Welcome. This is the first in the series of my 1 part article on modern technology. In this informative article, I’ll be using my extensive experience in IT to describe the origin and growth of a revolution called the internets. This article intends to examine the historical development of the internets, provide a basic understanding of its working and appreciate its contribution to the contemporary society.
The earliest reports of the internet can be traced back to Mesozoic Era, about 300 million years ago. It was an era most famously known as the one when Microsoft’s Bill Gates broke new grounds by launching the definitive version of Windows: Windows ME (Mesozoic Edition). It was an instant sensation among dinosaurs, ichthyosaurs, angiosperms and primates from all parts of the Pangea. Microsoft were so overwhelmed with the positive response that they didn’t change any of the features for 300 million years, until recently, when they added a few fancy graphics to it and called it Windows 7 Ultimate Edition. This is, naturally, noted as a glaring anomaly in Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, which is based largely on the idea of “survival of the fittest”. How the miserably unfit Windows managed to survive this long without evolving is still a mystery that continues to bewilder modern day biologists.
Archaeologists have also been able to testify to the technological progress in pre-historic times through fossils excavated from various parts of the Earth. These key pieces of evidence are extremely helpful in reconstructing the very first structure of the internet.
1. The early prototypes of routers and broadband connection equipment used for trans-continent communication after the start of Continental Drift. These are still in use at MTNL.
2. The beginning of the Microsoft-Apple product market rivalry.
3. A modern day MTNL employee setting up a broadband connection using modern day tools.
Architecture and working
The internet is based on the client-server model, as shown in the figure below.
How it works:
-When you type a website address, say http://www.facebook.com, in your browser and hit enter, a request goes to the server.
-If the request is polite enough, the server processes it and displays the Facebook page.
-You then login to Facebook and post stupid status updates about your day.
-Your friends then send requests to the server to remove you from their list.
Servers are powered by 4 key elements.
1. Large, powerful coal engines located at an undisclosed location have to be kept running day and night to keep the internet online.
2. Cheap labour from poor countries like Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar is employed at $0.08 an hour to manually operate little hamster wheels which supply power to all servers in the Southern hemisphere. Although the wages are meager, the exploitation illegal and the working conditions miserable, it is still better than what Reebok and Nike pay them for making shoes.
3. Unknown to most religious junkies, their hopes and prayers help in protecting the internet against the evil eyes of atheists.
4. The Pakistani cricket team also helps in covering the cost of server operation and maintenance. How? For every match that Pakistan fix and throw away, bookies donate 10% of their profits to the True Chartity Party/Internet Party (TCP/IP) as a goodwill gesture. If it wasn’t for the Pakistan cricket team, the cost of an internet connection would be so high that none of us would have been able to afford it. (I request you to take this moment to include PCB in your thoughts and prayers.)
Backup server of the entire internet is hosted on the brain of India’s most richly talented actor-par-excellence-par-awesomeness, Upen Patel. For those unaware, Upen Patel was born with a rare congenital birth defect that left him with severely contorted facial expressions, an unmistakably hilarious speech impediment and a photographic memory. The comical facial expressions and gay voice came handy in “bumbling gay bimbo villain” roles in classic movies such as Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani; the photographic memory in systematically memorizing every web page on the internet over a period of 2 decades. Till date, Upen has memorized billions and billions of web pages and databases and is the only backup should the internet be bombed by terror groups. As such, he is understandably the most sought after actor/ backup utility in our galaxy.
1. Usage of emoticons is a vital component of internet communication. In most scenarios, the usage of emoticons determines the intent and the tone of your message.
For example, “You stupid half-brained douchebag” is offensive due to lack of emoticons that are required to soften the tone of the message.
Contrast the above with “lol u stupid half-brained douchebag!!! :D :P”
Clearly, the sensible choice of using emoticons has prevented the sentence from hurting someone’s feelings.
2. Hypocrisy is not only permissible, but actively encouraged on the internet. It is not uncommon to see attention hungry girls uploading close to 500 albums with 1000 photos in each album, detailing every stage of their life – right from conception to embryonic development to their first school drama rehearsal to how they once tasted an alcoholic beverage at some party. These very girls will then complain about “sites not respecting their privacy” and expect sympathy from equally intelligent roadside Romeos who are only more than happy to oblige. And to top it off, this exchange of mutual ass-suckery will most likely be in horrendous English.
3. A rule of thumb: everything is fake and gay on the internet. Any claims/photos/videos of accidents/miracles/conspiracies/accomplishments are fake and gay products of Photoshop and Adobe After Effects. For instance, this:
Applications and usage
Broadly, the only 2 real uses of the internet can be narrowed down to:
2. Pornographic studies.
If you are not using it for watching porn, it is assumed that you are busy spamming at the moment. When the spamming stops, it is implied that you’re occupied with porn. However, certain people have demonstrated that both these activities can be performed simultaneously: by spamming porn or watching porn about spam.
The internet has been instrumental in making the world a smaller, simpler place where distances, languages or cultures are not prohibitive factors anymore. It is astounding when you even begin to comprehend the amount of data travelling forth over the internet, its rate of growth, its global reach, its vision for the future; to realize that, in essence, the perpetual repository of the entire human civilization is available at any point in time to any person at any location.
However, as with any system in the world, the growth and spread of internet has not been without an opportunity for exploitation and malice. Moreover, it is much simpler to blame technology which only obeys the instructions dished out by discerning humans.
For eg, Twitter has been held responsible for spreading internet AIDS by letting cheap Bollywood celebrities with 140 or less functional brain cells post their shitty updates in 140 characters or less. Twitter takes care to verify the celebrities’ accounts but does nothing to verify their intelligence – a serious security flaw, as viewed by many.
One of the biggest concerns for most parents is that their child might get access to pornographic material online. Thankfully, there are a lot of sites and softwares today that advise which porn sites are paid sites and which ones are free, so that children are not duped into paying for porn which can be obtained for free – relieving the parental concern over credit card misuse. Many thoughtful individuals have also contributed towards this cause by publishing lists of “paid members” usernames and passwords free of cost.
It has also been suggested that internet addiction is driving people away from real life social interaction, that people are not spending enough time with their families and that people are okay with the idea of online relationships as opposed to one in real life. I’m not sure of these claims, but I will do some research and post my detailed analysis on Facebook, Orkut, Twitter, MySpace, WordPress, Blogspot, Posterous, Picasa, Flickr, Tumblr, Typepad, LiveJournal, Hi5, Savita Bhabhi and a few other sites soon.
That wraps up what little I know about the internet. Hope you found it informative and illuminating.
Oh and before you leave, don’t forget to collect your free gift for being the 999999th visitor. :D :P