Vancouver Ethiopian Blog

Ethiopian life in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Just How Big is the Internet? Let us Print the Entire Internet, Honey!

In addition to my ramblings about Ethiopian related socio-economic and political issues, I plan to write a maximum of one Internet /webmaster related post each month. All tech posts are scheduled to be published on the third Thursday of the month.

Therefore, today, as my first tech post, I just want to start by writing about the size of the Internet.

I launched this blog on September 10, 2009, just in time for the Ethiopian New Year. My first post was entitled, “Happy Ethiopian New Year to All!”. I published a few more posts after that – To Buy a House or Not to Buy (Parts 1), To Buy a House or Not to Buy (Parts 2), To Buy a House or Not to Buy (Parts 3),  Thanksgiving and the Ethiopian Community of British Columbia (ECBC). Now it is time for a technology post, which I am very much interested in.

Before I start talking about how big the Internet is, I just want to say a few words about the history of Internet in the Vancouver area.

The History of the Internet in Vancouver

The Internet has grown tremendously since I started using it in 1992. Back then, there were a few commands, like “go”, “bill”, and other similar DOS commands. There were no any graphics, no pictures, no media files, no videos. It was only text. You might think that it was boring. But, tech enthusiasts were ecstatic at the time, and that enthusiasm led to the great functionalities of the Internet as we know it today.

In 1992, my brand new IBM clone computer cost me $3,000, and was running Windows 3.X and had only 8MB RAM. What? Yes, that was right – only 8MB RAM, with expandable slot for an optional 8MB RAM. In addition, the Internet access fee was unacceptably expensive. My Internet Service Provider (ISP) was Internet Direct (if I still remember its name) and the access was dial up, using my phone line. It was painfully slow and the fact that my phone line was tied up for anyone to reach me was very frustrating.

“Internet Direct” was the first ISP to offer “unlimited access” in town although it was not really unlimited. Internet Direct would cancel your account if you had gone over a certain amount of hours a month. Shaw Cable and Telus did not exist as ISPs then. To summarize it, back then, we were not spoiled like the Internet users today.

America Online (AOL) also launched its services in the mid/late 90’s in Vancouver. They would send 20 or 30 hours of free Internet access service on a diskette to every household in town and urged people to sign up. People signed up using the diskettes, and AOL became a giant in the industry, and a darling of stock market investors. Even though AOL was great at the time, cancelling the service, after the free trial expired, was really a pain in th teeth.

You will find some detailed information about the history of Internet in Vancouver here. Once at this site, you may click on the graph section to read about the year(s) you are interested in.

You will also find in depth analysis of the world wide history of the Internet here.

The Internet Today

Today, the Internet has become our livelihood. For me, the Internet is a must have. I can’t imagine living without it. I can give up TV, cell phone and other stuff, but not the Internet. I can’t help it, but all my life is now online. Companies are now focusing on “cloud computing” methods.

These days, The Internet is being used for many tasks. I will point out some of the things I personally do using the Internet in my next tech post, scheduled for November 19, 2009. For now, let us probe what the size of the Internet is.

Just how big is the Internet?

Have you ever thought of printing the entire Internet? What a huge task that would be, eh? If you were to print the entire Internet:

  • How many pages would it be?
  • How long would it take to read the printed material?
  • How much would the printed paper weigh?
  • How much ink would your printer need?
  • How much paper would you need?

I don’t want to think about the answers to these questions. It is mind boggling just to imagine the numbers.

Well, below are some graphical comparisons to understand the magnitude of the Internet.

Understanding the size of the Internet

if you printed the internet

if you printed the internet
if you printed the internet
if you printed the internet
if you printed the internet
if you printed the internet

What if the Internet was Suddenly Deleted?

If the Internet suddenly disappears, many people will go crazy, including myself and many will lose their jobs. The GDP of Nigeria will dramatically fall! But, this video (sorry that wordpress hosted sites don’t allow embedding videos) answers best this hypothetical question.

My next weekly blog entry will be on Thursday October 29, 2009. My next tech post will be on November 19, 2009 and will be about all the cool things you can do on the Internet.

Mullkam Samint!

October 22, 2009 - Posted by | Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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