Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Does History Help Me Understand My Relationship With Technology?
In this blog I am going to identify going to identify key aspect in our past that could seriously help me see if, history has a major part to play in out lives’ today. There are various forms of technology today but, one of the popular forms of technology today is the internet. So In this blog I am going to look into both history of modern technology today in addition to, the origins of the internet.

Firstly I’m going to look at some interesting facts about how the past has shaped technology into today’s form. The earliest forms of technology were all used to help the military in combat or, assist the military in working out trajectory in some of their weapons (ENIAC). Before that even humans were referred to as computers, due to them having to do the calculations of what the computers then had to do. The human computers then were not, capable of working as fast as the computers managed to which in turn terminated the use of the human computers.  Vannevar Bush was another innovator in terms of early internet and computing in which he had concept of technology called the memex, which enabled the users to; store all of their books, communications, and records on to it whilst, also being swift and reliable. The memex in terms is relatively the internet as we know it today without it being, on a computer by means of the memex; allowing users to research upon facts and articles at will, search through books and store your information on it for as long as you want. So I am convinced that Vannevar Bush’s creation of the memex is what eventually leads in to the Internet being formed as we know it today.

Early signs of the modern internet was called ARPANET funded by ARPA/DARPA which was U.S. Military owned department of development of new technologies. ARPANET was primarily used by university students and, the U.S. Military, both groups used them to connect amongst themselves and share information. The ARPANET was fundamentally one big network that worked similarly to how the internet does today. But in 1983 MILNET separated from the rest of ARPANET network because, the U.S. Military need to have their own private network where their important documents wouldn’t be breached. So after that ARPANET and MILNET became two different networks being; ARPANET being used for civilians and, MILNET for military use only. ARPANET then went on to be the start which would later become the internet today.

As civilian became more familiar with computers the use of the internet allowed certain skilled people to manipulate how the computers can be, changed and to use it for other means. Hackers stood by certain codes which they all shared and thought; everyone should follow the principles which were; Sharing, Openness, Decentralization, Free access to computers and World improvement. All those points were included in Steven Levy’s book: Hackers Heroes of the Computer Revolution.  The hackers’ antics are those which many of us stand by today as we tend to; download music illegally, use bit torrents, watch free movies online and most people today are enjoy using a computer. Their point is also proven again as you can see how popular a site like YouTube is in the world today. If you had to pay or monthly subscriptions just to use the YouTube service, I think YouTube would be as popular as it is today. Obviously not everyone agrees to download music and software for free illegally but, for my generation it is very easy and very common to hear people say they download things illegally and, it started from the hackers’ ethics being passed down.

Up until the 1970s computers were mainly great big mammoth machines which apparently you had to drive to or in my lecturer’s shoes’ go on a school trip just to use one or see one. There was no sense of privacy when using them because they were just too big for someone to take in to their house.  We all thank God for the creation of the PC as it offered people back then the sense of owning state of the art machinery as well as, the personal freedom everyone wanted whist using a computer. Xerox Parc was a company that was founded in 1970 and are thought to be one of the leading innovators in the modern PC today. Xerox Parc is located in Silicon Valley in California, and these days are a subsidiary of Xerox Corporation. According to some reports in the late 1970s it was said that Apple Inc.’s Steve Jobs stole various ideas and, inventions that belonged to Xerox Parc. After a visit to the Xerox Parc in 1979 it was said that “Steve Jobs and a team of developers working on Apple's Lisa personal computer cadged a visit to Xerox's legendary Palo Alto Research Center and walked away with a sackful of secret technologies that it marketed before Xerox did. These included the graphical computer display that the original Macintosh made famous, the granddaddy of the animated, multicolored computer displays of today.” Quotation from: If this is the case the great apple company we all adore is false and should be seen for the cheats that they are. In addition to this, I have to ask why isn’t Xerox Parc as big as Apple today? Also if apple did steal from Xerox Parc why did they lose their lawsuit against them? Those are relative questions for maybe another time but, I think there has to be some true within the story.

He topic of does history help me understand my own relationship with technology is a simple answer which is yes. With knowing our past we could never move forward and we as human beings tend to want to know, as much information as we possibly can. I find it very interesting that concept of the memex was virtually the internet and also, the creation of the ARPANET lead into becoming the global Internet has we know it today. I also find the dispute between Xerox Parc and Apple Inc. to be one that is very intriguing. I say this because the popularity of Apple at this present time is astonishing and, if it was to be confirmed the ideas and invention were stolen from Xerox Parc how people would react. I feel sorry for Xerox Parc as they just could compete with Apple anymore, which primarily cost them being a big company today.

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