Evolution of Email and Internet Term Paper

Evolution of Email and Internet

Computer and digital technologies had changed the life of millions in some two decades as they were massively introduced into different spheres of man’s activity. First being used only for military purposes in easing difficult and complicated calculation, later on being modernized and advanced their application is seen everywhere where the work relates to data-processing, storing and analyzing. No wonder that once computers were invented scientists started to think over building a network of them in order to have a desired access to the information which is stored on different machines, remote from each other. This resulted in development of the computer networking principles, which were modified and turned into global computer network or Internet.

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Internet unites millions and millions computers world wide, building an entire virtual community, virtual information database, virtual communication space and in fact an example of virtual reality, where electric impulses amplified by digital hardware are transformed into visual signals which can be easily understood and perceived by human on the desktops of their PCs.

Internet had developed on the hand with software that made more comfortable, quick and easy to use its features, which basically look like machine codes, and sets of digits or combinations of zeros and ones.

There is quite difficult to find a person in the modern industrialized world, in the world that experienced globalization, informatization and penetration of high technologies in different sphere’s of human life, a person who would have never used internet or PC and moreover it would be hard to find one who had never heard of internet. To have a clearer view on internet and on the principles set to its functioning, it’s important to look on its history, evolution of computer hardware, software and evolution and variety of different software applications used for work and communication via internet.


The idea to build a computer network was not sporadic, was not a commercial project or a scientific experiment. This project was influenced by the realities of cold war of the U.S.A. And the U.S.S.R., arms race and technology race.

The success of the Soviet’s in science technology and space in late 1950 ies, especially after the launch of Sputnik satellite in 1957 made the U.S. government to raise defense budget and make impressive investment program to develop national science, technology and especially high technologies. From this point, the unity of informational technology was of the main importance as well as its secure and reliable work.

In 1962 ARPA (advanced research project agency) introduced a new computer technology program to realize the idea of “galactic network,” an utopian idea to unite all computers into the network for free access. Utopian in sixties this idea became reality in nineties. By the year of 1967 scientists had determined with the principles of future global network, the result was the design of future ARPANET. It had to include a protocol, which would allow computes to inable data exchange, and it was called interface message processor (IMP). Only ten years later ARPANET became public. First it linked just 40 computers from different locations, which was growing for corporative use:

In 1972, they successfully employed a new program to allow the sending of messages over the net, allowing direct person-to-person communication that we now refer to as e-mail. This development we will deal with at length in the next section

Also in the early 70s, scientists developed host-to-host protocols. Before then the system only allowed a ‘remote terminal’ to access the files of each separate host. The new protocols allowed access to the hosts’s programs (effectively merging the two host computers into one, for the duration of the link).

In 1974, ARPA scientists, working closely with experts in Stanford, developed a common language that would allow different networks to communicate with each other. This was known as a transmission control protocol/internet protocol (TCP/IP).” (Richard T. Griffiths From ARPANET to World Wide Web, Article Leiden University 2000)

The invention of TCP/IP directed a fundamental change in the development of networking technology, it set the main principles that are used in modern network technology, and what is more important it made network be universal for different computers, private and corporative, public and personal. This concept boosted the growth and construction of networks countrywide: more and more private networks or university networks were uniting into a global one.

Next years were characterized by improvement of technological side of computer networking concept and by the of 1984 Domain Name servers (DNS) were introduced in order to ease the process of data exchange: new system introduced new approach to the classification of network members as some tierings were incorporated in the name of the host (.com for community,.edu for educational,.gov for government computer units). These years were characterized as well by government interest in development of information technologies and bui9lding networks on the principle of TCP/IP mandatory use, which made those networks universal and accessible in future. The principle of functioning of modern www.wasintroduced by Tim Berners in 1989 together with the program for editing and browsering information from network members. Later it was transformed into HTML or hypertext markup language and graphic interface software for implementation. In early nineties when the spread of computers and access to www.grewthere were introduced series of web browsers which easily won the customer’s market and remain the most popular for emailing, viewing, receiving and sending data functions.

