Below is the text from an article I wrote in 1995 explaining the Internet. At the time I was employed at MicroAge as a Network Engineer.
Join 20 Million InterNet Users
With 10,000 networks, 2.1 million files and 20 million users on-line every day, INTERNET is a hot new topic
The Internet is an interlinking of thousands of different sizes and types of networks and computers from all over the world. You can download programs and files, connect in real-time to other network users, and “talk” with people all over the world. Imagine the power to exchange messages with over 10 million people at universities, companies, and online services such as CompuServe, GEnie, and America OnLine. With about 10,000 networks, 2.1 million files, 20 million users on-line every day, you can see why Internet is a hot new topic.
Originally called the ARPANET, the network was an experimental project developed in 1969 by the Advanced Research Projects Agency in the U.S. Department of Defense. The idea behind the ARPANET was that research and other information could be shared between the military and university sources and thus establishing a communications link that could sustain itself in the event of nuclear war. The idea was that even if some of the network were to become unavailable, the network could continue to allow remote users to log onto other computers throughout the world.
During the 1970s, other networks came into being. These included BITNET, USENET and UUCP. These networks were a cross section of private, government and research organizations. In the early 1980s, NSFNET was created. NSFNET was the National Science Foundation Network which linked its supercomputers to all other organizations using a state of the art system that allowed any computer on the system to make contact with any other computer on the system.
By 1990, some of the original networks had shut down and all the formerly independent, remaining networks jumped on and joined into the NSFNET. They were joined by additional networks that wanted to be connected to the quickly growing web of networking that is now known as the INTERNET.
There are three computers involved in any Internet connection. The first computer is the LOCAL computer which is the one that you are actually using in your home or office. Your local computer is connected to the HOST computer via phone line, dial up access on yet another computer such as a BBS. This host computer is connected to numerous REMOTE computers which allow you to look around, run a program, search a database, or download a file. The host computer is the hub and assists your local computer with the access that you require to connect to other computers on the Internet.
You can send electronic mail (E-Mail) to anyone on the Internet. If someone were to ask for a home address, they would expect a street, apartment, province, and postal code. This is all the information that a post office requires to deliver the mail effectively. Likewise Internet addresses have an address too. Each person on the Internet has a unique address such as a mail box does. For example, if you wish, you can E-Mail President Clinton at his Internet address [email protected] gov and he may actually E-Mail you back (chances are his staff are the ones that read and answer his E-Mail)
While on the Internet, use GOPHER to search for any kind of information imaginable, use ARCHIE to look for that special file, use File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to transfer that file to your computer, use TELNET to remotely log on to another computer, join a Discussion/News group, or just send a message to your Aunt Martha from Kalamazoo providing she’s on the Internet.
All you need to get on the Internet is a computer, a modem, and a telecommunications program. Join the estimated 10% growth this month alone! Locally you can connect to the Sir Sandford Fleming College Bulletin Board Service (Fleming BBS) at 745-7743 as they have a gateway to the Internet World. Sit back, dial up, connect, and join the 20 million other Internet users.