Timothy John Berners-Lee was born in London on June 8, 1955. His parents were mathematicians who met while working on the Ferranti Mark I, the first commercially-sold computer (Standage). Berners-Lee studied physics at Oxford, graduating in 1976, and in 2004, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his creation of the World Wide Web. (Technology Review)
In 1990 while working at CERN, the Geneva particle physics laboratory, Berners-Lee wrote software so researchers could share data. Once “online,” researchers could retrieve this data anytime, (Standage). It was the beginning of what would ultimately become the World Wide Web (Electronic Design).
Two years later in 1992, already more than 1 million web hosts existed. Traffic exploded by over 341,000% in 1993 (Electronic Design), and by the end of the 90’s, instant communication and access to worldwide information was here to stay. We had come to depend on the Internet, e-mail, cell phones, and PCs. It touched every aspect of our lives. The Vatican’s jump into the information age began on Easter Sunday 1997 as they introduced their first website, “Vatican.va” (Frobish).
At just 22 years old, the internet/web age is still in its infancy. The changes happening to technology today are incredibly complex and exciting, and Sir Berners-Lee is right there in the middle of it. He is the founder of The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and he continues to work on a bigger and better web (Technology Review). Sir Berners-Lee believes the web must stay a free resource for everyone. He and CERN gave away his invention to the world back in 1990 and today the W3C works to keep it that way (Standage).
The web is a tool for all of mankind and if I were to meet Sir Berners-Lee, I would thank him for his decision not to profit from it. What man does with this tool will define the man – he can do great and powerful things or evil, selfish things – the web/internet has been used for both, but that does not make...