HTML and CSS Reference
The Internet , the interconnected network of computer networks, seems to be everywhere
today. It has become part of our lives. You can't watch television or listen to the radio
without being urged to visit a Web site. Even newspapers have their place on the Net.
The Internet began as a network to connect computers at research facilities and univer-
sities. Messages in this network would travel to their destination by multiple routes or
paths. This would allow the network to function even if parts of it were broken or
destroyed. The message would be rerouted through a functioning portion of the net-
work while traveling to its destination. This network was proposed to the Advanced
Research Projects Agency (ARPA)—and the ARPAnet was born. Four computers
(located at UCLA, Stanford Research Institute, University of California Santa Barbara,
and the University of Utah) were connected by the end of 1969.
As time went on, other networks, such as the National Science Foundation's NSFnet, were
created and connected with the ARPAnet. The communications protocol that enabled all this
to happen is the Transmissions Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), propsed by Vinton
Cerf and Robert Kahn. Use of this interconnected network, or Internet, was originally limited
to government, research, and educational purposes. Even with this restriction, by 1989 there
were over 100,000 hosts on the Internet. The ban on commercial use was lifted in 1991, and
by the end of 1992 there were over 1 million hosts connected. Hobbes' Internet Timeline
reports that as of 2006, there were over 439 million host computers on the Internet. The
growth of the Internet continues—Internet World Stats ( http://www.internetworldstats.com/
emarketing.htm) reported over 1.5 billion users on the Internet in early 2009.
If you are interested in the history of the Internet, visit either of the following links for
● A brief history of the Internet written by the people who created it can be found
● For a classic treatment of the Internet's history, visit Hobbes' Internet Timeline at
How can I tell whether a Web page is a reliable source of information?
There are many Web sites—but which ones are reliable sources of information? When visiting
Web sites to find information it is important not to take everything at face value.
First, evaluate the credibility of the Web site itself. Does it have its own domain name, such as
http://mywebsite.com, or is it a free Web site consisting of just a folder of files hosted on a free
Web server? The URL of a site hosted on a free Web server usually includes part of the free
angelfire.com/foldername/mysite. Information obtained from a Web site that has its own domain
name will usually (but not always) be more reliable than information obtained from a free Web site.
Evaluate the type of domain name—is it a nonprofit organization (.org), a business (.com or
.biz), an educational institution (.edu)? Businesses may provide information in a way that gives
them an advantage, so be careful. Nonprofit organizations or schools will sometimes treat a
subject more objectively.
Another item to look at is the date the Web page was created or last updated. Although some
information is timeless, very often a Web page that has not been updated for several years is
outdated and not the best source of information.