Services / Programs

Internet allows a lot of interactive functions for computers based on data exchange: sending electronic messages, telecommunication by means of special software which transforms voice signals into digital electric impulses, functions of receiving and viewing data in the form of files and web-pages.

The principles of emailing were designed by engineer Ray Tomlinson in 1971, who developed the concept of using @ symbol in order to identify the receiver of the electronic mail. According to his principles which laid into the modern concept of emailing, email was a simple text message, even attached files looked like simple text.

In order to receive electronic mail there were developed special sorts of software: e-mail clients. The most popular are: Outlook, Eudora, Pegasus and others, besides those special software programs there exist free email clients inscribed into the web-pages: hotmail, yahoo, aol, and others. All of them still have pretty much same functions:

Electronic mailbox shows the headers of messages, data received, size of the message and its status (read or unread)

It allows selecting message and reading it

It allows to compose new messages and send them to their recipients, as well as to add attachments to the messages.

Email client connects to the e-mail server, which execute the function of sending data using primary scheme of “from… to…” like the real mail service. In reality e-mail system’s principle in many ways is pretty much the same. Most of e-mail systems consist of two servers that run on one server machine: SMTP server or a Simple Mail Trasfer protocol (for out going email) and POP3 (POST OFFICE PROTOCOL) or IMAP (Internet Mail Access Protocol) for incoming mail.

When a person sets an account on a web-server name.com, the email client is told mail server’s name as following: mail.name.com So when a person needs to send a composed message the following functions are executed:

Email-client program connects to the SMPT server at mail.name.com by using port 25.

Email client “tells” the server the whole text body of the message and the address of the recipient, so that SMPT server delivers it to the address by following steps:

It identifies recipient’s name and domain name; it makes data exchange with DNS for getting IP address of the SMPT server of the recipient, then it connects to the SMPT server of the recipient using port 25. Recipient’s SMPT server redirects it to the server of recipient, which later directs to POP3 server of recipient, which delivers it to user’s mailbox.

When the recipient checks his mailbox, his email client program tries to connect to the POP3 sever using port 110. POP3 server asks for the email account name and account password, in order to make identification, after this process is over POP3 allows access the received files by sending them to the user’s machine. User can delete received files from the server by using these functions in the email-client program.

In order to access email box from different machines IMAP, more advanced protocol is used. POP3 has disadvantages as downloaded email remains on the machine it was downloaded to.

IMAP allows to organize messages into folders, and checking mail process will take place just on server machine, that’s why it allows any user to access his email from different machine, not just his PC. Email-client when connecting to IMAP server uses port143. Then the email-client executes a set of text commands that allow managing the text files received on the server.

Attachments are different kinds of files that are added to email messages. But since the email client may only send text files, the sending of other sorts of files creates additional problem. This problem was solved in the following way: the program uuencode which is used by email-clients transforms its binary code (code of bits and bytes) into text code using ASCII table principle and it’s send in the form of text character set in the following form (begin file name reports text translated binary body end). The recipient’s email-client executes uudecode program and transforms it to binary primary code.


Telnet is a program for computer networks that use TCP/IP, for example Internet. It allows terminal emulation, as it connects user’s computer to a networks’ server. This program which works in console mode allows to manage the controll over server as if the commands were executed on the server computer initially, as well as it allows to control, communicate and do data exchange with other computers and servers. Telecom uses identification policies as username and password and allows control of web servers remoutely.


IRC or Internet Relay Chat client programs where one of the first in the sphere of online communication technological products that appeared on software markets. The principle of its functioning is pretty much looks like one of the email, as the process of data exchange between two different computers is realized by the use of special server which redirects data.

After installing IRC client program on the computer, user can log on IRC server and start chatting after he picks a nickname to register. IRC servers have hundreds of channels, that refer to the different topics and users’ interests. The name of every channel starts with #.

