This article will be released in Travian magazine issue 03/2013.
Long story short...
We all do know, how to surf on web, how to get from one page to another, how to look for information stored on the web. But less people know, how the internet works and what's behind the internet address.
Internet was invented in CERN, Switzerland as a tool for sharing. Physicists gathered thousands of information which had to be sorted out, recalculated and sent for further calculations and analysis. One computer didn't have enough calculating power, one computer wasn't fast enough, one computer wasn't enough for tens of people, who worked with the same data stored there. Therefore, a connection between computer was needed and in 1961 internet was born.
Thanks to this invention, people are able to share and distribute information, connect more computers together and create so called clusters, or play games, such as Travian.
How does it works?
Question is, how do we get to a certain information? How to locate it in such wide web?
Essentially, anything on the web, any workstation connected to internet possesses an unique set of numbers called IP address. And through these numbers, computers call each other. Once they find each other, they will send data in form of pockets to each other.
Unfortunately, numbers are hard to remember. That's why a new system had to be created. Instead of addresses such as 218. 18.102.2, why there can't a “example”? It didn't take much to create a bonding, when special names – domains – are bound to the numeric address. So, instead of remembering that horrible terrifying number, word or set of key words are there to guide us through internet.
Web server and browser
Before there could be any domain, servers had to be started. Servers are the real hardware machines on which the files reside.
To create such a hosting server, you need a fair connectivity – download and upload and some software, which will evaluate incoming and out-coming information. The first created web server was by Tim Berners-Lee in CERN, by the same person, who designed the internet. He created a web server called NeXTSTEP in 1990.
The first browser, which was able to communicate with web server and translate the code was called WorldWideWeb or also called Nexus.
It's easy to call an address now. We type, for example, http://www.ts7.travian.com/login.php and we are automatically moved to a login page for the server we are playing. But where did we actually go?
WWW, or World Wide Web, is a system of files in which you can navigate with hyperlinks. These hyperlinks are transferred through a gate called Hypertext Transfer Protocol – “http” at the beginning of our address.
World Wide Web contains all possible top-level domains. In our case, it's “.com”. There are other top-level domains. Generic one, such as .net, .gov or .info or national one: .de, .es,... All of these addresses are maintained by “nic” families.
We are on the global level right now. To find out our machine in here, “travian” is called. But we don't want the main page. We specified a sub-domain called “ts7”. Thanks to this, we are moved into exactly, where we want to.
Once there, thanks to the path which follows after “/” we are navigated to file called “login.php” and we are able to login.
Once web servers were up and running, and there was a technology to translate codes into a real output, world was prepared for first domains.
The first ever created domain was Nordu.net, a name that was created by the registry on opening day on January, 1st in 1985. It was used as a name for the first root server - nic.nordu.net. Then other nic servers followed.
The first ever registered domain belonged to company Symbolics. The domain Symbolics.com was registered on 15th of March, 1985 and it's still active.
Symbolics are an American Inc. company, which celebrated 25 years in 2010. The company designed and manufactured machines which were optimized to run a programming language. Since its beginning, the firm has lost its former self and became company XF - real estate and domain investment company that owns many premium web properties. The first domain was the sold to a new small firm. Anyway, the web page http://symbolics.com/ looks awsome. Check it to find out some interesting details about internet.
You can find the names of the oldest domains and their registration dates on this list.
Meanwhile, more 180 millions of domain names have been registered. Internet has expanded and it's usage has increased exponentially. The weight of the importance of connection is increasing day by day. Messages, information, control over a business and much more. I wonder, how it will look like in ten years...