The Internet: Twenty Years in Review, 1995 – 2015 (Adoption of the 9)

This Week, “Adoption of the Internet, part 9″

The term “internet” was initially used in 1974 in reference to the interconnected, global network that we have come to know. Since the late 60s when the high level idea was proposed and funded, time allowed companies, governments, schools and smart individuals to evolve the infrastructure of technology, none of which existed at the time, in order to make the Internet commonplace and things like Netflix, Ebay, Amazon and iTunes a daily reality. It had taken more than twenty-five years to get to this point, but this is it.

Library staff demonstrated the Internet for Senator Robb, Rep. Moran and County Board Vice Chairwoman Ellen Bozman in 1995, from “

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1994 – 1995


  • PHP / Personal Homepage Tools

    PHP Elephpant mascot

    • Version 1.0 released in June, 1995
    • Allowed for easy management of website creation with a server-side language
    • Designed to control what was delivered to browsers, but resided on web servers
    • Long name later changed to “PHP Hypertext Preprocessor”



  • sourced from:

    Sun JAVA, 1.0, 1995, Copyright Oracle Corporation,

    Sun JAVA

    • Java is a general-purpose computer programming language that is concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, and specifically designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible.
    • Java existed for years as a proof of concept new object-oriented language that used the architecture of C++ without the requirement to compile for each platform. Originally called Oak, this was changed when a trademark search identified a conflict.
    • Designed in 1995 for deployment to browsers using Java applets, it used the revolutionary concept of “Write Once, Run Anywhere“. This simplified the process of development and deployment for companies reluctantly incorporating new technologies.



  • Livescript -> JavaScript
    sourced from:

    JavaScript, v2.0, 1995, Copyright Netscape,

    • Livescript was developed by Netscape and released as Livescript for client side enhancements within the Netscape Navigator Browser, 1.0.
    • The name was changed to JavaScript by version 2.0, having nothing but physical proximity in relation with Sun’s Java, and it’s release as JavaScript was months ahead of the public release of Sun’s Java.






  • sourced from:

    Perl 1.0, 1995, Copyright


    • Developed by Larry Wall, beginning in 1987
    • Following a complete redesign, Perl 5.001 was released in March 1995
    • Perl is a general purpose programming language, offering users lots of functionality and control without some of the constraints and complexities of current languages at the time
    • Perl evolved to become a CGI language (Common Gateway Interface), a programming language for web servers by 1997





  • Standards
    • HTML 2.0
      • In November 1995, Tim Berners-Lee and Dan Connolly authored RTC 1866, titled “Hypertext Markup Language – 2.0”
      • From the abstract “HTML has been in use by the World Wide Web (WWW) global information initiative since 1990. This specification roughly corresponds to the capabilities of HTML in common use prior to June 1994. HTML is an application of ISO Standard 8879:1986 Information Processing Text and Office Systems; Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML).
      • While this RFC expired six months after its release, it did announce as a standard accepted concepts like embedded inline images, common to the NCSA Mosaic Browser at the time.
  • Applications
    • MySQL
      • Developed as a replacement for mSQL, MySQL offered performance and platform options while supporting the existing mSQL APIs
      • MySQL AB founded by Michael Widenius, David Axmark and Allan Larsson in Sweden
      • Released in May 1995, it was popular with developers that already had familiarity with the mSQL interface but just needed more options
    • Apache HTTPD Server
      • This was released in April 1995 as version 0.6
      • Built on the back of the public domain NCSA HTTPd server, version 1.3, written by Rob McCool before he went to Netscape
      • Version 1.0 was released in December, quickly became the most popular web server on the Internet
    • PostGRES95
      • Released in 1995, PostGRES95 provided SQL interpreting for commands with a community license
      • From the license . . .

        This ( . . . ) release of Postgres95 is provided by R&A as-is, as a service to
        the community. The software is supportware. If you like it, you may send us
        money to cover our expenses. The more money, the more support we will be able
        to provide.

    • LAPP stack
      • The predecessor to an application server, LAPP was the integrated combination of Linux, Apache Web Server, PostGRES95 and PHP
      • The integrated stack offered a framework for serving dynamic web content (Apache), a place to store data (PostGRES95), and a way to call the data content and deliver it to users as HTML(PHP), all on an open source operating system (Linux)
    • Ruby
      • Author Yukihiro Matsumoto released version 0.95 in December of 1995
      • Matsumoto wrote to a colleague in 1993 . . .

I was talking with my colleague about the possibility of an object-oriented scripting language. I knew Perl (Perl4, not Perl5), but I didn’t like it really, because it had the smell of a toy language (it still has). The object-oriented language seemed very promising. I knew Python then. But I didn’t like it, because I didn’t think it was a true object-oriented language — OO features appeared to be add-on to the language. As a language maniac and OO fan for 15 years, I really wanted a genuine object-oriented, easy-to-use scripting language. I looked for but couldn’t find one. So I decided to make it.

