Portal:Internet

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The Internet Portal

An Internet kiosk

The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks, consisting of millions of private and public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope that are linked by copper wires, fiber-optic cables, wireless connections, and other technologies. The Internet appears to its users as a single worldwide network accessible to the general public. The protocol that makes it possible to use the millions of networks composing the Internet as if they were one network is a special type of packet switching known as IP or The Internet Protocol.

A computer that connects to the Internet can access information from a vast number of servers and other computers. An Internet connection also allows the computer to send information through the network; that information may be saved and ultimately accessed by a variety of servers and other computers. Much of the information widely accessible through use of the Internet consists of the interlinked hypertext documents and other resources of the World Wide Web (WWW). Web users typically send and receive information using a web browser. Other software for interacting with computer networks includes specialized programs for electronic mail, online chat, file transfer and file sharing.

Information is moved around the Internet by packet switching using the standardized Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP)which defines how packets are moving in any platform especially the transport layer. The Internet Protocol Suite consists of several layers of protocols. The lowest layer (the link layer) deals with protocols that transmit data over specific technologies, such as Ethernet or Wi-Fi. The highest layer (the application layer) supports specific applications, such as e-mail and file transfer. In between are the Internet layer, which provides for transmitting packets over any conceivable technology, and the transport layer, which provides for various services such as reliable delivery of packets or real-time streaming of packets.

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Map of the early internet in 1982.
The history of the Internet dates back to the early development of communication networks. In the 1950s and early 1960s, prior to the widespread inter-networking that led to the Internet, most communication networks were limited by their nature to only allow communications between the stations on the network. Some networks had gateways or bridges between them, but these bridges were often limited or built specifically for a single use. One prevalent computer networking method was based on the central mainframe method, simply allowing its terminals to be connected via long leased lines. This method was used in the 1950s by Project RAND to support researchers such as Herbert A. Simon, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when collaborating across the continent with researchers in Santa Monica, California, on automated theorem proving and artificial intelligence.

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Dell PowerEdge 850
Credit: Rodzilla

The term Web server can mean one of two things: A computer program that is responsible for accepting HTTP requests from clients, which are known as web browsers, and serving them HTTP responses along with optional data contents, which usually are web pages such as HTML documents and linked objects (images, etc.). A computer that runs a computer program as described above.

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Main project: WikiProject Internet

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Related WikiProjects: Blogging • Websites • Early Web History • Internet culture

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Steve Jobs in 2005
Steve Paul Jobs (born February 24, 1955) was the American co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Apple Inc, and was the CEO of Pixar Animation Studios until it was acquired by the Walt Disney Company in 2006. Jobs is currently the Walt Disney Company's largest individual shareholder and a member of its Board of Directors. He is considered a leading figure in both the computer and entertainment industries. He is also widely credited as the inventor of the Macintosh, the iPod, the iTunes Store, and the iPhone. Jobs's history in business has contributed greatly to the myths of the quirky, individualistic Silicon Valley entrepreneur, emphasizing the importance of design while understanding the crucial role aesthetics play in public appeal. Together with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Jobs helped popularize the personal computer in the late '70s. In the early '80s, still at Apple, Jobs was among the first to see the commercial potential of the mouse-driven GUI. After losing a power struggle with the board of directors in 1985, Jobs resigned from Apple and founded NeXT, a computer platform development company specializing in the higher education and business markets. Next's subsequent 1997 buyout by Apple brought Jobs back to the company he co-founded, and he has served as its chief executive officer since shortly after his return.

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Minnehaha Creek

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Douglas Adams
One of the most important things you learn from the Internet is that there is no "them" out there. It's just an awful lot of "us."
Douglas Adams, 1999

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