IRC was one of the earliest ways of communication, nowadays it’s mostly substituted by chat client programs as ICQ, MSN instant messenger and other “messengers,” which allow more functions and allow to set a variety of individual settings for comfortable world. But al them use pretty similar technology, used by IRC.

FTP or a File Transfer Protol is a standard protocol of Internet and is considered to be the easiest and the simplest way for file exchange on Internet between computers. FTP uses the same network features as other internet protocols: SMTP, HTTP, which are TCP/IP features. FTP is used mainly for web pages transferring from their developer to the web-server, which will host them for general public use online. FTP is used as well for software downloading, downloading of different files from server to the user’s computer.

FTP can be used from different sources: either from MS-DOS command prompt menu in Windows start menu, or from a special commercial software product with graphic user oriented interface. Web browsers make FTP requests as well for downloading files; generally public use files can be accessed by using anonymous FTP.

According to the article FTP (available at (http://www.scit.wlv.ac.uk/~jphb/comms/)FTP session can be divided into 5 elements:

User Interface

This provides a user interface and drives the client protocol interpreter.

Client PI

This is the client protocol interpreter. It issues commands to the remote server protocol interpreter and it also drives the client data transfer process.

Server PI

This is the server protocol interpreter which responds to commands issued by the client protocol interpreter and drives the server data transfer process.

Client DTP

This is the client data transfer process responsible for communicating with the server data transfer process and the local file system.

Server DTP

This is the server data transfer process responsible for communicating with the client data transfer process and the remote file system.

FTP is realized in the following way: there are established two network connections between protocol interpreter (control connection) and DTP (data connection), both of them use TCP. FTP server uses port 21 for establishing control connection requests, but it happens that a clients is sending a request message which determines the port number on which the client wants to receive the data. The use of two separate connections allows to avoid major networking problems: the lose of information, signal delay, etc. FTP allows to send the information not just to client but to server as well.

Starting from the year of 1990 there appeared Internet search engines and the first of them was Archie, a product developed at Mc Gill University in Montreal.


Gopher was a software application for viewing and downloading hierarchically organized text files from Internet servers to the user’s computer.Used basically in universities Gopher was the forefather of HTTP protocol. Gopher browsers were simple text file viewers, without anything similar to high-advanced features, but still Gopher browsers were able to download graphic images from Gopher file directories. Gopher system used two basic tools as search engines: Veronica and Jughead. After the release of HTTP Gopher lost its actuality and was quickly replaced by www’s HTTP.

Veronica being an integral component of Gopher’s interface made possible to search on file directories by the use of key words, and specific file names. Jughead was not so effective as Veronica search engine as it worked only for high menu and did not include in its search file name menus.

World Wide Web

Web browsers remain to be the only popular and widely spread tool for viewing the interpreted HTML code in the form of electronic documents.

Internet explorer was introduced in 1995 as an integral component of Windows 95 (Microsoft Corporation). Since nearly a decade of being used as browser it won the sympathies of PC users and is considered to be the most popular and used browser, because of its advantages compared to similar products:

It’s included for free into Microsoft Windows starting from 95 version;

It allows to launch programs relatively quick;

It supports different kinds of multimedia technologies that are not realized or realized, but not fully in other browsers (ActiveX, CSS1/CSS2, floating frames, etc.);

It allows “democracy” of code interpretation: while downloading document which has unknown structures or errors, Internet explorer in most of cases simply does not display them, while Netscape may simply not show the whole document;

It has full integrability with other Windows applications;

It has graphics zooming features, opened in a separate window;

But there are disadvantages as well. The most spread are:

Instability of work;

Average downloading speed.

Netscape Communicator was released in 1993 by Netscape Communications Corporations and could claim for being monopolist on browser’s market, but it quickly faced competition in the face of Internet explorer. Thus, it was rather popular browser up to late 1990 ies (the survey tells that 80% of users chose Netscape in 1995), it started to lose customers as I.E. began to modernize.

