The World’s First Web Page

What can I say? Keep it simple, stupid: http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html

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WWW: The World’s Worst Website

There’s something quite poetic about it being an Angelfire site: http://www.angelfire.com/super/badwebs/

They forgot the blink tag but I guess it probably doesn’t work in most browsers now. And

And Myspace pages were much worse, in general than Angelfire pages.

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The first photographic image published to the web

The first photo picture posted to the web

The first picture was posted on the World Wide Web by Silvano de Gennaro in 1992

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The Myth of the Ethereal Internet

The Internet was for some time associated with the ethereal and ephemeral. I remember a wise man sunburned on the back of his neck telling me that the Internet was just a fad and a temporary craze, and that people don’t like to use computers so it will never last.

At the time, I was convinced that the Internet was the end to all the troubles of mankind. It would solve the tyranny of distance for people living in remote and rural isolation. Kids in the outback would have access to the libraries of Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard Universities. Nobody would have to commute to CBDs. The shopping mall would become obsolete. World peace, love and understanding were inevitable. Perhaps we were both wrong, the redneck and I.

But that particular redneck was wronger than me, and a lot of my redneck friends are Facebook friends now. Salt of the earth people who like to hunt and post the pictures to Flickr or other networking sites. It’s like having a trophy on your wall without the taxidermist: ethereal in a sense, but by no means ephemeral.

Shopping malls are starting to look more obsolete as we speak, and then we can get around to getting rid of that commuting business, and then finally turn our attention to the issue of world peace.

Hurry up.

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Digital Sculpture

Art is never ‘virtual’. There was a time when anything and everything created on a computer was considered to be ‘virtual’ and therefore unreal/not real. Dispersions of conventuality is the purpose of art: the conventional must be continually destroyed to create new actualities.

Consider the art of Fausto de Martini. His sculpture cybergirl is featured in the header image of this website. Is it virtual art, or real?

Art is always real, no matter the medium. Fausto is as good as Michelangelo.

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An Ancient Geek: Consider a device…

Vannevar Bush was perhaps the father of the Internet

Vannevar Bush was an ancient geek who concieved of the memex device

In 1945 Vannevar Bush wrote:

Consider a future device … in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory.

I first read his article in 1998 in the (digital) archive of The Atlantic Monthly and found it quite inspiring. I wrote an article about it on my old (web 1.0) website. The Dreamtime of the Internet

In his original essay, Bush posits some interesting, and in hindsight, quaint ideas:

Certainly progress in photography is not going to stop. Faster material and lenses, more automatic cameras, finer-grained sensitive compounds to allow an extension of the minicamera idea, are all imminent. Let us project this trend ahead to a logical, if not inevitable, outcome. The camera hound of the future wears on his forehead a lump a little larger than a walnut.

I’m glad I don’t have to wear a lump on my forehead, but can use my ultra-cool hand held device, the smartphone, to take pictures, but much of his vision has come to pass: dry photography – no need for chemicals, and lenses that auto focus.

You can read his original article As We May Think courtesy of your memex device.

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Cybernet Museum

I was after a domain name for a new hosting account and getting tired of trying different names, all of which were already registered. Anyone with experience of trying to register a decent domain name will understand how difficult it can be sometimes. The name cybernetmuseum.com came up as a suggestion, and I thought it was kind of interesting. The name sounded a little science-fictiony, encompassed the Internet with that slightly dorky and dated prefix ‘cyber’, and included the curatorial aspect of ‘museum’. I’m interested in history, the Internet, and the history of the Internet, so I grabbed it with the view of posting my musings on the past and present state of this great medium.

What’s in a name?

The word ‘cybernet’ has a bit of a history, so in my first post I’d like to clarify what Cybernet Museum is not about. It’s not about the TV show about video games that aired on the ITV network from 1998-2010.

It’s not about the notorious computer reseller that operated between 1991 and 2004, nor is it about the Cybernet engineering company which supplies the defense and medical industry ‘amplifying human performance through advanced technology’.

This website has nothing to do with the Cybernet computer manufacturing company, that provides computer systems for specialist applications and we are not Cybernet, the largest ISP and data network operator in Pakistan.

In fact, there are so many companies and websites that use the word ‘cybernet’ that I’m getting bored researching them. It’s just a jargony name that should have died in the cyberpunk era. Maybe that’s why I like it. It’s a digital museum piece in itself.

Cybernet Electronics Delta 1 CB radio circa late 1970s

Cybernet Electronics Delta 1 CB radio circa late 1970s

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