The Internet is basically a connection of many computers located all over the world. What these computers really do is exchange information. The Internet seems to be chaotic at first sight. What else should we expect of a system which is not controlled or organized by anybody. But it works anyway. It is the playground for everybody. All of us can take use from this network. It might be disappointing for some newbies when they notice that life on the net is just normal and trivial. But it must be obvious that netters won\'t change fundamentally only because they are connected by a computer. Horror fictions like \"Newromancer\" are exciting and breath-taking, but this has nothing to do with the Internet of today, (Cole, page 10). Still, the world\'s biggest computer network is surrounded by an aura of mystery.
In contrast to controlled flow of information, however, the global interconnection of networks gives millions of people direct access to information in ways the world has never seen before. Information of every sort flows freely, across national borders and around the world, directly from where it\'s happening to where it\'s needed.
1.1 History of the Internet
The history of the Internet is something else than everybody would expect. It was a planned system by the US Army. In the early 1960\'s, in the time of the Cold War, the American government was faced with the problem, how the country was to communicate after a nuclear war. So they created a non-centralized network that linked city to city and military base to base. The network works even if some parts of it were destroyed. In 1969 the ARPANET was created, to give civilians access to it. The users changed this high speed network to an electronic post office (->Email). Scientists and researchers used ARPANET to collaborate on projects. Eventually, people used it for leisure activities such as chatting or mailing lists (-> Usenet).
In the 1980\'s, the National Science Foundation (NSF) started a program to establish Internet access. They created a \"Backbone\" called NSFNET to connect college campuses via regional network, (Cole, page 10). But despite of the switching off of the NSFNET by the US government in 1995, which was misunderstood as the breakdown of the Internet, too many host-computers existed already to keep the Internet alive. Bill Clinton said in his 1997\'s inauguration address: \"Ten years ago, the Internet was a mystical province of physicists; today, it is a commonplace encyclopedia for millions of schoolchildren\", (Clinton, 1997).
(cf. Cole, Internet, S.10; cf. similar PBS, http://www.pbs.org/internet/history/)
In the early 1990\'s the Internet experienced explosive growth. \"Traffic on the Internet expands at a 341,634% annual growth rate\", (PBS, http://www.pbs.org/internet/history/). The main reason of this growing was the creation of the World Wide Web.
1.2 History of the World Wide Web
The World Wide Web (WWW) was created at CERN [http://www.cern.ch/] a physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland in 1989. The World Wide Web is the fastest growing Internet resource, but it is a part of it. Its development was based on the transmission of web-pages over the Internet, called HTTP, by using the HTML technology. The WWW is able to include text, pictures, sound, music, voice, animations and videos on its web-pages. The user can simply click on a link and than switch to a new page, because the WWW-pages support hypertext. The Internet was previously black and white, text and files. By improving the HTML-Mode technology, the color mode was added.
(cf. Gromov, http://www.internetvalley.com/intval.html)
A web-browser is needed to get access to the WWW, like the Netscape Navigator or the Microsoft Explorer. The two companies, Netscape and Microsoft are fighting \"an epic battle\" for the number one position in the web market, (Cooper, page 52). Nobody knows exactly how big the WWW really is. Search engines try to index the whole WWW, like the Web Archive Organization. The huge collection of online books at the Library of Congress [http://lcweb.loc.gov] is amazing.