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The Internet: Getting Better with Age

- October 28, 2009 - 29 Comments

It was forty years ago today,
That the Internet began to play
It’s been going through a lot of styles
But there’s always stuff to raise a smile

I was born during the Gen-X era, before we had the ‘net, PCs, or cell phones. Despite that, my web-savvy quotient is still respectable. But it doesn’t come close to Gen Y, much less Gen Z—populations immersed in a world of Facebook parties and twittering from here to there at all hours around the globe. And maybe it’s because of the technological leaps I’ve seen in my lifetime that I appreciate what the Internet has brought us. Despite its faults and imperfections, it’s key to our everyday existence. The Internet is the new family hearth… the town square… the city forum… the global village. And this cultural pillar turns 40 this week on October 29.

At a number of employers, most recently Cisco, I’ve witnessed its construction, like a dirt road in the countryside, first oiled, then paved; two lanes, then four, then eight. It reminds me of an old Cisco ad. 

It’s from the mid-90s, but its message still rings true.  Remote access servers followed by Digital subscriber line access and now fiber.  Token rings and bridges, have given way to switches and routers. Flip phones, Blackberries, and now iPhones and Droids.  My local Bulletin Board System grew into the World Wide Web, and now, into something I don’t even bother to name. It is just there. Until a few years ago, our focus was on building out the broadband wireline platform – building the foundation on which we deploy all our Web 2.0 applications and cloud-based services. 

In the not-too-distant future, we’ll be able to say the same about mobile broadband, paving the way to a common experience whether you’re at your desk, on your smartphone, or using any other Internet-connected device you may have. Where ever you are, whenever you are. It all adds up to Borderless Networks – a far cry from where we started, but in many ways, the natural evolution of that first tenuous connection between UCLA and Stanford Research Institute.

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29 Comments

  1. Internet has entered toilets too!!! Cellphones have breached all expectations and with that, some boundaries too. Although it is a technological thing, common people perceive it just as an advanced tool of entertainment.

  2. In 130 countries around the world, each piece of Omega was sold by first-class dealers is the young generation's ideal

  3. Happy birthday to the internet. I can't wait to see where it will be in 40 years...actually I wish I knew I could make trillions...

  4. Yup.. true..Hoping sooner or later Cisco learning facilities will be available in our country nepal too.. recently we had to go india for study..

  5. Probably I belong to Gen W if there is one but I am proud to be living with Gen Y. Sometimes I keep thinking internet has broken all age barriers too like it did with national, cultural borders etc. Thanks...

  6. Indeed internet is tomarrow's power for mankind.

  7. The knowledge is power, and Internet is biggest bank of knowledge, and the best part that most of it is free. Where we go from here it is hard to predict, but I am sure that something extraordinary is expecting all of us.Happy 40!

  8. I totally agree, the wireless thing is really getting big, We tend to really come to rely on it.

  9. I remember when I got my first 56k modem, and was so amazed at the speed of 13kb per sec downloads. I was in heaven! Now, if my speeds on downloads are below a meg, I freak out!! lol! The internet has come a long way, and it's still so very young, the future looks bright, and I am very excited for what's next. Excellent post. :)

  10. I have to say it is, but I just hope are economy can hold up. In fact I love the internet more than any electronic on the market. I wonder who's idea it was to construct such a magnificent masterpiece?

  11. Hi, Here I learn very useful information about internet, very nice post now going on internet world so i am very happy to read this and simple words share with you.

  12. I was reading an article earlier today that was describing how mobile broadband is set to have more users than home broadband by 2011.This is something I find very hard to believe but I suppose when the www was first released people didn't think it would become as big as it is today.

  13. Marie I agree with you completely. I think many people never would have envisioned the internet would become what it has. I also agree that the wireless experience is the wave of the future. I just wonder if the internet will have the same name in 20 years...perhaps it will be called Skynet or mother brain in the not so distant future j/kkeep up the good blogging!

