Most Read
    Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

    Where were you when the internet went live?

    Where were you when the internet went live?

    Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute was there, one of just 25 active servers

    I received a mass email from the person who founded and runs Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute, celebrating the birth of the world wide web 20 years ago and the fact that Cornell’s LII was there when the lights went on, along with 24 other active servers:

    Earlier this week, the World Wide Web celebrated its 20th anniversary — the date in 1993 when CERN, where the Web originally took shape as a research project, announced that it was making the technology freely available to the world.  In recognition of that event, CERN republished its original Web page, arguably the first Web page in the world, as it appeared in 1993.  You can browse it at .

    If you do, you’ll see a link to “What’s out there”

    (  Under “Law”, you’ll see one entry — a link to Title 17 of the US Code at the LII.

    There is also a link to “W3 Servers” ( ), not a comprehensive list of all the servers running at the time, but a list of all of the ones running reliably.  There are 25, and again you’ll find a link to the LII, the 21st to be added to a list whose first member was the original CERN server put up by Tim Berners-Lee.

    We’re kind of proud of that.

    The CERN announcement is at

    Here’s the list:

    NCSA National Center for Supercomputing Applictions, Urbana Champain, IL, USA. Experimental.
    IN2P3 Lyon, France.
    KVIKernfysisch Versneller Instituut (nuclear physics accelerator institute), Groningen, Netherlands. VMS server.
    CWI Center of  Mathematics and Computer Science, Amsterdam. FTP server for hypertext, including Gnu TeXInfo stuff as hypertext.
    Cornell Legal information: US Intellectual Property Statustes on line.
    ZEUS ZEUS experiment at DESY, Hamburg, Germany. [.At least 2 servers]
    KEK KEK, Tsukuba, Japan. Experimental only. [FTP hypertext, http server later)
    DESY unix server Experimental only as yet.
    Denmark’s Technical Library The DTB information service includes the library system.
    VOICE magazine The first global online hypertext magazine? Ed. Tom Boutell
    SLAC Stanford Linear Accelerator, California. HEP preprints database and LOTS more… also a unix server .
    Technical University of Graz Information service. Gateway to Hyper-G data.
    CCIT Arizona University of Arizona information
    Fermilab Documentation from online and offline groups. Also at FNAL, very experimental servers in Theory , D0 , HEPnet management , ACCESS user consultancy .
    ASIS Software Repository A server for public domain and CERN software for distribution to CERN members only. The documentation is public.
    CERN news Various groups, some more active than others – see the full list
    CERN computing documents A keyword index.
    Hebrew University of Jerusalem Information service – both in hebrew and English, asssumes a VT terminal with hebrew characters. See also their TeX database (July 1992).
    Helsinki Technical University HUT Information tree.
    HEPNET Experimental server (might move!) run by US HEPNet at FNAL.
    ICTP Italian physics institute (experimental server)
    FUNET  informationFinnish Univerity Research Network. 
    NIKHEF The Dutch High-Energy Physics center. 
    Software Technology Information from STING organised by Mike Sendall.
    VXCRNA  help The VMS help tree on node .
    WorldWideWeb support information about W3 itself,  CERN entry point, and web overviews.

    Restricted or difficult access

    SunSite The sunsite repository being set up bu UNC Chapel Hill. (Experimental)
    Xerox PARC Private: Access from only. System33 document server.
    CIS Informationsdienst The information service from the Centrum fuer Informations und Sprachverarbeitung von Muenchen (don’t panic: they also have it in English !) Experimental, very slow line :-(. Times out.
    OMT group – Private web.


    Donations tax deductible
    to the full extent allowed by law.



    Buffalobob | May 3, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Back then I was a member of a PC club affiliated with my employer, a major computer co. My cutting edge pc was a IBM PC Junior. I recall one meeting were we discussed the net. One of our members was connecting to a college library in Prague. I asked if there was anyway that our PCs could be compromised and accessed by the net connections. Everyone let out a resounding no, absolutely not. You know the rest of the story.

    donb | May 3, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    I thoroughly checked out that first web page, and its “people” section, and its “history” section, and did not see even one mention of Al Gore!

    There must be a conspiracy or something, maybe a “vast right wing conspiracy”.

    BannedbytheGuardian | May 3, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    I was on the net when it was just a Guvmint thing – aviation – before it went public.

    I loaded up all the small airport data from tapes onto discs & onto file. Since then I have always been a bit nervous of remote airfield crashes in case I put in the wrong measurements. In 20 plus years – . So far so good.

    PatriotGal2257 | May 3, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    I was working in the Advertising Art department of a small daily newspaper. We almost always kept a frenetic pace, but during the rare and infrequent downtime we had, we used to fool around with the flatbed scanners and Photoshop and make goofy and amateurish photo collages. At the beginning, the paper’s management was very slow to roll out even email access — I remember only a few select computers even had *that* at first, and the people who had it (I wasn’t one of them) guarded access to it jealously. We all eventually got the whole package — email, Internet, FTPs — and I have difficulty remembering how we used to work without it now.

    KM from Detroit | May 4, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    …I was a month away from 9 years old 🙂

    Leave a Comment

    Leave a Reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.

    Notify me of followup comments via e-mail (or subscribe without commenting.)

    Font Resize
    Contrast Mode
    Send this to a friend