Tell a youngster of today about computers the size of a multi-story building, and he will ask you if it is a server farm or a Bitcoin mining operation. Tell him about how you had to use maps to navigate, he will ask you if it was Google Maps or Bing. Tell him about an era when devices were not interconnected, and he will not believe a word you’re saying. Those of us born after the 1970s have witnessed the growth of the internet, its infiltrating every aspect of our lives – and they have also witnessed the evolution of the devices we use to connect to it day after day.
Precursors of the internet have been around from before we were born. Networks such as ARPANet, NPL network , CYCLADES, Merit Network, Tymnet, and Telenet were built in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, providing a series of communication protocols. Of course, the amount of data they were capable to transfer minuscule amounts of data compared to even the smallest home network today. The devices connected to these networks… well, they were a bit larger than we are used to.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s various independent networks have formed, that have become interconnected in the years to come. The first ISPs (internet service providers) formed in the late 1980s, with the first commercial dialup service being launched in the US in 1989. The coming years brought consensus upon the protocols used by the devices connected to the global network, backbones (large optical cables) were installed under the Atlantic and the Pacific, finally making the connection between continents and connecting home computers into one vast network – the internet.
In the meantime the devices capable to connect to this vast global network have become smaller every year. First they became the size of filing cabinets, later they shrunk to the size of suitcases. The smallest laptop of those times, Toshiba’s Libretto (released a bit ahead of its time, in the mid 1990s) was the size of a book, while the average size of a laptop computer was closer to a volume of an encyclopedia. From here on devices have become smaller, and the functions for which people used the internet became more numerous.
The mid-1990s were the time when one of the most profitable online industries of our times (aside from Google’s search and advertising empire): real money gaming. Microgaming, one of the oldest companies active in the business, launched the first fully functional online gaming platform, something that guaranteed it growth and success ever since. Back in the day their software was delivered by mail – today players don’t even have to download anything.
Getting started at the Royal Vegas is as easy today as creating a email address. And the games are not only available for PCs, but smartphones, tablets, even smartwatches – basically anything capable of connecting the internet. The Royal Vegas casino is one of the best rated real money gaming outlets available today. It is also one of the best documented – it offers its players complete descriptions of all the game types it offers, and individual games that they can play while they visit. The Royal Vegas is built to perfection, having a visual style to match its name. It promises and delivers a truly royal treatment to its players, who can feel like being in one of the VIP rooms in a Las Vegas casino. Part of the VIP treatment they receive are the attractive special offers the Royal Vegas has for them – free cash in their pockets, and amazing prizes to compete for day after day. Players can engage in an exciting game of blackjack, try their luck on one of their hundreds of slot machines, or interact with one of their attractive, real dealers through its Live Casino.
The early 2000s was a great time for devices. With the need arising for smaller, more practical devices to connect to the global network, manufacturers were in a hurry to satisfy it. Smaller laptops appeared, and the first generation of smart phones – but nothing truly revolutionary until 2007, when a new kind of internet-capable device was launched, one without a physical keyboard: the iPhone. In the years the smartphone has become bigger, stronger, and took on a series of new functions, becoming the principal way of accessing the internet for the majority of users. Later it spawned its little brother, the smart watch – what will become of that, only time will tell.
But in the last few years a new generation of connected devices is emerging: objects, animals, and even ourselves, transferring data without the need of human interaction. It will be a truly revolutionary step in the evolution of connected devices, which will allow the better integration of the computer networks and the real life. We’re talking a huge variety of devices, from connected household appliances to smart heart rate monitors implanted under our skin, collecting and autonomously transferring data between them. The internet will become an integral part of our life in a way we’ve never thought to be possible.
The rest, well, that’s history.