Happy 30th TCP/IP and are you going to see Tim?

The enabling technology for the Internet turns 30 (here), and the man who devised “the simple link” is coming to town!

tcp-ip

Have you seen the ‘Butterfly Effect’ movies? The idea is that there are moments in your life, when your decisions set the future course. Maybe a bit out there, but there are times in my career where I think this has happened.  For example when I left university I was lucky to be employed by one of the most innovative companies of the time, who designed test and measurement technologies, a company called Hewlett Packard.

Being an electronics engineer and having a keen interested in computers, I began supporting HP’s computerised data acquisition set of products and in particular an inter-connect called HP-IB, (or IEEE 488 for the die-hards). Long story short HP started moving into a new standard protocol and in the mid 1980’s I was sent off to be trained up on this new-fangled protocol called TCP/IP.

This week TCP/IP turns 30! (A stark contrast to SNA, Token Ring, etc.) How many technologies have lasted this long? Before you scream at me that Ethernet today is a little different to the 10base2 I originally learnt about and that the protocol has evolved, I understand that, but how many people use floppy disks? (Even the CD and DVD as data storage media are pretty much dead!)

Well Happy Birthday to TCP/IP, however, probably a more important innovation, was the way to simply link a client to a server, the hypertext transfer, which took the fun out of dial-up bulletin boards!!  Sir Tim Berners-Lee is credited with this innovation and the creation of the www in 1989. Since then he has not rested on his laurels and has been a major driver of the ‘open data’ initiative, and he is coming to town, (Here – only Canberra has space). He is visiting Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney at the end of the month, so if you are lucky enough to catch Sir Tim Berners-Lee, PLEASE let us know what he had to say!!

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