Personal History of the World Wide Web

Personal History of the World Wide Web:

I was introduced to the World Wide Web via Mosaic on a friend’s computer.  I was living in a very remote location and finding out what was going on in the outside world was challenging at the best of times.

I bought our first computer from a catalog from Gateway

Gateway Inc. is an American computer hardware company based in Irvine,California, that developed, manufactured, supported, and marketed a wide range of personal computers, computer monitors, servers, and computer accessories. It became a well-known brand in 1991 when it started shipping its computer hardware in piebald boxes and for its creative advertising inComputer Shopperand other magazines. Gateway was acquired by Acer in October 2007, for approximately US$710 million

We had used computers before with my trusty Amstrad:

and used the floppy discs and played basic games on this fantastic machine, but when I saw the internet for the first time the fact that there were full covered images and not clunky graphics gave us a glimpse of what was to come.

The use of strong images and then moving images made the internet an attractive place to be.  This made a big impact.

The second most significant and most immediate effect of the internet was the access to the “net-phone”.

By using the connection I could talk to people all over the world cheaply.  By connecting a microphone and speakers to the computer I could dial any phone in the world and talk.  This was important and significant as if the “phone ladies” didn’t arrive at work on time, or it was a public holiday, or if it was the weekend, or if there was an important family event, or….

then there were no international lines to be had.  This way I had access to my own international switchboard at a fraction of the cost of a landline.

Access to products and being able to order everything you need, eventually was significant too.  Living overseas, or in a remote location, or even living in a small village in Cornwall limits being able to buy anything.

Village shops and stores have mostly closed down.  Postage is expensive and keeping up with new products, developments and technology is difficult if you live outside of a city.  The internet has given everybody who can get a signal the opportunity to keep abreast of events and advances.

Mostly though the internet has provided me with the ability to have the freedom to work from home and then later to work from literally anywhere in the world where I can get a signal.  This also means a signal from a mobile phone through 3g.  I can keep track of my customers; I can contact them via email, viber, skype, text.  I am up to date with the process of doing business. I can manage the advertising, accounts, queries and marketing.  I can blog and tweet and add pics to facebook.

I can store stuff. I can store my photographs, my files, my notes, my videos, my accounts online.  I have total freedom to work in a free and flexible way.  The only disadvantage sometimes is I am in the wrong time-zone!

On a lighter note, seeing men type has been a major shift in the status of typists and secretaries.  It is a great leveler to know that the days when a man couldn’t sit down and type a letter have gone.  People are more independent when it comes to communicating.  We can all type an email, without having to ask for the assistance of another.

I have worked from home since 1998 and this would not have happened without the internet.  Although the internet was not at the core of my business at the start, it is now wholly internet based.  My customer base was only the UK when it started. Now I have customers from every country in the world.  (Papua New Guinea yesterday).  My market has grown and my market share is only small so I have a huge market to try and get into.

Who knows what will happen next.  The introduction of wi-fi, broadband, 3g, laptops, smart phones, Blutooth and the internet of things are all significant and have had a direct impact on the way that my working and personal day is.

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