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Network

In: Computers and Technology

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2.1.1 Network History

The history of computer networking is complex.

It has involved many people from all over the world over the past 35 years. Presented here is a simplified view of how the Internet evolved. The processes of invention and commercialization are far more complicated, but it is helpful to look at the fundamental development.
In the 1940s computers were large electromechanical devices that were prone to failure. In 1947 the invention of a semiconductor transistor opened up many possibilities for making smaller, more reliable computers. In the 1950s mainframe computers, which were run by punched card programs, began to be used by large institutions. In the late 1950s the integrated circuit that combined several, then many, and now millions, of transistors on one small piece of semiconductor was invented. Through the 1960s mainframes with terminals were commonplace, and integrated circuits were widely used.
In the late 1960s and 1970s, smaller computers, called minicomputers came into existence. However, these minicomputers were still very large by modern standards. In 1977 the Apple Computer Company introduced the microcomputer, also known as the personal computer. In 1981 IBM introduced its first personal computer. The user-friendly Mac, the open-architecture IBM PC, and the further micro-miniaturization of integrated circuits led to widespread use of personal computers in homes and businesses.
In the mid-1980s users with stand-alone computers started to share files using modems to connect to other computers. This was referred to as point-to-point, or dial-up communication. This concept was expanded by the use of computers that were the central point of communication in a dial-up connection. These computers were called bulletin boards. Users would connect to the bulletin boards, leave and pick up messages, as well as upload and...

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