Happy Birthday WWW and PC

This August is a big month for birthdays in the tech world with the World Wide Web turning 15 and the IBM PC turning 25!

Having grown up with computers starting with the Apple II (when floppy disks were actually floppy) and later using the internet and email in my earliest Uni years, myself and others from “Generation-X” are probably the last to recall living without both.

Time for a quick blast from the past…

On 12 August 1981, IBM announced the “5150″, priced at US$1,565 with a whopping 16K of memory and a processor running at 4.77MHz. Ha! This machine wasn’t the first, but it was successful and lead to the popular use of the term ‘PC’ meaning to be compatible with IBM specs. Head to BBC News or Wikipedia for more.

Then, 10 years later on 6 August 1991, Tim Berners-Lee posted a WWW project summary and source code on the “alt.hypertext” newsgroup making it publicly available for the first time. You can see his original postings via Google Groups here,

with final comments in the first post,

The WWW project was started to allow high energy physicists to share data, news, and documentation. We are very interested in spreading the web to other areas, and having gateway servers for other data. Collaborators welcome!

Thanks Tim! Again, check out BBC News or Wikipedia for more.

So where to from here? Who knows! One thing seems obvious to me – personal computing will change dramatically as more and more devices become connected to an internet that is getting more powerful and interactive…


About Chris
A self confessed geek, meteorologist (aka weather forecaster), father & proud kiwi mainlander living, working & playing in Wellington, New Zealand.

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