In 1989 I was just about to finish High School and start my post-secondary school education path. At that time I really didn’t have much of an idea about what I wanted to do, other than going skateboarding I was only really interested in art and design, so off to college to study art and design I went.
Elsewhere in the world in 1989 Tim Berners-Lee submitted a document called “Information Management: A Proposal”* which proposed a large hypertext database that enabled the sharing of information between multiple computers, and from this the World Wide Web was born.
A few years later in 1993 I got my first taste of the internet, cheekily using a friend’s login details at University! Initially I used Gopher to browse through archives of NASA space photos, but soon after came the release of NCSA Mosaic, the first popular web browser, and I started accessing this “new thing” called the World Wide Web.
In 1994 I started my first year at Art College which gave me legitimate access to the internet (without having to use a friend’s login details!). “View source” became my teacher, and I spent hours telnet-ing into the main web server and learning how to write HTML. I didn’t realise it at the time but these were skills that were going to lead me in a career trajectory for the next 2 or 3 decades up to the present time.
Anyway, all this is to say “Happy 30th Birthday” to the World Wide Web and thanks to Tim Berners-Lee for inventing it!
If you want to see what it was like to use the first web browser then go and check out the “CERN 2019 WorldWideWeb Rebuild” project which rebuilt the original browser running inside a modern browser (inception!):
* The proposal elicited the “Vague but exciting” response from Tim’s boss, which sounds a bit how I saw my future in 1989 ;)