If you have a smart phone, you probably have access
to the Internet almost everywhere you go.
Being able to access what is basically the sum total of human knowledge whenever you want…
That’s a new thing
Last year, the United Nations actually declared uncensored Internet access
a human right that deserves protection.
But it actually took a long time for the Internet
to become publicly accessible at all,
even in the country where it started.
The Internet grew from four computers in the western US in 1969
to a global network of networks connecting more than
20,000 computers by the end of 1987. But…
But it was still restricted to specific universities and corporations
which used it for specific types of collaboration and research.
So how do we get
from 20,000 computers on guarded networks in 1987
to the fundamental human right to Internet access just 30 years later?
In other words,
when did the regular Joes start logging on?
Some of the first tastes of the future came in the 1970s,
when a few companies started selling access to the networks.
There were stand-alone networks that weren’t connected to the main central network
that was the Internet.
But their users could do everything from sending e-mails
to checking updated weather reports,
to playing games and chatting on some of the first ever instant messaging programs.
还能在一些诸如 Compuserve 的 Micronet 上
And on some networks, like Compuserve’s Micronet
users could even read stories from major newspapers
right on their home computer.
Like imagine a newspaper on your computer…
But as great as these networks were, they still had their limits.
有些网站 比如“微网” 只能夜间和周末使用
Some of them, like MicroNET, were only available nights and weekends,
在一般使用 CompuServe 网络的业务停止的时候
when businesses that normally use CompuServe’s networks were closed.
And they were all pretty much isolated islands,
since they weren’t directly connected to each other or to the broader Internet.
Because throughout the 80s, no matter how big these private networks got,
they weren’t allowed on the Internet.
ARPANET and the other networks
that forms the basis of the Internet
were government-run and government-funded.
So the businesses and universities using them
weren’t allowed to have any commercial traffic on the network.
It was fine to use the Internet to download some data
or email your colleagues a copy of your latest paper.
You weren’t supposed to advertise a new product on there,
and you definitely weren’t supposed to charge the general public to come online.
The Internet was supposed to be for research not for making money,
which is pretty weird to think about,
considering how many of us use the Internet these days to make a living.
Around the same time, ARPANET’s administrators were looking
to hand off responsibility for maintaining the Internet.
ArpaNET had long since accomplished its goals,
and the Department of Defense wanted to move on.
The Nation Science Foundation’s huge network, NSFNET, seemed to be the best candidate.
该网络建成于 1986 年，在与阿帕网连接后发展迅速
It started in 1986, and grew so quickly after connecting to ARPANET
that less than a year later
it already needed major upgrades to handle all of the new traffic.
In 1990, NSFNET officially replaced ARPANET
as the backbone of the Internet
and its more than half a million users.
But even before ARPANET was completely out of the picture,
a couple enterprising companies
were connecting regular people to the Internet,
though there’re some debate about which company was there first and when.
NSFNET also had a policy about banning commercial traffic on the network.
But in1988, they decided to try connecting a couple of those
private networks’ email servers to NSFNET.
And a year later, users of CompuServe and an email service,
called MCI MAIL,
could send the first commercial emails across the Internet.
So next year, 1989, we got the first Internet Service Providers,
These were companies that usually didn’t have any network of their own.
They just connected people to a local network,
and to the Internet.
You’ll hear a lot of people say that the first commercial ISP
是一家名为“世界”的公司 创立于1989年12月 临近波士顿的地区
was a company called The World, which opened near Boston in December 1989.
But others say the first ones were down in Australia instead.
And then there’re people who tell you the… there weren’t any true Internet Service Providers
until Congress passed a law in 1992,
allowing for commercial traffic on NSFNET.
The truth is of course that lots of different companies opened their doors,
是 1989～1992 年之间的事
or like their wires between 1989 and 1992.
But all of them offered slightly different services.
Some were just email, some were their own networks that were partly connected to the Internet,
and some offered Internet access without an online community of their own.
以此看来 在不同程度上 有相当多的公司都是“首个”
So in this situation, different companies can all kind of claim that they were the first.
在接下来的几年 更多的供应商出现了 在1995年
More ISPs were created in the next few years. And in 1995,
NFSNET shut down for good and handed everything over to the ISPs.
But even in the early 1990s, the Internet was nothing like it is today.
For one thing, of course,
it was slow, so…so slow
that downloading a picture of Captain Picard took like half a day.
Not that I know that from experience.
To connect to the network, your computer placed a phone call
to the network through a modem, which translated between the digital signals
being used in computers and the analog signals used in landline phones.
Then your computer would talk to the other computers on the network
using the phone lines between them.
This way of getting online became known as dial-up.
And if you ever used a dial-up Internet connection,
you know exactly how frustratingly slow it could be.
但是 说实话 当我们一开始搞网络的时候
Though, to be clear, when we were first doing it,
it did not seem slow, it seemed like magic.
Consents phone lines already crisscrossed the United States when ARPANET was invented,
it just made sense to use them instead of trying to invent something completely new.
Part of why dial-up was so slow is that
there is a limit to how quickly you can cram information down a phone line.
To transmit a lot of information,
you need a signal with a really high frequency,
meaning it can change very quickly.
