Yesterday August 7, 2012 was the twenty-first anniversary of the first public World Wide Web posting on the internet by Tim Berners-Lee who worked at CERN in Switzerland.
I wasn’t aware of this event but less than a year later I was introduced to MOSAIC the precursor to Netscape and in turn Firefox, which I use today. Within a month I had my own crude website working on my SUN SPARC workstation. Can you imagine my being able to convince my boss to let me spend $14,000 on a workstation? Those were the days in Bell Labs. Anyway my site was only available from inside the ATT network.
From the first I knew that this was the killer application*of the internet just like the spreadsheet was the killer app. for the PC. When I first went to work for the labs, it was standard procedure to use pads of paper available in the stockroom called planning sheets marked off in a grid of cells just like in EXCEL. Were those drudgery to keep up to date? Change a number here and you have to chase all over the page erasing and updating the resultant numbers.
* Before the web, if you wanted to obtain publicly available documents, you had to go to some well-known site and use FTP to retrieve the documents.