That’s right! Fourty years ago today, Al Gore typed Lo! and the internet was born… wait… what? AL GORE DIDN’T INVENT THE INTERNET!?? Leonard Kleinrock did? I’ve been scammed!?
Here is how Leonard Kleinrock explains the first use of the internet:
The procedure was to type “log” and the system at SRI was set up to be clever enough to fill out the rest of the command, namely to add “in”, thus creating the word “login”. A telephone headset was available to the programmers at both ends so they could communicate by voice as the message was transmitted. At the UCLA end, we typed in the “l” and Charlie asked SRI if they received it; “got the l” came the voice reply. UCLA typed in the “o”, asked if they got it; back came the reply “got the o”. UCLA then typed in the “g” and the darned system CRASHED! It was not the IMPs that crashed, it was not the long-haul line that crashed, it was not our UCLA Host that crashed; it was the SRI Host. Quite a beginning. And so the very first message ever sent over the Internet was “Lo!” as in “Lo and behold!” Quite a prophetic message indeed.
40 years later we are all connected to the internet. Most of us 24/7. With Blackberry’s and iPhones, Netbooks & Laptops, Desktops and even ovens that connect to the internet, we have truly become a wired world.. or a wired America at least.
Today only 6.7% of the African population has internet access, 18.5% in Asia, 23.7% in the Middle East, 30.0% in Latin America/Caribbean, 50.1% in Europe, 60.1% in Australia and a whooping 73.9% here in N America. On average only 24.7% of the worlds population has access to the internet.
Most Americans take things for granted. Today, think about how your life would be different if the internet didn’t exist, and be thankful you live in a place where it is so easy to access.