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The Internet at 40: Track 1

Featuring: Audio Audio

2009 is the 40th anniversary of the first computer network - the precursor of the internet - and the 20th anniversary of the brilliant idea that led to the creation of the world wide web. What exactly is the internet, and how does it differ from the world wide web? Who were its pioneers, and what technological surprises has it sprung? This album opens with a specially recorded interview with John Naughton, Professor of the Public Understanding of Technology at The Open University and author of 'A brief history of the future - the origins of the internet'. He explores some of the key moments in the short but spectacular history of an extraordinary phenomenon, the people who made them happen, and some of the problems that have emerged. The album also features archive interviews with Tim Berners-Lee, Vint Cerf, Donald Davies and other pioneers of the internet age, recorded in the late 1990s. The album is completed by a newly recorded interview with Rodney Harrison, lecturer in Heritage Studies at The Open University, in which he talks about his research into Second Life: Cyber-Archaeologies, Heritage and Virtual Communities. The interviews are presented by radio journalist Penny Boreham.

By: The iTunes U team (Programme and web teams)

  • Duration 1 hour 30 mins
  • Updated Thursday 11th February 2010
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Computing & ICT
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Track 1: The Internet at 40

A short introduction to this album.


© The Open University 2009


Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 The Internet at 40    A short introduction to this album. Play now The Internet at 40
2 A brief history of the future    Professor John Naughton of The Open University reveals some of the key players in the history of the internet, and explores some of the surprises it has sprung. Play now A brief history of the future
3 Pioneers: Vint Cerf    Vint Cerf, often known as 'the father of the internet' talks about the early days of internet development and the ten years it took to get from an idea on the back of an envelope to a fully functional system. Play now Pioneers: Vint Cerf
4 Pioneers: Donald Davies    Donald Davies, a British pioneer of the early internet, explain his key contribution to internet technology - chopping data into small packets that could be transmitted across the netwrok and recombined at the other end. Play now Pioneers: Donald Davies
5 Pioneers: Tim Berners-Lee    Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, talks about where the idea came from and some of the challenges that had to be met in turning his dream into reality. Play now Pioneers: Tim Berners-Lee
6 Pioneers: Ray Tomlinson    Email pioneer Ray Tomlinson talks about about the first mail programme and the origins of the @ symbol. Play now Pioneers: Ray Tomlinson
7 Pioneers: David Filo and Jerry Yang    The founders of Yahoo talk about how they got started and how their browser and search engine developed to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the internet Play now Pioneers: David Filo and Jerry Yang
8 Pioneers: Weld Pond and Mudge    Two founding members of the Lopht talk about their motivation for finding flaws in commercial software, and why hackers like them should be considered on the side of good rather than the side of evil. Play now Pioneers: Weld Pond and Mudge
9 Pioneers: Shawn Fanning    Professor John Naughton of The Open University reveals how how a bright disaffected teenager took the music industry by surprise with a file sharing service called Napster. Play now Pioneers: Shawn Fanning
10 Excavating the internet    Rodney Harrison, lecturer in heritage studies of The Open University, explains why he is doing archaeological research into Second Life, and what he has uncovered so far. Play now Excavating the internet