The 40-year-old Version
First Email in 1971
Emails came a bit later. In October 1971, Ray Tomlinson chose the '@' symbol to separate the user's name from the computer it was being sent to, and created the first email address. His email address was tomlinson@bbn-tenexa. BBN was his employer, and Tenex the machines’ operating system. Since that day, Ray Tomlinson has been called the father of email. Tomlinson didn't invent the email itself, but rather the software that allowed messages to be sent from one computer to another computer.
The initial electronic mail or message was invented in 1965 by Fernando Corbato of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who developed a program to let users of the institution's Compatible Timesharing System (CTSS) exchange messages, but solely on a single computer machine.
First Website in 1990
In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee, with the help of other researchers at the CERN, proposed a new protocol based on a hypertext system of embedding links into text. In 1990, Berners-Lee created the world's first web server and the first website was put online, a copy of which can be seen on the W3 consortium website.
First Web Browser in 1993
This first web browser, which was named "WorldWideWeb" was invented by Tim Berners-Lee also. However it did not support graphics embedded in pages when it was initially released.
The first graphical web browser to become truly popular was NCSA Mosaic and appeared in March 1993. Developed by Marc Andreessen (who later went on to create the Netscape browser) NCSA Mosaic was the first to be available for major operating systems such as the Microsoft Windows, the Macintosh, and the Unix X Window System.
And Still Growing Fast ...
From 1993, many successful ideas came to life, with the creation of public web-based email by HotMail in 1996, Craigslist the same year, Google a few months later, the WeBlog in 1997. Then the internet fully burst in 2000, with Wikipedia in 2001, Facebook in 2004, YouTube in 2005, Twitter in 2006 and it even changed the US election in 2008 (many of these milestones can be found in the Guardian’s online celebration).
Source: Internet World Stats
Just 40 years later, the two-computer-linked ARPANet turned itself into a much broader and powerful network of networks, integral to our lives. As of June 30, 2009, 1.67 billion people had accessed the internet, according to the Internet World Stats website, close to a quarter of the world's population. No technology has had in the history of the world so much impact in so short a time frame (not even the mobile phone) and it is still not over yet.