networkGopher was developed in the early 1990s at the University of Minnesota, and is considered one of the predecessors to the modern web. One of the earliest protocols for searching and retrieving documents over the internet, it was the de-facto engine for online users prior to the rise of web based services.

It was initially designed as a menu driven, text based system, which was ideal for remote computer terminals of the day. The system included the ability to tap into the Archie and Veronica search engines, and gateways to FTP, BBS, and UseNet. It’s low bandwidth protocol was preferred by network administrators over HTTP in those early days, and adding to it’s rapid adoption was the ability to easily setup a Gopher server on campus networks.

As the web began to rise and the first browsers like Mosaic appeared, those programs started consuming Gopher services as part of their functions. HTML based documents also offered a more free form way of searching and retrieving. Although it planted the seeds for modern search engines and was one of the earliest online electronic libraries, it was supplanted by the HTTP protocol and the World Wide Web as it exploded into commercial use.

Despite being eclipsed by it’s big brother, there is an active user community and Gopher is still in use today.

Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)

PGP was developed by Phillip Zimmermann in 1991 to provide cryptographic privacy and authentication. After it’s initial release, it was enormously pouplar, spawning a government investigation when it spread beyond U.S. borders on the internet. Since it’s inception there have been several versions and it is by far one of the most popular cryptography tools.

The name “Pretty Good Privacy” was inspired by the name of the grocery store featured in radio host Garrison Keillor’s fictional town, Lake Wobegon. The grocery was “Ralph’s Pretty Good Grocery”.

Zimmerman wanted people to be able to securely store files and communicate over BBS systems. The program originally wound up on UseNet before spreading to the internet, prompting a federal investigation of him in 1993 due to laws against exporting anything that used more than 40bit cryptography. He even wound up testifying before Congress. Eventually the case was closed and no charges were ever filed. PGP’s life has been one of controversy, having gone through a string of patent and liscencing issues as well as several acquisitions of the company Zimmerman started in 1996. Today the program is still in use, especially in the areas of email and file encryption.


linux-logoIn 1991 Linus Torvalds creates Linux, an offshoot of Unix. An outgrowth of the open source software movement, he developed the operating system specifically for use on personal computers. Based on the GNU kernel developed by programmer Richard Stallman, who advocated making source code freely available, it slowly caught on with Internet Service Providers and other small businesses who were attracted by the low cost and ability to tailor the open code to their needs. Legions of others wrote improvements, fixed bugs and shared information about it over the net. Today Linux is still going strong, especially in high end computing.


eicar-logo-1European Institute for Computer Anti-Virus Research ยท Combines universities, industry, media, technical, security, and legal experts from civil and military government and law enforcement as well as privacy protection organizations whose objectives are to unite non-commercial efforts against writing and proliferation of malicious code like computer viruses or Trojan Horses, and against computer crime and fraud.


computer11HTML is the lingua franca for publishing hypertext on the World Wide Web. It is a non-proprietary format based upon SGML, and can be created and processed by a wide range of tools, from simple plain text editors – you type it in from scratch- to sophisticated WYSIWYG authoring tools. HTML uses tags to structure text into headings, paragraphs, lists, hypertext links etc.

Tim Berners-Lee

berners2A graduate of Oxford University, England, Tim now holds the 3Com Founders chair at the Laboratory for Computer Science ( LCS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He directs the World Wide Web Consortium, an open forum of companies and organizations with the mission to lead the Web to its full potential.

With a background of system design in real-time communications and text processing software development, in 1989 he invented the World Wide Web, an internet-based hypermedia initiative for global information sharing. while working at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory. He wrote the first web client (browser-editor) and server in 1990.

Before coming to CERN, Tim worked with Image Computer Systems, of Ferndown, Dorset, England and before that a principal engineer with Plessey Telecommunications, in Poole, England.