Chris Stokel-Walker

The History of the Internet in Byte-Sized Chunks

The internet is everywhere. But how did it start? How has it changed? And what will it look like in the future?
No development in human history has changed the world as radically, or as quickly, as the advent of the internet. There’s almost no aspect of 21st-century life that it hasn’t shaped or fundamentally altered, for better or for worse. But the history of the internet is longer than you might think. Its foundations stretch as far back as the 1960s, decades before it would become an accessible and inescapable part of everyday life.
In this new entry in the bestselling Bite-Sized Chunks series, author and journalist Chris Stokel-Walker traces the internet from its (relatively) humble beginnings to the ubiquitous force that exists today, from email and dial-up to social media and the metaverse.
Breaking down complex concepts around how the world wide web works, how it has changed over time, and the effects it has had on the world as we know it, as well as explaining key terminology and spotlighting important figures, The History of the Internet in Byte-Sized Chunks explains everything you need to know about this era-defining technology in short, easy-to-digest chapters.
273 printed pages
Copyright owner
Michael O'Mara Books
Original publication
Publication year
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  • embypiehas quoted14 days ago
    large technology firms – Netflix, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Meta (formerly Facebook) and Alphabet (the parent company of Google) – account for 48 per cent of all internet traffic worldwide, according to an analysis by Sandvine, a company that tracks where the bits and bytes go. That proportion is decreasing, by 9 percentage points in 2022, but still shows just how concentrated large parts of our lives and the data that makes them up is in the hands of a small number of companies.
  • embypiehas quoted14 days ago
    Postel would also be behind the introduction of TLDs, or top level domains, such as .com,, .edu and so on, which he conceived of in 1986. When he died in 1998 at the age of fifty-five
  • embypiehas quoted14 days ago
    The DNS was invented by two researchers at the University of Southern California called Paul Mockapetris and Jon Postel, in 1983. It’s a digital equivalent of a phone book and made it easier to keep track of the internet as it grew. That phone book had existed before the arrival of the DNS: in the ARPANET days, those overseeing the network maintained a file called hosts.txt, which contained easily understandable addresses for key points on the network.

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