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30 Years of The World Wide Web!

12th March 2019

I don’t know about you, but when I heard that today was the 30 year anniversary of the World Wide Web, I worked back to 1989 and reflected on the tech I was using then. I was a sales guy for emerging phone business, Southern Telephones, selling the Plessey Masterline and the STC SDX 40e. Both very functional analogue line and digital extension systems. We had an IBM AS400 computer with green screens and were selling stand-alone 286 computers to do call logging on which had a 40 megabyte hard drive and a 5 inch floppy. How the world has changed!

I have a feeling we could undertake remote access onto the SDX via 2800 baud modems (rather slow). Which makes me think that the very concept of creating the WWW was so incredibly far sighted. I think my first foray onto the internet was with a 14.5K baud modem coupling with my new e-mail use in the early 90’s. I remember being wowed by those first colour pictures building in front of my eyes. We all know that tech progress has been rapid, the concept of Moores Law has astonished us and the power of our phones these days is almost something of science fiction.

Internet is everywhere, improving speed and performance of business and giving us as users, ever more choice and usually amazing speeds for getting so many day to day things done.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of The World Wide Web

The man who invented the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee was interviewed on The BBC this morning and commented that The Web, being mid- journey, needs a level of reset to move to a ‘better model’, perhaps better self-regulated. What I do think has happened is that the genie is out of the bottle. Organisations and users know that The Web is an incredibly reliable conduit for fast communications, improved personal and business productivity and more and more dynamic methods of the progress of civilisation.

So, what of the future? Chatbots, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles are all emerging. Maybe one day your connected toothbrush will work out it needs to be replaced and it (or its service provider) speaks to you when you are in your car and you have a conversation about the delivery to your office. And you are just thinking as you read a novel while your autonomous driving car transports you, about how amazing it is that the drone will arrive at exactly the time you get to your parking bay with your new upgraded unit (because it’s Cloud based AI had decided that you needed stiffer biodegradable bristles from its infra-red imaging of your mouth whilst you brushed). You step out of your car for it to then leave for the day to do some revenue generating car-share and taxi work. As you walk in you muse about what the future might hold, perhaps there might be something in a personal hygiene as a service concept – after all its 2029.

Happy Birthday World Wide Web from your friendly and reliable Internet Service Provider.

Click here to watch the full BBC interview with Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

By Andrew Skipsey