    • iPhone (Internet Phone)
      sourced from:

      Internet Phone 1.0, VocalTec, 1995, Copyright Magicjack

      • Developed by VocalTec of Israel, Internet Phone was released in February 1995
      • This was the first VOIP offering
      • Fifteen years later, this company was acquired by Magic Jack






  • sourced from:

    Opera Browser 1, Opera ASA Software, 1995, Copyright

    Opera Browser (Opera Software ASA)

    • Version 1 was developed and internally available for Windows in 1995, although public release was not until version 2 in 1996
    • Opera pioneered windowed browsing, allowing users a distinctive experience of loading multiple pages at once, or jumping back and forth between tabs and pages all loaded and accessible in parallel







    • Cygwin
      • Cygwin began in 1995 as a project of Steve Chamberlain, a Cygnus engineer who observed that Windows NT and 95 used COFF as their object file format, and that GNU already included support for x86 and COFF, and the C library newlib. He thought it would be possible to retarget GCC and produce a cross compiler generating executables that could run on Windows.
      • Cygwin was a predecessor to virtualization technologies, and allowed certain limited UNIX/Linux functionality running within Windows environments
    • SATAN (Security Administrator Tool for Analyzing Networks)


  • sourced from:

    Microsoft Internet Explorer 2.0 Copyright © 1995 Microsoft Corporation,

    Microsoft Internet Explorer 2.0

    • Released to follow-up its foray into the Internet space the prior April, this version was released in October
    • Despite being free, it was poorly adopted, encompassing less than 4% of the browser market share at its peak
    • This browser offered SSL, cookies and an electronic mail browser client







  • Operating Systems
    • Windows NT 3.51
      Sourced from:

      Microsoft Windows NT 3.51 retail package Copyright © 1995 Microsoft Corporation

      • Microsoft released this as a followup to Windows 3.5 months after its release with the focus on incorporating a few key features
        • PowerPC support – Microsoft had to wait for IBM to finalize the architecture, so the release timing of 3.51 was directly linked to IBM hardening the PowerPC
        • Additional architecture – MIPS and DEC Alpha
        • Server -> Workstation remote access – this networked functionality, core to most windows releases, debuted in this release
        • Better TCPIP integration
        • Microsoft previewed what would become the standard windows desktop interface, at the time called New Shell. This would replace the archaic Windows 3 -> 95 interface, and introduce the “start bar”, still popular today.



    • Image sourced from

      Microsoft Bob 1.00 retail CD Copyright © 1995 Microsoft Corporation

      Microsoft Bob

      • Released in March 1995, Bob predated Windows 95 by months
      • It was designed to provide a friendly, engaging interface to users
      • Eliminating the file navigator, it had a living room for a desktop, and used common household objects to allow users to find things
      • Despite Bob having no internet access, it was bundled in the Windows XP CD
      • Not believing in the longevity of the product, Microsoft traded the domain name for




  • Companies
    • Yahoo
      Sourced from:

      Yahoo! Homepage,, 1995

      • Initially launched at
      • Created at Stanford in 1994 by Jerry Yang and David Filo, by end of the year, they had 1,000,000 hits
      • Registered the domain in January 1995
      • Links were sorted in hierarchy of categorized websites, rather than what we recognize as a search engine, at the time









  • scSourced from:

    AuctionWeb (Ebay, 1995),

    AuctionWeb ( aka “ebay” )

    • Founded in Pierre Omidyar’s San Jose living room back in September 1995
    • First sale was a broken laser pointer, it has grown since








  • Hotmail
    sourced from:

    HotMail 1995 Copyright Microsoft Corporation,

    • Launched in 1995 as the first place to get an email address without depending on an ISP








  • sourced from: 1995,

    • Jeff Bezos quit his job and designed what would become, then called Cadabra
    • In 1995, was registered, and went live as an online bookstore








Google began in March 1995 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Ph.D. students at Stanford University. In search of a dissertation theme, Page had been considering—among other things—exploring the mathematical properties of the World Wide Web, understanding its link structure as a huge graph. His supervisor, Terry Winograd, encouraged him to pick this idea (which Page later recalled as “the best advice I ever got”) and Page focused on the problem of finding out which web pages link to a given page, based on the consideration that the number and nature of such backlinks was valuable information for an analysis of that page (with the role of citations in academic publishing in mind).

  • Hardware
  • sourced from:

    Palm Pilot with Keyboard, from the Computer History Museum, 1995, Palm Computing, Inc

    Palm Pilot

    • US Robotics bought Palm Computing Inc for $44 million
    • The keyboard Palm Pilot would kick off the smart device revolution, not to come for a decade













  • Tech Movies
    • The Net
    • Hackers
    • Johnny Mnemonic


Businesses, technologies, applications and those things that have now become commonplace, launched into the public consciousness in 1995. However, everything herein was the result of fortuitous choices made in the prior thirty years, all interdependent, and all leading to this pivotal year. 1995 and the Internet shows the collective and persistent strength of a common mindset, shared goals, and a very long-term vision. In 1995, we finally had Internet, via dial-up. We checked our email daily, and we paid for internet access by the minute. In 2015, we spent more time on the internet than any other activity performed in a day. While time connected in 1995 for the growing but small number of global users was measured in minutes for most, in 2015, time disconnected was measured in the same increments.  1995 kicked off a commercial internet, browsers, an exchange to sell anything, and a store to buy anything. This was the year that the Internet was noticed by business, by investors, and by the public. In the time that has passed, new generations have not known a time without high-speed full-time internet access, and not surprisingly, risk, threats and vulnerabilities started to gain real attention.

1995 was the year that it started.



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