Today, the emergence of new technologies contributes to consistent changes in the life of the modern society and many people, who, willingly or not, use new technologies in their work or regular life. In this respect, the development of internet was probably one of the major inventions made by the mankind in the 20th century. This invention keeps progressing and changes the society consistently making people changing their lifestyle and communication. In fact, internet has opened unparalleled opportunities for the development of communication between people changing the essence of communication and shifting direct face-to-face communication into the virtual world. Naturally, the development and progress of internet could not fail to attract the attention of specialists. In this regard, it is possible to refer to the book “Inventing the Internet”¯ by Janet Abbate (2000), which focuses on the development of early networks, such as ARPANET, and their impact on the development of social relations and attitude of different organizations to them. In such a way, the author explores of early computer networks and extrapolates this experience on the development of internet stressing how networks and new media have changed human society and communication. custom essays
On analyzing the book “Inventing the Internet”¯ by Janet Abbate, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that the book focuses on a very important problem of the appearance and emergence of early computer networks and their impact on the social life and communication. In fact, the author stands on the ground that the emergence of computer networks in the contemporary society affected social relations consistently and provoked numerous conflicts and contradictions between different organizations and social groups. At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that the development of early computer networks, such as ARPANET and internet, was quite complicated because the problem of the compatibility of different systems and computers arouse. In fact, the development of the early computer networks actually aimed at the elimination of this problem because the solution of this problem opened new ways for the development of communication and use of computers. To put it more precisely, the development of early computer networks, such as ARPANET, contributed to the elimination of the problem of compatibility between different computers. In fact, this network allowed different computers and systems to connect together and maintain the communication between different computers. Therefore, the appearance of ARPANET contributed to the development of new, better networks. At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that the development of effective networks affected consistently the development of the society because many organizations were involved in functioning of computer networks and attempted to use the full potential of computer networks for the development of new ways of communication.
At the same time, Abbate discusses the challenges faced by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in creating ARPANET, the first wide-scale computer network. ARPA’s challenges ranged from utilizing the new and unproven technique of packet switching to connecting a wide variety of incompatible computers to the fledgling network. Packet switching proved to be a success but as Abbate points out, it is hard to say if packet switching made ARPANET a success or if ARPANET made packet switching a success. Abbate explains the efforts of several organizations that went into developing international standards that were necessary for the Internet to become as successful as it has become. In this regard, it is worth mentioning the fact that the existence of the computer network raised the problem of the elaboration of common standards. In fact, the problem was that the existing computer networks were new and operated within certain region and barely surpassed national frontiers. However, to use the full potential of existing networks, their developers had to develop standards that could be acceptable at the international level. This is exactly where the major problems arouse. As Abbate points out the developers of early computer networks had to elaborate common standards and improve the functioning of the networks. To put it more precisely, the author is right in the definition of major problems of early and contemporary computer network. For instance, internet, being extremely popular media today, still needs the development and maintenance of international standards. However, many countries from Asia, for instance, attempt to adapt internet to their own standards because of the difference in the writing style and alphabet used there, in contrast to the Latin alphabet used in the internet at the international level. For instance, Russia attempts to introduce its own alphabet to be used in internet. In such a context, it is possible to trace a strong trend to decentralization in the development of the contemporary internet and Abbate pointed out this trend in her book, analyzing the development of ARPANET.
At the same time, Abbate states “had the ARPANET’s only value been as a tool for resource sharing, the network might be remembered today as a minor failure rather than a spectacular success. But the network users unexpectedly came up with a new focus for network activity: electronic mail.”¯ (Abbate, 2000, p. 133). In such a way, the development of ARPANET revealed new aspects of the development and use of computer networks. In fact, ARPANET contributed to the development of new effective systems and aspects of using networks by individual users as well as by organizations. In such a way, the development of early networks contributed to the appearance of new means of communication and paved the way to the development of contemporary internet.