The main advantages of Netscape are the following:

Relatively small size of the program;

Extended email control system;

Improved external data organization;

Support of skin change technology;


No support for certain types of interactive technologies, recommended by W3C Consortium;

Low work speed;

Low launching speed.

Opera Software company (Oslo, Norway) developed their browser in 1994 for Norwich telecommunication company Telenor, which later became popular as it made able to execute Internet application on computers of different level, both professional and home. Its mean concept criteria were: minimal launch time, small size, minimal system requirements.

That’s why Opera has basic differences from other browsers:

Small size;

Minimal system requirements;

High downloading speed of HTML documents;

Extended control features;

High zooming features of viewing documents;

But at the same time there certain disadvantages of Opera:

Absence of national encoding features;

Low level of reliance of script execution on user’s platform (JavaScript/VBScript)

Besides traditionally accepted browsers there exist a lot of others, mainly developed for academic purpopes in order to study networking and process of data exchange between computer and server. One of this browsers is Lynx, primary developed for UNIX and VMS platforms. it’s realized through cursor-adressable programs that allow emulation and use of terminals (they include VT100 and emulation softare as Procomm, Kernit). This browser is simple text viewer, it doesn not have such advanced features as I.E. Or Nescape Navigator have, as it was developed for academic use.

Search engines

Internet search engine is one of the most powerful and power ways to search information, as the capability of Internet is nearly unlimited and its possible to find the answer on only question asked. Search engines have different meanings either for users of internet or for the web developers, for the first group search engines in the tool for information search, while for web developers its the main instrument to increase traffic results. In recent years most of powerful search engines had incorporated with web portals as they offer dual opportunity for information search: using key words or using key directories and groups. Nowadays the most popular and the most powerful search engines are the following: Yahoo, Goggle and AltaVista.

Goggle is one of the most powerful web search engines, as it proves to find the biggest number of web-pages for the requested topic, besides it allows to search in files and imagines, which is important as well. According to the article Major Search Engines and Directories by Danny Sullivan:

Google is also known for the wide range of features it offers, such as cached links that let you “resurrect” dead pages or see older versions of recently changed ones. It offers excellent spell checking, easy access to dictionary definitions, integration of stock quotes, street maps, telephone numbers and more.” (Sullivan, Danny Major Search Engines and Directories)

Yahoo, being the “oldest” search machine still can not pretend to be the best, as its features of search are so powerful as of Goggle. Yahoo is more commercial product, but still has wide search features that include shopping items, and images. Since 2004 its searching engine improved, as it had changed search technology. Yahoo pages as well are a good source as a database or web portal.

AltaVista, founded in 1995 quickly won customers, whose number reduced after the company wanted change its searching site into a web portal. Nowadays, AltaVista is specialized on search as well, being reliable in searching for MP3 files, videos, simple text and images. As it uses original search technology of Yahoo it cannot be considered the optimal searcher still.

Web portals

As WWW.opensan unlimited list of opportunities for internet uses, there exist series of internet sites sorted by topics, age groups, level of information, etc. The main problem that appears is the way to systematize data into special catalogues. From this point web portals play a key role in giving a starting point to search for resources on internet, as they give exhaustive information about web pages that contain needed information.

Universal web portals or “mega” web portals serve as provider platforms for different sorts of information, services, business activities. They often have search machines, special thematic categories, etc.

According to Wikipedia there exist special requirements for portal pages:

Search Engine/Directory

Groupware and Collaboration

Knowledge Management

Content Management

Work Flow

Multi-Channel Facilities

Single Sign on Business Intelligence and Integration of Applications

Identity Management Integration

Infrastructure Functionality” from http:www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/web_portal)

Newsgroups take an important part of the web portals as they share news and information on urgent events and urgent issues that have wide audience and are matters of public concern. Besides newsgroups allow readers to make a comment lines, so that everyone could know the particular opinion of everyone who wanted to express thoughts referring to the certain theme.

