Tim Berners-Lee, director of the World Wide Web Consortium and inventor of the Web.
Tim Berners-Lee, director of the World Wide Web Consortium and inventor of the Web. (Photo: Donna Coveney.)

by Tim Berners-Lee

Progress in communications technology has been characterized by a movement from lower to higher levels of abstraction. When, first, computers were connected by telephone wires, you would have to run a special program to make one connect to another. Then you could make the second connect to a third, but you had to know how to use the second one too. Mail and news was passed around by computers calling each other late at night, and, for a while, email addresses contained a list of computers to pass the message through, such as: timbl@mcvax!cernvax!cernvms.

It's not the wires - it's the computers
The ability to use this communication power between computers wasn't truly useful until the Internet. The Internet allowed one to forget about the individual connections. It was thought of as the 'Internet Cloud'. Messages went in from one computer, and appeared in another, without one having to worry about how they were broken into packets, and how the packets were routed from computer to computer.

Next issue: October 2019
Special theme:
Smart Things Everywhere
Call for the next issue
Get the latest issue to your desktop
RSS Feed