  14. Although I agree, that the internet has come of age and is truly wonderful way for people to communicate and interact,I can't help feeling that face to face human interaction has suffered.More and more people are spending time alone, tapping on a keyboards in darkened rooms, instead of being out and about socialising. I'm not saying that the internet is all bad, it's just not all good !!

  15. Can't agree more. If you belonged to gen X, then I to gen W. So, it's good seeing it grow like it did

  16. Agreed, and now I can't make my day colorful with out internet ^^ :lol

  17. I agree - I still find it totally amazing that I can browse the internet pretty much anywhere on a device that fits in my pocket!Gone are the days of using a PDP-11 or mainframe!!

  18. Yes...i agree with that...your absolutely right.In my country, new generation of internet connection is WIMAX

  19. Probably I belong to Gen W if there is one but I am proud to be living with Gen Y. Sometimes I keep thinking internet has broken all age barriers too like it did with national, cultural borders etc. Anyways, I couldn't agree more with you.Alevoor Rajagoal

  20. The internet benchmarks today are ordering pizza online with a timer showing when it's being made, cooked and ready to be delivered.One of the problems the internet faces today is saturation and providing quality content.Hat's off to projects like Wikipedia.

  21. Yes but how about net neutrality. Borderless Networks sound good but too good to be true in the near future.

  22. Maybe one day it will be implanted in our heads as well and we will all speak like that search engine commercial.

  23. My daughter was born in May 2009 and I can only imagine all the technological advances she will see in her lifetime.Children today have so much to start with if we compare to my generation (born -77). We see specialized operating systems to help them take the plunge into the networked world. They come in contact with technology from a very young age.Some schools in Finland have pilot projects where elementary school children learn to write on the computer instead of the traditional way. The will of course eventually learn to write but the idea is that typing is easier to learn when you don't have to think about how it looks. Remembering my freehand writings from elementary school makes me smile.All this technology and connectivity also brings new challenges to us parents. How do we control what they do online? Who do they talk to? Unfortunately the Internet has, in all it's glory, also brought the predators in our homes. Just look at how many sad stories about pedophiles and killings there are in the news today. They've probably always been their but now they have a totally new gateway to get to the young and innocent ones.As a parent to a 5 months old girl I'm wondering why there is little to non development to secure children's on line experience.So even if our generation has made these huge leaps it has brought us these downsides. We now need to watch over our children even at home. Home when we grew up was a safe environment and our parents could at least partly relax when we were at home.I guess I'm over analyzing this right now. Great reading anyway. Thanks.

  24. Cisco has really walked abreast with technology and development. And I being such a huge netaholic, just couldn't wait to see the developments in the field of Borderless Networks"" !!!"

  25. I discovered the Internet in 1990 when he lived in Russia, it is difficult to believe how quickly things have changed, surely in the future all will move to full automation?

  26. Nice post. While every one (http://thenextweb.com/2009/09/02/today-supposedly-internets-40th-birthday-experience-online/) mentions email and www as the turning points in the history of internet, most of them forget the hardware side. Yes; turning those 'mud roads' to 8 lane highways is important as well. Without those, we would still be with telnet and BBS.

  27. just like a good wine! :P but seriously, I completely agree with you and I think we can expect more great things from it. It's hard to believe how much our lives have changed in the past 10 years.

  28. Wow, hard to believe its been 40 years that the internet has been around. Now having said that, the mainstream use of the internet of course started in the 90's and with the Dot.com explosion. I just wished I had this kind of technology back in the early 80's going to university. Life would have been so much simpler.Today, students can login to their respective colleges or universities and download the classroom notes and in many cases an actual video of their professor discussing the issue of the day. How cool is that? I am looking forward to what technology will be like in say 5 or 10 years and utilizing it for my home based business. It has changed how we interract on every level as individuals and corporations. Regards,

  29. I completely agree with this, and I also believe it will add up to Borderless Networks.