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Jennifer Kyrnin

Happy Birthday WWW!

By April 30, 2013

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CERN document that made the WWW open to the world
CERN document that made the WWW open to the world

Twenty years ago today, CERN posted a document that introduced the World Wide Web to the world. They made the software that allowed the web to function free and openly available to the world. I wonder if they had any idea what this would result in, twenty years on.

I learned about the WWW in 1993 around July when I read an article about “hypertext” in Wired magazine. I was living in Tashkent, Uzbekistan at the time, and thought this new way of writing and interacting with the world sounded really interesting. Of course, I didn't have a computer (and only irregular access to email), so it was nothing more than an interesting idea to me.

When I came home I got a job in 1995 at the U.S. nation-wide ISP NETCOM On-Line Communications. I answered phones in technical support on the swing shift for a few months before moving to the email team answering technical questions about our software, NetCruiser. And eventually moving into a technical writing position writing support documents.

I remember when Mosaic started supporting images and color on web pages. It was amazing. We all crowded around the cube where someone had found a page with pictures! It was extremely exciting. Up until then, all we had had was text and links.

Do you remember when you first learned about the WWW? Or is it something that has always been in your life? What do you remember of those early days of the internet? Share your thoughts in the comments. And lift a glass to toast the twentieth birthday of the web!

Comments
May 2, 2013 at 4:12 am
(1) Robert says:

this is my friends memories?
“Brings back memories of my web start up. I had 300 baud dial up and my internet instruction manual was a thick book about 50 or more pages and a large wall poster with commands for surfing the web (which was all text and green and black screen). Hacking back then was a bit of a challenge… a bit. ”

and my memories?
not web, it was internet? not surfing, it was more like crawling or walking? 300 baud, peoples memories know more of cave paints? tomorrow is better then today and today better then yesterday? the pass brings worries and the future brings promise. > ; )

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