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Roles of Computer in the Society

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Roles of Computer in the Society

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  • April 2006
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At the beginning
The Internet began to evolve when packet-switching networks came into operation in the 1960s. When transmitted, data is broken up into small packets, sent to its destination and then reassembled. In this way a single signal can be sent to multiple users. Packets can be compressed for speed and encrypted for security.

ARPANET moves it forward
Early packet-switching networks were set up in Europe. In 1968, a similar system was developed in the USA which went into operation at the US Defence Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in 1969. ARPA, also called ARPANET, used Network Control Protocol (NCP) as its transmission protocol from 1969 to 1982, when NCP was replaced with the now widespread TCP-IP (Transmission Control Protocol - Internet Protocol). With the technology in place, the question was what to do with it! A number of interconnected US military computers formed the first sizable Internet for defence use. E-mail developed through ARPANET as did the bulletin-board system, Usenet in the 1970s/80s. During this period all major universities in the USA were connected to the network. This was found to be the ideal method of sharing experimental and educational data. 1973 saw the first intercontinental connection when the University College of London, England, joined the Internet.

USENET spurs it on
USENET contributed enormously to the Internet's rapid expansion and is considered to have begun in 1979. Its spirit of information sharing and discussion was the hallmark of its system and was reflected in the Internet as a whole. When personal computers were introduced in the late 1970s, a huge new and ever-expanding computer population was introduced to the Internet. E-mails was increasingly used, network discussions took place and in the 1980s, communities formed chat rooms.

The World Wide Web widens its horizons
1991 saw the introduction of what we now call the World Wide Web, the brainchild of Englishman Tim...

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