On The Way To The Web: The Secret History of the Internet and its Founders
Michael A. Banks
On The Way To The Web is one book which I highly recommend to anyone who wants a definitive history on the internet. The amount of research and time which was obviously spent on compiling and organizing the short but colourful history of this wonder known as the Web is very worthy of recognition.
For those of us who remember the coming of the internet, On The Way To The Web is a journey back in time, revisiting many events, products and ideas which seemed so futuristic and impossible twenty years ago which have now become common place or fallen by the wayside. I personally had forgotten all about ventures such as GameLine – the innovative download service for Atari 2600 games and game updates. While I’m sure that many of today’s gamers think that XBLA, Wii Shop and PlayStation Network were all 21st century inventions, GameLine was here first. Reading about GameLine again, I have to wonder where our games industry would be today if Atari hadn’t experienced the downslide it did right at the time of GameLine’s launch.
Like spelunkers finding their way through a deep dark cave, technology innovators such as Bill Louden, William Von Meister and others lead the way forward from the days of ARPANET, primitive BBS systems and proprietary communication software to the birth of ISPs, TCP/IP, global email, portals and that entity we all love to hate, AOL.
On The Way To The Web presents a comprehensive time line of where we started and the complicated path we took to get to where we are today in our global internet community. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how we became such an inter-connected society, the wonders and miracles of communication technology.