Mrks's Blog

ITSPEA: Arpanet to Facebookː Internet's origins story

This weeks task was to create a blog post about 2 topics related to internet from the pre-WWW era (before 1991) - one should cover something that the current internet users still use and know but maybe used to be in a slightly different form and the other about something that is not used today or atleast has significantly changed.


The BBS (Bulletin Board System) has been largely attributed with the beggining of digital filesharing as we know it. Typically, the BBS was like an intranet in which users would dial-in via modems to read nad or send messages, access news, or most importantly - share files. Then there was Usenet or Newsgroups which were similar to Bulletin Board Systems however they where operated using UUCP (Unix-to-Unix copy) which allowed a more decentralized setup. Essentially Usenet servers when recieving files could re-distribute them amongs other Usenet servers, this helped distribute files much faster and more efficiently because corruption in file transfers no longer required re-upload in their entirety. Usenet was the medium of discussion which gave birth to sever projects including WWW, Linux, Mosaic.

Today we have an array of different ways to share files from Peer-to-Peer technologies to different filehosting solutions.


It was created in the UK in the early 1970s by John Adams, Philips’ Lead Designer for video display units. This saw widespread use across Europe stsarting in the 1980s, with almost all televisions including a decoder. Teletext basic idea was to broadcast numbered “pages”. The broadcaster would constantly send out pages in sequence (meaning a delay measured in seconds when “requesting” a certain page).

Teletext was used to broadcast news, weather info, television schedules or even play games. So in a sense it covered some of the use-cases internet covers today.