And for a signal sent down phone lines
that would mean you would need a really high-pitched sound
But phone lines weren’t designed for that sort of signal.
They were designed for phone calls.
And even though new parents might disagree,
humans just don’t make sounds that are that high-pitched.
So phone lines weren’t designed to transmit signals with very high frequencies
that you would need to transmit a lot of information all at once.
The first thing a modem did when it connected to a network
was to check the highest frequency signal that the wires could handle.
And then it slowed the firehose of ones and zeros
coming out of your computer down to that speed.
There’s another reason why the Internet was different back when the first ISPs were popping up.
Back in 1989,
there wasn’t a single website.
Because back in 1989, there was no such thing as the Web.
Today a lot of people use the terms, Internet and Web, pretty much interchangeably.
But they are actually different things.
The Internet came more than a decade before the Web.
“Internet” is a shortened form of the word “internetworking”,
这个词创造于上世纪 70 年代
and it was coined in the 70s to refer to the physical cables
and computers connecting altogether.
Today it usually refers more specifically to all the computers running programs
that let them communicate with each other across the giant Internet network.
Internet began with the networks that were designed as a way of remotely sharing programs,
files, and access to computer.
随着时间推移 发信息的程序也有了 比如电子邮件
Send programs like email were added over time.
But these programs tended to organize the information
a bit like a tree or even like a whole forest.
To get to a specific branch of a program or file,
you had to climb all the way up the trunk, and then down a whole bunch of branches.
接着 要查找其他地方 就得沿原路返回 再回到“树干”
And then, to get to somewhere else, you had to go all the way back to the trunk,
and over to another set of branches.
When the Internet was small, it never took too long to get back to where you started from,
so you could go somewhere else.
But as the Internet grew, it got harder and harder to navigate
unless you knew exactly where you were going.
Even smaller individual networks like the one at CERN in Europe
were getting out of hand.
It was a pain to find everything you needed on the network,
especially if you didn’t know exactly where to find the thing you were looking for.
于是 用户浪费着大量时间 辗转在不同的“树”之间
So you wasted a bunch of time navigating all those different trees.
在 1988 年 一位名为蒂姆·博纳斯·李的科学家
So in 1989, a scientist, named Tim Berners-Lee,
with some help from his colleague, Robert Cailliau,
started working on a better way to arrange all that information.
Berners-Lee is often credited with inventing the Web, and for good reason.
He had this big idea to sort of flatten the tree’s structure.
Instead of each file being like its own little isolated branch,
any document or file could direct people to other related files,
so that they could easily go from one to the next.
他也确实知道 要实现这一功能 最完美的工具就是“超文本”
And he knew exactly the perfect tool for the task—hypertext.
超文本问世于上世纪 60 年代
Hypertext was invented back in the 60s as a way of going directly
from one part of a document to another,
like skipping straight from the table of contents to Chapter ten,
without scrolling all the way there.
后来 人们开始使用这一方法 在不同的文档之间跳转
Then people started using it to link between different documents.
后来在 80 年代 各类程序都使用了这一技术
Then it was incorporated into all kinds of programs throughout the 80s.
Berners-Lee made the hypertext concept to the primary way
of navigating what he started calling the World Wide Web,
with hyper-links connecting different webpages.
The Web was a hit at CERN.
当 1993 年向公众开放时
And when it was made public in1993,
the final major piece of today’s Internet was in place.
Tim Berners-Lee is the reason most websites you go to have addresses
that start with “HTTP://WWW.”.
“HTTP” stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol,
the set of programs used to read documents with hyperlinks.
Sometimes you’ll see “HTTPS”,
which is just a more secure version of those programs.
The “://” is a way of introducing what comes next.
“www”则表示该页面是万维网（World Wide Web）的一部分
And the “WWW” says that the page is part of the World-Wide-Web.
很快 人们便发明了大量不同的软件 访问这些带超链接的网页
Soon a whole bunch of different programs popped up for accessing these new hyperlinked webpages,
each interpreting and presenting them slightly differently,
depending on what their users wanted.
These were the early web browsers,
the ancestors of whatever you are using today to watch this video.
Like Netscape Navigator!
第一版网景浏览器发布于 1994 年
It was first released in 1994.
And the code for her was eventually incorporated into Firefox.
With the Web and the Internet finally paired up and publicly accessible,
连入互联网的计算机数量在 90 年代来了一个大爆发
the number of computers using the Internet exploded in the 90s.
And billions of dollars were poured into start-up companies on the Internet throughout the decade.
Wealthy investors piled cash on companies like
eTOYS.com GovWorks 还有 WorldCom 这样的公司
eTOYS.com, and GovWorks, and WorldCom.
Most of these start-ups went bankrupt around the turn of the millennium,
互联网泡沫也随之破灭 而谷歌 Facebook 这样的巨型企业则从萧条中站起
when the .com bubble burst and giant corporations like Google and Facebook rose from the ashes.
So we’ll have to wait until the next episode of this series to talk about
why and how the Internet went from a graveyard of failed start-ups to the place it is today,
which is, you know, more than just a graveyard of failed start-ups.
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互联网历史之二 | 网络是什么东西