WK 2: The Internet

iLecture: What is the Internet – Tama Leaver

Review/Response:

The Internet has been created by a mix of ideas and motivations from different areas, agendas and scientists. It symbolised how we imagine things are rather than how they truly exist in reality. The Internet is not TCP/IP, or Cyberspace or the WWW but there are relationships between each of these and the Internet, with TCP/IP being a core facet.

Originally called the Intergalactic Computer Network, the Internet connects supercomputers from research facilities, university and big business and transmits information using packet switching. This process breaks up data into small manageable chunks and delivers it via cables, telephone lines or satellite from one computer to another, checking it has arrived safely upon reaching its destination.

In 1969 the first two computers were connected. To allow further connections, the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP) were developed. These protocols allowed computers and supercomputers to communicate with each other, to verify data received via packet switching and to manage data between systems more reliably. TCP/IP allocated a numerical location to each system. Later, these locations were called addresses. The Domain Name System (DNS) further expanded the functionality of the Internet and gave readable names to these numerical addresses. This made the Internet more userfriendly and efficient.

TCP/IP also allowed for email, wich was quickly seen as a way to communicate and collaborate. Email made the Internet social and allowed for many-to-many communication via Carbon Copy and Group email functions. Email spawned newsgroups, which are the ancestors of Bulletin Boards and Forums.  TCP/IP also assisted computers to share their resources and to lighten heavy workloads of single computers.

The future of the Internet is unknown but it is evolving at a rapid rate. Cyberspace is a concept where people and the Net cohabit together as in Tron or the Matrix constantly participating, sharing and communicating together.

the following posts have been migrated from my previous blog to my University-specific blog.

4am, 1 trillion sites, half a ream of paper and a foggy head

It’s 4am on Saturday morning. I’m suffering an ‘almost headache’ and it’s all a little foggy inside right now. I’m about to go to bed shortly and get some sleep. I hope. I’ve had it with firefox after 20 hours: sick of it crashing, sick of xul script errors, sick of the slow, slow wait for it to do anything. Searched the net and not found anything that will actually tell me how to fix it (except use a different browser). Having typed that, I’m writing this up in Chrome. (Love chrome, seriously LURVE it!).

I’m at the end of the first week of my Uni course and I’ve worked out a few things.

  • Print. Print EVERYTHING. Tonight I have printed up all the course work packages for my subjects into nice hardcopies. I can take them to bed, I can highlight things, I can use them again and again to refer back to the assignments. I’ve printed up eReserve items too, and also handy tips and hints from the discussion board. Now that I’ve gone through half a ream of paper, already I feel that just by trying to kill the planet that little bit faster – I’ll be a little more prepared for next week’s lessons.
  • Don’t be afraid to roar – nicely! I roared in a discussion board a couple of days ago, venting my frustration. The support from my fellow students was amazing. I think it was their delicious responses that made me start printing everything up – because I knew I couldn’t rely on the course to get me through – I can only rely on myself and my fellow students!
  • And Kelly Livett. She was a bundle of surprises for me. Not only does a lot of her life mirror mine, but she lives in the same suburb as me! I’ve not met her although I’d love to, one day, but what I was especially impressed with, was her blog about this course. She mentioned that our lecturer mentioned that only a minority use the Internet and how flabbergasted she was at this news. I was flabbergasted that I had missed this vital point.

So how can I have been blind to this vital statistic when there are at least more than a trillion web sites (cite 1 2 3 ) on the net. There are only 7 billion people in the world. That means that for every woman, man and child on the planet there are at least 142 websites. One hundred and forty-two websites! That’s not webpages, but websites! So if we are in the minority (that means less than 50%), what will it be like when we ARE in the majority? When there ARE billions of us on the net, all vying for attention, for connection, for our presence? How will that alter us, our society, our lifestyles? And how will the Web and the Net grow to allow for that? How will it all change?

Also when searching for a precise number of websites, I read that it’s estimated 7.3 million new websites are added every day! (citation) 7.3 MILLION – every DAY! Can there really be that much information to be added to the net that we’ve never heard about?

I’m looking at my half ream of paper. It contains 2 unit course packages, Unit Readers for part of one subject, some assessment notes and a few misc bits. Half a ream of paper! And that’s not even a website. Not one of those 7.3 million that will be added by the time I go to bed on a Saturday morning.

I don’t feel quite so bad about killing the planet now! Goodnight! :D

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