When Tim Berners-Lee switched on the first World Wide Web server

August 25, 2021
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Thirty years ago, the World Wide Web was in its infancy. 

In a retrospective piece for ZDNet in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Internet Hall of Fame inductee Tim Berners-Lee turning on a server that would become the World Wide Web, Steven Vaughan-Nichols noted that that action dramatically changed the world. 

Prior to that server being turned on in August 1991, Internet access was limited to the military, scientists, researchers, and academics. Within two years, the public was starting to learn about the Internet and its potential uses. 

Vaughan-Nichols wrote about the web’s launch in the early 1990s and acknowledged that at the time, he didn’t completely grasp the magnitude of what he was covering. 

“It was, after all, created to help scientists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, share search, not share cat pictures,” Vaughan-Nichols wrote. “That came later.”