Online listserves form a particular kind of information database, which provides information on different topics sorted by groups, date, possible audience, etc. Often the moderators of the listserves make message distribution to the listserv members about new sites added to the list in order to keep audience focused.


The development of it technologies made possible for business to “ressetle” into internet, and today none is surprised by growing number of online shops, online businesses, online actions, etc. To have online business is cheaper and in many ways the profit is the same, or even bigger, as more people are able to view products or services that are available. From financial perspective it’s quite cheaper as there is smaller rent fee, smaller commmercial expenses, etc.

As Forrester research tells the modest 77 billion EUR of online commerce in Europe will turn into 2.2 trillion EUR by the year of 2006 or 22% of the whol European trade. Tnearly the same index is astimated to be in the U.S.A.

They forecast the growth of e-commerce in the spheres of: electric equipment, chemicals, industrial machines, trasportation means, metals, energy, etc. The amount of production sold online had grown twice compared to the year of 2002 and it’s just the beginning.


Still the spread of Internet has resulted in appearance of a variety of different sorts of problems. First of all it’s the problem of unsanctioned access to data, the problem of online frauds and scamming problem. Besides every year millions of Internet users become the victims of virus attacks and millions of dollars disappear as a result of the same problem.

The free access to different kind of information makes internet open for the attacks and tide of politically incorrect information, information that includes violence, pornography and materials that can result on person’s morality and psychic stability. Unfortunately these sorts of problems will be never solved, as the information streams grow from day-to-day and turn into Real Ocean of information, where inexperienced user may easily sink. That’s why an important rol ehas to be paid to education and moral up-bringing of young generation, so that when they go online they’ll be ready for the tide of information they’ll face and be able to analyze it and choose only that one which will influence positively.

Another problem is computer security. Here we can mark the impressive results achieved in both directions: in building secure systems and in breaking them. This mutual resistance seems to never end and be eternal. By at the same time it’s important to note that the safety of the computer depends on the responsibility of its owner and careful attitude towards the information stored in it.


To say that there will be a further progress of it is to say nothing. The tendencies of nowadays show that the global community moves into virtual reality, to the virtual world of World Wide Web. It shortens the distances between people, vanishes ethnical, lingual and other barriers and promotes universal globalization.

The development of internet-markets, Internet based and Internet related communications create a perfect witness of its victory over routine reality of everyday life.

Technological progress that will enable to make the speed of the Internet and the means of network connection faster, cheaper and interactive will contribute to unstoppable progress of informatization and social change.


The research just covered the basic and miserable part from the variety of software and functions that are offered by Internet technologies available nowadays. It described the principles of Internet, email, and data exchange that form the whole concept of WWW.andInternet as global network.

The comparative analysis of browsers, search engines and basic principles of internet data exchange described in the research help to understand the general picture of it technology, it’s origins, past, present and future.

As I have wrote above to underestimate the role of Internet is impossible: global computerization reminds about its presence everyday and everywhere. And the most important is to join this process willingly become the participant of the it world events at least on the level of Internet user, because alienation in this process will only have negative personal impacts and regress only.


Hahn, Harley Hahn Teaches the Internet 2nd ed., Que 2002

Kasser, Barbara Using the Internet, Fourth Edition,

Que. 2000

Gralla, Preston How the Internet Works, Fourth Edition, Que. 2001

Web portals, Wikipedia article available on web: http:www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/web_portal

Sullivan, Danny Major Search Engines and Directories, Article PC Today, 2002

FTP basics, Article available on web: http://www.scit.wlv.ac.uk/~jphb/comms/

Richard T. Griffiths From ARPANET to World Wide Web, Article Leiden University 2000 available on web: www.let.leidenuniv.nl/history/jvh/chp2.htm

Internet research paper

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