In under a generation, the communications revolution has transformed the world. EDDIE TRUMAN kicks off our ongoing series on techonology for the over-50s
It was only in the early 1990s that the world’s media first discovered the internet, which they called back then the ‘information super highway’.
The technical structure on which the biggest communications revolution since the printing press was based had actually been in place since the early days of the Cold War, when the US military built a fault-tolerant network that could survive a nuclear war.
But it wasn’t until the late 1980’s that computer scientists based at the European Organization for Nuclear Research under Tim Berners-Lee invented a system of hypertext-linked (HTML) documents that became known as the World Wide web.
Imagine life without the internet
At first known only to scientists and computer enthusiasts, by the mid-1990s the advent of relatively cheap and easily available personal computers brought the internet to the millions.
As the 21st century began the internet became an ever more crucial part of society and business across the world. Now it’s hard to imagine life without the internet. It’s no exaggeration to say that without it, much of business, finance and government would grind to a halt.
There are many thousands of people who have never used the internet, but have seen first-hand how widely it’s used by their children and grandchildren and how essential it has become to modern life.
A world of exciting possibilities
By spending £300 or so on a current generation laptop and subscribing to an internet service from a telecoms company you can access a world of exciting possibilities. These are just a few of things you can do online:
As in the real world you will need to pay attention to securing your identity and avoiding criminal and anti-social behaviour – but the rewards far outweigh the dangers.