/Internet Software Evolution -Part 1-

Internet Software Evolution -Part 1-

“Lessons from History”

I rarely love history. Many prefer looking back at history, to learn from it. Others like reading history to have a great chance to criticize, and show up that they know a lot. Plenty love history because they love reading tales, specially before sleeping. I don’t!

Simple and clear: I don’t love looking back, neither on history, nor on past. However, while I was reading this, I couldn’t help myself loving it, so I thought about sharing it with you here.

Before we begin telling the story please let me say that: I love protocols. Everyone loves protocols, even if they don’t know the story behind every protocol. Organized people love protocols because they know how they get things done, step by step. Lazy people love protocols, because knowing you have protocols at the back makes them trust that things are going correctly, following protocols. Academics love protocols, because it is a rich field of research that is very well formulated, mature, and illustrates to us how things work. Besides, following protocols discussions makes us learn lots of things, and get in contact with pioneers in different fields.

Internet is named after the Internet Protocol, the standard communications protocol used by every computer on the Internet. The conceptual foundation for creation of the Internet was significantly developed by three individuals. The first, Vannevar Bush, wrote a visionary description of the potential uses of information technology with his description of an automated library system named MEMEX.

Bush introduced the concept of the MEMEX in the 1930s as a micro film based device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility [1,2]. In further posts we will talk closely on how Library Information Systems affect our lives, and how it is important to have high information technologies support those information systems, and how it is a popular degree in Europe and United States. After thinking about the potential of augmented memory for several years, Bush wrote an essay entitled “As We May Think” in 1936. It was finally published in July 1945 in the Atlantic Monthly. In the article, Bush predicted: “Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the MEMEX and there amplified [3].

In September 1945, Life magazine published a condensed version of “As We May Think” that was accompanied by several graphic illustration showing what a MEMEX machine might look like, along with its companion devices. If you are not familiar with encyclopedias, please leave questions in the comments below, and I am really willing to answer those questions.

The second individual to have a profound effect in shaping the Internet was Norbert Wiener. Wiener was an early pioneer in the study of stochastic and noise processes. His work in stochastic and noise processes was relevant to electronic engineering, communication, and control systems [4]. He also founded the field of cybernetics.

This field of study formalized notions of feedback and influenced research in many other fields, such as engineering, systems control, computer science, biology, philosophy, etc. His work in cybernetics inspired future researchers to focus on extending human capabilities with technology. Influenced by Wiener, Marshall McLuhan put forth the idea of a global village that was interconnected by an electronic nervous system as part of our popular culture.

References

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vennevar_Bush
  2. http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/194507/bush
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norbert_Wiener

Well , that’s enough today. To be continued 😉