware costs have fallen rapidly, if not precipitously. Every year or two, the capacities of computers approximately double.

1 This is especially true in relation to the amount of memory that computers have for programs, the amount of secondary storage (such as disk storage) computers have to hold programs and data over longer periods of time and their processor speeds the speeds at which computers execute their programs (i.e., do their work).

Similar improvements have occurred in the communications field, in which costs have plummeted as enormous demand for bandwidth (i.e., information-carrying capacity of communication lines) has attracted tremendous competition.

We know of no other fields in which technology moves so quickly and costs fall so rapidly. Such phenomenal improvement in the computing and communications fields is truly fostering the so-called Information Revolution. When computer use exploded in the 1960s and 1970s, many people discussed the dramatic improvements in human productivity that computing and communications would cause.

However, these improvements did not materialize. Organizations were spending vast sums of capital on computers and employing them effectively, but without fully realizing the expected productivity gains. The invention of microprocessor chip technology and its wide deployment in the late 1970s and 1980s laid the groundwork for the productivity improvements that individuals and businesses have achieved in recent years.

. 1.10 History of the Internet and World Wide Web In the late 1960s, one of none none the authors (HMD) was a graduate student at MIT. His research at MIT s Project Mac (now the Laboratory for Computer Science the home of the World Wide Web Consortium) was funded by ARPA the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense. ARPA sponsored a conference at which several dozen ARPA-funded graduate students were brought together at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to meet and share ideas.

During this conference, ARPA rolled out the blueprints for networking the main computer systems of approximately a dozen ARPAfunded universities and research institutions. The computers were to be connected with communications lines operating at a then-stunning 56 Kbps (1 Kbps is equal to 1,024 bits per second), at a time when most people (of the few who had access to networking technologies) were connecting over telephone lines to computers at a rate of 110 bits per second. HMD vividly recalls the excitement at that conference.

Researchers at Harvard talked about communicating with the Univac 1108 supercomputer, which was located across the country at the University of Utah, to handle calculations related to their computer graphics research. Many other intriguing possibilities were discussed. Academic research was about to take a giant leap forward.

Shortly after this conference, ARPA proceeded to implement what quickly became called the ARPAnet, the grandparent of today s Internet. Things worked out differently from the original plan. Although the ARPAnet did enable researchers to network their computers, its chief benefit proved to be the capability for quick and easy communication via what came to be known as electronic mail (e-mail).

This is true even on today s Internet, with e-mail, instant messaging and file transfer facilitating communications among hundreds of millions of people worldwide.. 1. This often is called Moore s Law. Page 11 Monday, December 10, 2001 12:13 PM 1 . Introduction to Computers, Internet and World Wide Web The network was designed to operate without centralized control. This meant that, if a portion of the network should fail, the remaining working portions would still be able to route data packets from senders to receivers over alternative paths. The protocol (i.

e., set of rules) for communicating over the ARPAnet became known as the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). TCP ensured that messages were properly routed from sender to receiver and that those messages arrived intact.

In parallel with the early evolution of the Internet, organizations worldwide were implementing their own networks to facilitate both intra-organization (i.e., within the organization) and inter-organization (i.

e., between organizations) communication. A huge variety of networking hardware and software appeared.

One challenge was to enable these diverse products to communicate with each other. ARPA accomplished this by developing the Internet Protocol (IP), which created a true network of networks, the current architecture of the Internet. The combined set of protocols is now commonly called TCP/IP.

Initially, use of the Internet was limited to universities and research institutions; later, the military adopted the technology. Eventually, the government decided to allow access to the Internet for commercial purposes. When this decision was made, there was resentment among the research and military communities it was felt that response times would become poor as the Net became saturated with so many users.

In fact, the opposite has occurred. Businesses rapidly realized that, by making effective use of the Internet, they could refine their operations and offer new and better services to their clients. Companies started spending vast amounts of money to develop and enhance their Internet presence.

This generated fierce competition among communications carriers and hardware and software suppliers to meet the increased infrastructure demand. The result is that bandwidth on the Internet has increased tremendously, while hardware costs have plummeted. It is widely believed that the Internet played a significant role in the economic growth that many industrialized nations experienced over the last decade.

The World Wide Web (WWW) allows computer users to locate and view multimediabased documents (i.e., documents with text, graphics, animations, audios and/or videos) on almost any subject.

Even though the Internet was developed more than three decades ago, the introduction of the World Wide Web was a relatively recent event. In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee of CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) began to develop a technology for sharing information via hyperlinked text documents. Basing the new language on the well-established Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) a standard for business data interchange Berners-Lee called his invention the HyperText Markup Language (HTML).

He also wrote communication protocols to form the backbone of his new hypertext information system, which he referred to as the World Wide Web. Historians will surely list the Internet and the World Wide Web among the most important and profound creations of humankind. In the past, most computer applications ran on stand-alone computers (computers that were not connected to one another).

Today s applications can be written to communicate among the world s hundreds of millions of computers. The Internet and World Wide Web merge computing and communications technologies, expediting and simplifying our work. They make information instantly and conveniently accessible to large numbers of people.

They enable individuals and small businesses to achieve worldwide exposure. They are profoundly changing the way we do business and conduct our personal lives. People can search for the best prices on virtually.

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