Illustrated History of Networking: From ARPANet to Internet of Things
I'm writing this text on a laptop while sitting on my back porch, using an 802.11n connection to an 802.l1ac access point, which in turn uses a gigabit Ethernet connection up to my office's router, which leads out onto the FiOS optical fiber system and so on to... anywhere.
When my father was my children's age, the world had barely heard of computers and the concept of a computer network was absolutely alien. Today, the ideas of computing and networking are nearly inseparable, especially as cloud services and distributed applications continue to intertwine the two.
Networking is ubiquitous, even into hitherto isolated regions of Africa. According to IDC, worldwide wireless LAN (WLAN) growth alone continues to grow at over 10% annually.
At a time when so much of everyday productivity and even the foundations of modern business hinge on networking technologies, it may be valuable to pause and look back at how we went from behemoth mainframes functioning as their own isolated islands to, well, producing content from a back yard patio.